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Marriott gets flak for wild-animal displays

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PETA Will Push Executives at Annual Meeting to ban wild-animal exhibits at weddings, other events.

BETHESDA, MD. - "When will Marriott ban cruel and dangerous wild-animal displays at its properties?" That's the question a PETA representative will ask Marriott executives at the company's annual meeting on Friday. PETA bought stock in the company in 2012 in order to advocate for animal-friendly reforms. Marriott has allowed elephants to be used in weddings and big cats to be displayed at its properties.

In the full question, PETA points out that wild animals used in traveling displays are separated from their mothers at a young age and beaten or whipped in violent training sessions in order to break their spirits. Being deprived of mental stimulation and subjected to chronic stress and frustration causes many captive animals to develop abnormal forms of behavior, such as constant rocking, swaying, or pacing - and some, unable to endure the harsh treatment any longer, have lashed out at and even killed humans.

"Marriott is on the wrong side of history as long as it permits exploitative wild-animal exhibitors to haul suffering animals around its properties," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA is calling on the company to join the hundreds of properties that bar these abusive displays."

Wild animals are prohibited at more than 650 U.S. facilities, including those owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Macerich, and Simon Property Group. Other companies, including Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and Booking.com, have taken steps to remove activities that exploit wild animals, such as riding elephants, petting tiger cubs, or swimming with dolphins.

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