Justin Bieber supports event for zoo charged with animal cruelty

Justin BieberAfter Instagramming a photo of himself petting a tiger in May, Justin Bieber may be in hot water again with animal rights groups after he’s reportedly agreed to support an event at the soon-to-be shut down Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario.

The outrage stems from the private Canadian zoo’s recent troubles with the law — back in April, owner Michael Hackenberger was charged with animal cruelty after a video surfaced of him whipping a young tiger during a training session.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals immediately began investigating the zoo after reviewing the footage, which came to light last December. Hackenberger was subsequently charged with four counts of causing an animal distress and one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal.

Following the scandal, the Bowmanville Zoo announced it will be shutting its doors on October 10 after 97 years in operation, due to reduced attendance and negative publicity.

According to new reports, the pop star and his family will hold a “special event” outside the zoo on Sunday in order to raise money for the relocation of the animals, called “Bieber Family Fun” Day. The Bowmanville Zoo’s official website states that tickets will go for $295 a piece.

This is not the first time PETA has criticized the “Baby” singer for his affiliation with the zoo. Toronto Animal Services sent Justin a notice of violation of animal rights in July after PETA complained that he “exhibited” lions at two events. Further investigation proved that the lions were from Bowmanville. Prior to this, the celeb posted a picture of himself stroking a leashed Bengal tiger, again from the Bowmanville Zoo, and PETA lashed out with the statement, “Justin Bieber is lucky not to have had his throat torn out by this stressed captive tiger.”

“Bieber Family Fun Day” or “BFF Day” will be held on Sunday, August 28. ~Shelby Morton

Good cause or plain dumb? Sound off below!

Update: The Bowmanville Zoo is refunding tickets to Bieber Family Fun Day after Justin’s father took to social media to deny claims that his family will be making an appearance.

The zoo posted a statement to their Facebook page last night confirming that the event is still taking place, but without the Biebers.

“We had invited many celebrities including the Bieber family. None of the celebrities invited have any association with the zoo nor are they hosting this event – anyone who attends our fundraising event, celebrity or not, is a guest of the zoo,” the statement read. “We have now been informed by the Bieber family that they are no longer attending this event.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Dierdre • August 25, 2016 @ 10:15 AM

    If their closing in October what is the fundraising for??? And anyone who supports it has a cold heart sorry to say. I seen the video and theres no mistake that the tiger was being beat down the poor thing was in total fear thank goodness for technology 97 years of of what we dont know

  2. Nora Dolan • August 25, 2016 @ 10:16 AM

    He’s holding the event to re-locate the animals. It’s commendable. He enjoys the animals, it doesn’t mean he supports the cruelty.

  3. Jude • August 25, 2016 @ 10:22 AM

    How likely is it that Justin bieber will actually show? If he’s scared for his life when meeting fans one to one how likely is he really going to show to a very small town in rural Ontario – let alone to a specific location which is on tiny local roads. And that he is having a fund raiser to relocate the animals okay fine, but they guy has plenty of money to relocate them himself without charging kids $295 to maybe see him which is what that high charge is really about.

  4. JOE • August 25, 2016 @ 11:17 AM

    It’s obvious that Justin doesn’t listen to the media and PETA. We all need to change the way we think about this in a totally radical different way. We are not going to stop animal cruelty by stopping those who truly love animals. “Justin Bieber” “Myself”. We need to start looking at this from a state of LOVE and not a state of hatred. It’s obvious that it is still going on because of the negative way people approach this issue by blaming others for what they are projecting out onto them. STOP IT! Right Now! Come from what is being shown here. Justin is coming from LOVE for the animals and nothing else. Project love out there and you will get love. (love for people as well as for animals) Simple! PEACE AND LOVE BE WITH YOU ALL.

  5. Kevin Greenshields • August 25, 2016 @ 11:33 AM

    Good cause. Justin is going the right thing. The animal have to go somewhere. Where does PETA want the animals to go? Back to the wild? Not a very practical group!

  6. Kevin Greenshields • August 25, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

    Good cause. Justin is doing the right thing. The animal have to go somewhere. Where does PETA want the animals to go? Back to the wild? Not a very practical group!

  7. mike • August 25, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

    Typical PETA . They accuse one person, so he quits though denying it, then when the zoo has to close because of bad press and other nonsense that PETA starts they are nowhere to be seen when it is time to actually help the animals. Thats kinda like shutting down an abusive foster home and when the kids need help relocating they say i’d love to help but its not my job. Who cares if justin beiber and his family caved and cancelled because of bad press, its about the loss of a good zoo and animals that didnt do anything to anybody but educate children and open peoples minds and imaginations.

  8. Jacqui Graham • August 25, 2016 @ 12:39 PM

    Good cause. It is ridiculous that PETA should criticize Bieber for raising money to help relocate this “stressed captive tiger” and the other animals.

  9. mike • August 25, 2016 @ 4:25 PM

    PETA is a deplorable organization. They have proven ties to the Animal Liberation Front, a terrorist group. Do not support them.

  10. Mitch Klinger • August 26, 2016 @ 1:43 AM

    This story might be a hoax….

  11. Tess • August 26, 2016 @ 2:46 AM

    Bowmanville Zoo is well-known in Canada as an horrendous pit of misery and abuse for profit. There have been multiple charges and animal deaths over the decades. Hopefully, all of the animals will be relocated to reputable Animal Sanctuaries where they will no longer be considered furry meat suits for profit.

    PETA says it would like to see “every single animal at the Bowmanville Zoo to be sent to a reputable sanctuary where they can finally recover from their years of abuse, and get the care they deserve.”

    Knowing what we do about Michael Hackenberger’s disgusting history, I doubt that the money from the ticket sales will go anywhere but into his private account.

  12. Mack • August 26, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

    He’s not supporting a “Zoo EVENT” = he’s supporting the relocation of these animals. Do good, Do bad, same crappy press. Bieber can’t win.

  13. Ingrid • August 26, 2016 @ 5:40 PM

    He’s doing nothing to support this zoo, come on, did anyone think this guy gave a damn about anything other than himself? And his father is worse, he’s done nothing but capitilize on his son’s fame, while being the absolutely worst influence ever. What’s he tweeting about? Let his son tweet for himself.

  14. lorena • October 20, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

    AGAIN – here we go – crucifying Justin Bieber. He just can’t win ….. Justin – your heart was pure in this instance – hang in there – people are just jealous of your fame and fortune. I know you were doing this out of a caring heart. Good for you. God knows your heart – nothing else matters.

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