Fair Productions, Inc. has a long history of using exotic animal acts at fairs all across the country. The Banana Derby involves chaining monkeys necks to the necks of dogs and forcing them to race for the public's amusement. A Grizzly Experience lost a bear in a Florida suburb for three days. Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind threatens lions and tigers with whips and drags them around a tiny cage for screaming crowds.
The Banana Derby
The Banana Derby is a cruel, chaotic event where toothless monkeys are forced into costumes, chained to dogs, and forced to race at high speeds around a track for cheap laughs in front of a screaming crowd.
Its exhibitor, Philip Hendricks (AKA Philip Dolci), has been cited by the USDA for failing to provide dogs and primates with adequate space, repeatedly failing to provide primates with environmental enrichment, failing to provide animals with clean and wholesome food, and even repeatedly giving conflicting and erroneous information to USDA inspectors such that inspectors were unable to locate the monkeys.
Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind
While lions and tigers may roam hundreds of miles of territory in the wild—hunting and raising their young—lions and tigers used for Vincent Von Duke's Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind are trucked thousands of miles at a time to be threatened with whips and dragged around a tiny cage for screaming crowds.
Georgina Donoho—under whose license Vincent Von Duke exhibits big cats—has been cited for failing to promote the psychological well-being of lemurs under her care, failing to provide animals with a veterinarian-approved diet and for keeping lions and tigers inside enclosures so small that they could not even make "normal postural movements" or comfortably turn around.
Though the Levittown Chamber of Commerce no longer allows Close Encounters at the Levittown Fair, the Brookhaven Fair hosted this cruel act for nearly a month in 2017, beginning less than a week after Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down on Long Island due to a dramatic drop" in ticket-sales.
A Grizzly Experience
In 2017, a handler was clawed in the face in front of frightened spectators at “A Grizzly Experience” at the Saratoga County Fair in upstate New York. According to a witness, the bear had seemed agitated for several minutes before the attack, which ended with the handler holding his face with “blood streaming from it.” According to this onlooker, “as I watched the show before the injury, I thought of all the things that could go wrong when you take a 500-pound omnivore and treat it like a circus freak. We saw one of them.”
That incident is only the most recent example of exhibitor Dexter Osborn’s disregard for the public’s safety and animals’ welfare. Dexter Osborn was previously cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act when a bear escaped from his enclosure and wasn’t found for three days. This irresponsible act was hosted by the Brookhaven Fair just a few short months later.
Exhibitor Dexter Osborn markets his shows as educational and claims to care about animal welfare but his forays into alligator wrestling, the stereotypical or psychotic behaviors of bears in his shows, and his habit of trucking them from state to state for profit tell a very different story.
- Video: Tonka paces stereotypically in his cage, a documented sign of psychological distress
- Video: BooBoo escapes for 4 days in a Florida Suburb
- Eye witness report: A handler is attacked at the Saratoga County Fair
Urge the Brookhaven Fair to Stop Hosting Animal Abuse
Please e-mail Fair Productions president Brian Schuman—a Long Island resident—and urge him to stop hiring animal acts at his fairs; then contact John Caracciolo, President and CEO, of JVC Broadcasting—which hosts the Brookhaven Fair—and urge him to join the more than 600 venues nationwide that have banned animal acts from their properties.
President and CEO