As the theme from the movie Rocky blares, a kangaroo wearing gloves and trunks is pulled by a leash into a boxing ring. The crowd cheers as the kangaroo “boxes” a man.
The Rocky Show Circus, which is based in Florida and holds fights across the country, is “as educational as it is entertaining,” according to its Myspace page.
PETA and other animal advocates beg to differ. Javier Martinez, who runs the circus, has been cited several times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to provide veterinary care for his kangaroos. At least two of the animals have died. One suffered from a condition called “lumpy jaw,” caused by stress, poor hygiene and an inadequate diet.
Incredibly, there are no laws against kangaroo fighting in Florida. PETA originally asked the state boxing commission to stop the show, but the commission only deals with human boxing. The boxing commission asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to investigate the treatment of the kangaroos, which the FWC is in the process of doing.
Kangaroo boxing is not educational, and the animals in Martinez’s circus have a history of suffering. Tell the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that this show simply cannot go on.
Photo credit: Ester Inbar