WILMINGTON, Del. — One minor league team is causing a serious stir among animal activists as their “tradition” of training capuchins to ride sheep dogs as a form of entertainment has continued this season.
The “Cowboy Monkey Rodeo” has been held during the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ minor league games at various times each season. Chaps-wearing monkeys are trained to ride dogs while herding sheep in order to garner laughs from the crowd.
Rodeo operator Tim “Wild Thank” Lepard has been accused by animal advocates of abusing these animals. Lepard claims that he treats the monkeys as if they were family. Protestors have spoken out against these events and more than 47,000 signatures have been gathered by PETA in condemnation of the rodeo.
Although Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor says the league doesn’t support animal acts, he has not taken action to ban them.