LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Shame on the Wilmington Blue Rocks

Next week, the Wilmington Blue Rocks will again host another ridiculous “ monkey rodeo .” In this event, small Capuchin monkeys are strapped to the back of a dog, and the dog is forced to run around a track. These events, like all events that exploit animals for entertainment, are beyond cruel and inhumane.

The organizer that puts on these “ monkey rodeos,” Tim Lepard’s Team Ghost Riders, has a history of citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating the federal animal welfare act. They have also been cited for not being available for the USDA inspections. To make it worse, several years ago, monkeys, dogs and sheep died in the travel trailer due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Aside from the violations issued by the USDA, these events are dangerous to the monkeys and even the dogs. The dogs can sometimes run as fast as 30 mph. They make sudden stops, or turns, causing the monkeys to be jerked and thrown around on their backs. If a dog were to fall or tumble, that could cause serious injury to the dog and the monkey .

Capuchins are small but aggressive, and sometimes dangerous, monkeys. In the past, there have been instances where these monkeys have escaped during these events. The monkeys that are used by Team Ghost Riders have had all their teeth removed.

Capuchins are also very intelligent primates. When in the wild, these animals would spend most of their time high up in trees, foraging, climbing, jumping and even socializing and exploring their environments.

This spectacle is not family entertainment; it’s animal cruelty and abuse. A minor league baseball game should be family-friendly and free from such cruelty. Don’t support these events.

Charles Wolfe

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