Province not sold on plan for tiger at bar

Province not sold on plan for tiger at bar

Plans to include a tiger from a Toronto-area zoo as part of a massive entertainment spectacle at a Calgary bar are creating controversy and have drawn the attention of the provincial government. Snatch Rock ‘n Roll Lounge is staging a show called Adrenaline 2008: Hollywood Meets Calgary. Throughout show, Robbie the tiger from the Bowmanville Zoo will be on the stage in a large caged enclosure. However, officials with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission told CTV Calgary on Wednesday they hadn’t even been approached for permission for the event and had yet to decide whether to allow it.

Robbie has been an honorary mascot for the CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats and has appeared on several television shows, including CTV’s Canada AM and the CBC’s The Hour.

On the latter, trainer Dave Salmoni told host George Stroumboulopoulos that Robbie was a rescue cat who had been owned by a stripper, and that he takes the animal around to various events in an effort to educate the public.

Late in February, a magazine photo shoot at the Bowmanville Zoo ended abruptly when a lion named Leo pounced on a woman demonstrating martial arts.

Gitanjali Kolanad suffered four broken ribs and a bruised lung in the incident which was caught on video and posted to the Internet.

Officials at the Calgary bar told CTV that Robbie always travels with at least one trainer and up to four handlers.

They said they are confident none of the patrons or the animal will be put at risk, noting that if Robbie becomes distressed or agitated, he would be removed from the venue.

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