As promised, below is the primary content sent to Animal Planet. I am still networking in order to identify a contact at Animal Planet high enough to effectuate, or at least champion, the requisite change....please advise if you know anyone at the network.
I was extremely disturbed to see the show “Weird, True and Freaky” last night, which featured the story of the coyote that wandered into a Quizno’s in downtown Chicago. Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation was directly involved in this incident. In fact, I personally examined this coyote when it returned to our Barrington facility. The depiction in the show might have been weird and freaky, but it was almost completely untrue. The show sensationalized the incident and presented an unfair depiction of the individual coyote and the species in general. Coyotes are already the subject of irrational fear and persecution – this show’s misrepresentations could only promulgate further irrational phobias.
If “Weird, True and Freaky” had any intention of accurately representing this incident, then it should have contacted those that were directly involved rather than utilizing alleged “Wildlife Experts” whose suppositions regarding this incident conveniently dramatized the show’s fictionalized account.
Until last night, I have always viewed Animal Planet to be an educational source that accurately represents wildlife and conservation issues. The experience we had taping Backyard Habitat reinforced my positive impressions of the network. Sadly, “Weird, True and Freaky” refuted prior positive beliefs. Animal Planet should be ashamed to run this type programming.