High school faces backlash for caged tiger at prom

MIAMI– One Miami high school’s prom was really on theme, much to the displeasure of some students and parents.

Christopher Columbus High School went with a “Welcome to the Jungle” theme for Friday night’s prom, and the decorations carted into the Double Tree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center included a caged tiger, reports ABC News.

CBS Miami reports one student whose brother attended prom took to Facebook to complain that the “poor tiger was used as an EXOTIC amusement for the mindless teenagers who were present.” It wasn’t the only amusement: The Miami Herald reports a lemur, two macaws, and an African fennec fox were also brought in to amplify the theme.

The private, all-boys college prep Catholic school defended its move, saying it had two police officers on-site and that the tiger was only present for “a few minutes.”

It “was never harmed or in danger, was not forced to perform, was always accompanied by his handlers, and for the great majority of the time was lying down in a relaxed state facing away from the audience,” the school continued.

But a rep for ZooMiami offers a different opinion to the Herald, which described footage as showing the animal as “anxious” and “pacing.” Says Ron Magill,

“He was surrounded by people, cell phones, lights, jugglers juggling fire. I really don’t know what they were thinking. … When you see a tiger’s ears go to the side, or go flat back, that is not a good thing.” (This prom dress also caused an uproar.)

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