Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Caged Tiger Featured at Miami High School Prom Causes Controversy

Caged Tiger Featured at Miami High School Prom Causes Controversy

Not that the all-male Catholic prep school waived its standards of etiquette for the big night on Friday.

The prom had been decorated like a real, wild safari camp - or at least some Hollywood approximation thereof, with faux-rock walls and fake snakes and trees along the main wall. Students were taken by surprise seeing the giant cat in the iron cage. And and an African fennec fox.

Castellanos also shared that her mother did not appreciate that the $200 she had spent for prom brought this kind of attraction and that her brother, anxious that the tiger was uncomfortable being put on display, was also unwilling to come forward fearing reprisals from the school.

"Oh my God", said woman at a table near the front.

Some however were not amused, saying the animals were more like "center pieces" for the students to gawk at. Things like live tigers.

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"It's super scared", someone in the crowd observed as the dancers juggled flames before the tiger.

Cell phone video online shows the tiger pacing in the cage as performers used fire to entertain the graduating class.

Christopher Columbus High School said the animals at the prom were provided by a facility that is licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It could not escape the light show. "Tigers are terrified of fire", she told NBC Miami.

Mari-Chris Castellanos, who attended the prom, posted video clips of the festivity on Facebook. One parent says she wasn't just concerned for the safety of the students, but also the animals.

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Soon after, Marie-Christine Castellanos - whose brother was at the prom - took to social media to post a video of the wild animal, as well as to express her outrage at the staff who arranged the party, dubbing them "shameful".

"They're teaching these kids there's some satisfaction through the suffering of others", she said.

The farther from the Hilton the images traveled, the more criticism fell on them.

But that's not the way Ron Magill of Zoo Miami sees it. "It's going back and forth, back and forth; its tail is slashing back and forth; its ears are going into helicopter mode - all signs of distress".

"Upon reflection, we regret the decision to have live animals at our prom", David Pugh said.

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"Moving forward, we will evaluate our current policies and procedures in the planning and management of school events, including the impact these events have on others". "We all have learned a great deal from this experience".

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