- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - For animal rights activists across the country, one minor league baseball team’s tradition of having capuchins ride atop dogs isn’t some harmless monkey business.

The News Journal of Wilmington (https://delonline.us/2aVNnkh ) reports that the Wilmington Blue Rocks hold the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo multiple times each season as chaps-wearing monkeys straddle border collies and herd sheep for laughs.

Activists held a protest outside the team’s stadium last month when the rodeo performed, accusing rodeo operator Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard of abusing the animals. Lepard says he pampers the monkeys as if they were “family.”

More than 47,000 people have signed a petition circulated by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals condemning the rodeo.

In a statement, Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor says the league does not support animal acts, but he stopped short of prohibiting them.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com


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