Bermuda Pet Lovers Don’t Feel the Same for Rick Thomas

Inside Magic Image of Mini Tiger - Rare but ScarySpeak of the Devil and He Shall Appear

Recall a couple of days ago when we filled these pages with our endless yarn pitching about life in Mystic Hollow in the post-Howard Johnson’s era?

That was all a set up for our article about Rick Thomas bringing his big white Bengal Tiger to Bermuda to perform.

We wondered in the article whether he would be able to sneak past the animal rights’ folks. After all, they protested the arrival of a circus a few years back and there have not been many animal acts since.

So, we’re reading the good old Bermuda Sun from Bermuda while wearing our Bermuda Skort for Men ensemble. (It is like a kilt but it has pant legs under the shorter skirt so the embarrassment that comes from a unexpected breeze — either from within or without the kilt/skort).

Sure enough, the headline grabbed us like our old football coach — but a little higher and with less uncertainty.

“Animal lovers’ fury at tiger stage show.”

The SPCA and others are trying to convince the rather exclusive and beautiful Fairmont Southampton Resort to drop Rick Thomas and his tiger.

It probably did not help that he titled his appearance, the Ultimate Tiger Encounter Show.”

A show name like that is just beggin’ for trouble. We know that lesson well. We have been banned from the nice theaters in Montreal because of our in artfully translated marquis text. We wanted it to say “He Will Produce Things on the Spot!” and we were told that was translated as “Il sera de provoquer des taches de comparaître.” Apparently not really.

The French phrase is understood as “He will make stains appear!”

We didn’t know about the mix up for until a week into the run. We couldn’t figure out why audience members wore raincoats and goggles to the show. We figured it was just the cool new fashion. So tried to dress like the cool locals and bought a beautiful dark brown rain slicker and bright red goggles.

Someone said we looked like something we can’t describe here. We denied it but the police needed little more than our outfit and the vulgar sign which worked like a porch light to attract perverted and weird moths to our little place in the red light district.

Anyway, what you put on the sign matters. That was our point.

Rick Thomas’ show is benign by Vegas or Montreal standards. He explained to the public he will make the cat “appear then disappear.” Once the tiger has returned, folks can take pictures.

The Bermuda Sun of Bermuda says “at least five people have called the SPCA to say they are “very upset” at what is being planned.”

Kim Sherlaw, SPCA director, said: “Tigers are not entertainers by nature, they are wild animals. This is exploiting animals for financial gain.

“Public safety is paramount. You can take precautions but this is an exotic animal used to hunting for food.”

We tire of having to remind people that if the tiger could, he would be just as inhumane and ruthless towards us.  We can imagine a real bossy tiger making us fit into really small places, change costumes in the dark, be on a constant diet, and have to be breathing in his stale tiger breath.

We (humans)  got to the top of the entertainment/food chain first so we call the shots.  “Get in the box, tiger!”

A Rotary Club Spokesperson says the Rick Thomas show is more than just a tiger in a cage.

The ‘ultimate tiger experience’ is said to be just a 30-minute segment of the show, with Mr. Thomas talking about tiger preservation and warning against buying tiger products.

“A tiger in a cage is not the show at all,” the Spokesperson said with a growl.  “We would like to allay people’s fears and say it is an educational and conservational ­programme that has won a number of awards.”

Read the full article and take in the controversy here.

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