On Saturday night, a group of three furries—two wolves and a panda—walked through the hotel portion of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, until they were stopped by security for foiling security cameras with their fursuits.
The furries were in Las Vegas for Def Con, the world's largest annual gathering of hackers.
Caesars Palace security asked them to remove the heads of their fursuits, svxkitty, the panda of the group, told me over Twitter direct messages. The furries obliged, and took off their animal heads before heading back out into the common space of the hotel.
"While we do not publicly disclose our security practices, the company does have a long-standing policy that prohibits guests from wearing masks on our properties," VP of corporate communications at Caesars Jennifer Forkish told me in an email. "This policy is in place to promote the safety of all guests and employees."
There were at least 50 furries at the conference this year, MetaVulp, a green Arctic Fox and one of the organizers of the newly-formed group Def Con Furs, told me. But most furries at Def Con didn't attend in fursuits, as those can cost thousands of dollars to own.
Groups of furries have been getting together to head to Def Con for years. As we've previously explored, in the early days of the web, furries had to build their own websites and chat rooms to meet other furries, meaning they were early adopters of internet technology.
Their presence at this year's conference warranted a special conference badge from Noid, one of the early organizers of Def Con, MetaVulp told me. The pass told Def Con security that it was cool for them to roam in their fursuits. The furries' conference badges also included a QR code linking to Noid's tweet thread daring them to do a fursuit parade during the conference, but apparently that didn't fly by Caesars security standards.
Svxkitty said Caesars' staff asked them to take off their fursuits in a professional, appropriate manner, but that it was the first time they'd encountered such a request from security staff.
The difficulties of wearing a fursuit in heavily monitored areas like casinos is a bit of a open secret in furrydom, with many events at casinos or convention centers warning participants not to show up in suits covering their faces.
Update: This post has been updated with a comment from Caesars Palace.