Christopher Columbus High School regrets using caged tiger, live animals at prom

The school defended itself against criticism saying that the animals were minded by state-licensed handlers

The school defended itself against criticism saying that the animals were minded by state-licensed handlers

The Christopher Columbus High School prom took place Friday night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center.

"It is not the [students'] fault to be so naive BUT it's the CCHS staff who arranged this event", Castellanos wrote, adding: "They are responsible for the tiger's misery".

The caged animal's presence angered some who called it animal abuse for the sake of entertainment.

"My mom doesn't appreciate that she spent $200 for prom and got this type of attraction", the student's sister, Marie-Christine Castellanos, said.

A high school in Florida is receiving some backlash after students were surprised by live animals, including a tiger, at their senior prom.

Castellanos said her brother was unwilling to publicly come forward because of fears of reprisals from the school, ABC News reported.

Castellanos told CBS Miami that she and her family have always been animal rights activists, and said she believes having the tiger at the prom was a clear case of animal abuse.

The wild animal pacing uncomfortably in the small cage caused outrage.

PETA slammed the high school for the display, saying animals "do not need to be in a party situation". "They don't like the fire, the cages, the music, the teenagers with the cameras, they didn't ask for that, they don't have voices", she told CBS4's Joan Murray.

The school's principal ultimately apologized for bringing in the animals.

Representatives for Christopher Columbus High School didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment. Birds, a lemur, two macaws, and an African fennec fox were also featured at the event.

The school released a statement saying: "Two Miami-Dade Police officers were present the entire time". A facility that is licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provided the animals.

It also said the tiger was displayed for a few minutes and was never harmed or in any danger.

Saturday night, the school's marketing director said the tiger was one of several animals brought in by animal professionals who assured her they're well cared for and are used to these types of performances.

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