Juno Award–winning Canadian man-child and occasional shit-disturber Justin Bieber is under fire by PETA today after a photo of him posing with a tiger allegedly belonging to an infamously abusive Toronto zoo went up on Instagram over the weekend.
Bieber, who happens to sport a tiger tattoo already, got the real experience of being with one at his dad's engagement party this weekend. The photo, which has received over 2 million likes since it went up, prompted PETA to issue a letter decrying Bieber for allegedly posing near the same tiger that was allegedly abused by Bowmanville Zoo owner Michael Hackenberger.
Hackenberger made news last month after he was charged with five counts of animal abuse relating to whipping the tiger Bieber is allegedly seen posing with. He's also the same guy who, no word of a lie, called a baboon a "fucking cocksucker" on live TV after it refused to obey him.
PETA claims that an animal expert has confirmed that, based on the unique stripes that tigers have and other visual identifies, it is almost certainly the same tiger that Hackenberger has been videotaped whipping.
"The tiger who appeared at the Bieber party is identical to Robbie, a Bowmanville Zoo tiger we know is used for encounters with the public," an email from PETA sent to VICE reads. According to PETA: "Each tiger's stripes are unique, and Robbie even has several additional unique characteristics that match up with the Bieber tiger: pigmentation on the nose, a tear-drop shape above one of his eyes, and identical bald patches on the nose (this results from tigers rubbing their noses against cage bars and it's typically seen in neglected tigers who are confined in small barren enclosures)."
Bieber has been known for his past ownership of a pet monkey—one which was quarantined and confiscated in 2013 after he snuck it into Germany. Bieber was unable to get the monkey back, and animal rights groups have asked him to not get anymore monkeys in the future.
"Justin Bieber certainly has a history of exploiting and contributing to the domesticating of wild, exotic animals," Brittany Pete, a spokesperson for PETA, told VICE.
"It's clear that Justin really cares about [these animals], so PETA is just calling on him to support wildlife [and sanctuaries], rather than contributing to [the continuation of] the abuse and neglect of these animals."
Bowmanville Zoo wasn't available for immediate comment to VICE, but CP24 has reported that the zoo refuses to answer whether or not the tiger actually came from there.
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