Target: Greg Swann, Chief Executive of Brisbane Lions
Goal: Call off search for zoo partnership to obtain live lion for use as a football mascot
A live lion could be paraded around a football stadium at halftime if a plan by Brisbane Lions Chief Executive Greg Swann comes to fruition. Swann is currently in talks with the Australia Zoo to obtain a captive lion to appear at all home games, making a “lap of honor” around the stadium. The mascot will serve as an attraction and a way to support fan involvement and engagement, according to the Australian Football League team executive.
Putting a lion in a stadium with 42,000 guests is a potentially dangerous situation to both the lion and the spectators. Such a large event with loud noises is very stressful, and there is always a chance that a belligerent fan could throw something or otherwise spook the lion. Putting a massive predator in a situation where it can hurt guests and trainers just to sell tickets is both reckless and irresponsible.
Big cats in captivity often suffer on a physical and psychological level due to their complex social, behavioral, and physical needs not being met. They can be prone to quick shifts in temperament, and can even lash out, severely injuring and sometimes killing humans within their reach, even through the bars of a cage.
It is unfair to a captive animal to subject it to further stress when it is already kept in a cramped and unnatural environment, and unwise to put humans in danger in the name of publicity. Sign the petition below to demand that the Brisbane Lions call off all plans to use a live animal as a sports mascot.
Dear Mr. Greg Swann,
The Brisbane Lions football team has recently announced plans to use a live lion as a mascot at home football games. The caged lion and its handlers would make a lap around the stadium before all home games before returning to the zoo it is held in.
Captive lions are prone to behavioral issues due to a lack of a natural environment and socialization. These already-stressed animals would be further agitated by the noise and excitement of a stadium.
Captive lions have attacked trainers and zoo visitors before, even sometimes through the bars of a cage. It is reckless to threaten a stadium full of players and spectators, and cruel to subject a captive animal to such a commotion. I demand that the plan is cancelled immediately in order to avoid the exploitation of an animal as a mascot.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rainbirder via Creative Commons