"These animals are treated as slaves, not friends," Gabriel Grace, the Asia regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told The Dodo.
Animals Asia is uniting a coalition of nearly 20 animal welfare groups from around the globe. In a public statement, the coalition says it is worried about the stress the animals are undergoing during the filming of the program, and how it promotes the idea that wild animals make cute pets.
The coalition calls for the show's immediate cancellation: "This program popularizes live animal performance that can inflict considerable and lasting harms on the animals. It could further cause the viewing public, particularly young children, to become insensitive to the physical and psychological pains of these animals."