Updated: Mar 3, 2021
PETA has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a series of stunts performed by rapper Lil Pump when visiting the safari park of Doc Antle. The rapper can be seen interacting with wild animals in multiple videos shown on Doc Antles instagram, often without proper safety precautions.
Last week, Doc Antle posted a video on Instagram of an elephant by the name of Bubbles using his trunk to lift Lil Pump on his back. PETA's associate director of captive animal law enforcement Debbie Metzler wrote in the complaint to the USDA that this trick was “exceptionally dangerous”. She believes numerous thing could have gone wrong, including Bubbles stepping on Lil Pump or trampling the crowd if something had spooked him.
In another video Lil Pump is seen "in direct physical contact with a juvenile tiger." According to Metzer, this violates a law that reads: “[d]uring public exhibition, any animal must be handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public, with sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animal and the general viewing public so as to assure the safety of animals and the public.” On top of that, another law states that dangerous animals like tigers and elephants, should be under direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced animal handler. Which was, according to PETA, not the case during Lil Pump visit .
Doc Antle is known from the Tiger King documentary series that went viral earlier this year and has been a controversial person in the wildlife trade for years. Last October Antle was charged with wildlife trafficking, conspiracy to commit traffic wildlife, conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and animal cruelty.
For Lil Pump, this controversy is not coming at the best of times. He already lost 300.000 Instagram followers after he spoke out in support for Donald Trump last week. Who called the rapper ‘Lil Pimp’ during a recent rally.