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Florida boxing kangaroo still punching

July 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM   |   Comments

KISSIMMEE, Fla., July 31 (UPI) -- The Florida Boxing Commission and various other regulatory agencies have refused to shut down the long run of Rocky the boxing kangaroo.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sought to pull the plug on the act because Rocky didn't have a valid boxing license; however, the commission said the licensing requirement applies only to human pugilists.

PETA was undaunted and alleged that state and federal law prohibits forcing dumb animals to take part in fighting. "Forcing a kangaroo to wear a costume and harassing it into fighting is not only cruel but illegal in the state of Florida," PETA legal fellow Carney Anne Chester told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, "The law expressly prohibits tormenting animals."

The Sentinel said Rocky's bouts consist of the marsupial being decked out in trunks and boxing gloves and mixing it up with Kissimmee circus artist Javier Martinez. The fight generally ends with Martinez being knocked out of the ring and Rocky being declared the champ.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the newspaper one of its inspectors took in a fight last month and didn't seen anything improper going on.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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