Victory! Close Encounters Denied in Levittown!
LION will fight for any animal regardless of species, but when someone comes onto Long Island whipping our name-sake, we take particular offense. Following emergency protests outside the Levittown Memorial Day Fair and dialogue with the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber agreed to deny Close Encounters the following year and all animals thereafter.
(Photo credit: Levittown Tribune)
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, we have reason to believe Vincent and "Pom Pom" may be returning elsewhere on Long Island soon.