MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A social media post showing New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr playing with exotic animals at the Myrtle Beach Safari has drawn the ire of PETA.
As of Wednesday, the clip, which was posted on the NFL star’s Instagram page, has been viewed more than 1.6 million times. The post shows Beckham and a friend playing catch with a chimpanzee and wrestling with big cats.
PETA condemned both the animal exhibit and Beckham, issuing the following statement, written in all caps, on their website:
“THESE SENSITIVE AND MUCH-ABUSED ANIMALS BELONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES IN NATURE, NOT PIMPED OUT AS PROPS BY SHAMELESS ROADSIDE ZOOS. WE’RE SURE THAT ODELL BECKHAM JR. HAD NO IDEA THAT THE SLEAZY SAFARI PARK WHERE THIS YOUNG CHIMPANZEE IS KEPT HAS A LENGTHY RECORD OF VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW AND USES GREAT APES AND BIG-CAT CUBS IN CHEAP PUBLICITY STUNTS LIKE THIS. THESE ENCOUNTERS ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS, AND PETA URGES EVERYONE - INCLUDING BECKHAM, WHO CERTAINLY DOESN’T WANT ANOTHER INJURY - TO STEER CLEAR OF CRUEL FACILITIES THAT EXPLOIT ANIMALS.”
PETA has previously filed complaints against the Myrtle Beach Safari, and the exhibit was involved in a federal investigation in 2016.
Beckham’s Instagram post is below.