PETA was recently contacted by a tourist who took her family in August to view the splendor of the Grand Canyon. She certainly didn’t expect trail guides to demand that participants repeatedly beat the weary mules who carried them deep into the canyon, as is allegedly the case.
The trek’s “experienced” guide “T.J.” reportedly instructed the group to keep their mules in a tight line while descending the narrow (4-foot-wide, according to our complainant) trail that meanders into the rocky abyss.
Shortly after the trek got underway, our complainant was apparently instructed to use her crop (a small, leather strap) to beat the mule. The mule, Juanita, reportedly failed to pick up the pace and T.J.—who we are told is the one wearing the cowboy hat in this photo began shouting at the witness to “beat [her] mule as hard as [she] could.” According to our complainant, another tourist and his wife were similarly harassed about needing to beat their mules in order to keep up with the group.
When the group stopped for lunch, the apparently frustrated guide approached the participants and allegedly began lashing his crop violently against the bench next to where they were sitting. “This is how you beat the mule,” he reportedly instructed them. Click here to view a photo of the guide.
Please ask Andrew Todd, CEO of the company running these tours, for his assurance that this alleged treatment of the animals will be strictly prohibited and that any abusive tour guides will be reprimanded. Urge him to make an inquiry into the above allegations and to spare no effort in securing the welfare of any injured or neglected donkeys:
Andrew N. Todd, President & CEO
Xanterra Parks & Resorts
14001 E. Iliff Ave., Ste. 600
Aurora, CO 80014