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San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 14, 2002

Animal rights group declares Calaveras County frog contest inhumane

An animal rights group has declared the famed Calaveras County Jumping Frog Jubilee and similar contests around the country cruel and inhumane, saying frogs should not be taken from their native habitat for human entertainment.

Members of the Animal Protection Institute, an 80,000-member animal rights group based in Sacramento, are encouraging other outraged frog lovers to write letters to the directors of the annual event in California's gold country that features the acrobatics of frogs memorialized in Mark Twain's classic 1865 short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

Animal rights advocate Larisa Bryski says she remembers jumping frogs herself when she made a bid for Miss Calaveras County in 1988. Now, she'd prefer that humans stop jostling the amphibians in the hot summer sun altogether, saying constant handling of the frog's permeable skin makes it easy for disease and infection to take hold.

Longtime Calaveras County Fair manager Buck King said he's not swayed. He said the frogs are treated with respect and noted all are returned to their shady homes in ponds and streams.

"We are very conscious of how frogs are treated. If any frogs are mistreated, we deal with the person," King said. "In fact I've had to evict people from the fairgrounds permanently."

The county fair and frog jubilee are held the third week of May each year at the fairgrounds in Angels Camp. Between 2,500 and 3,000 frogs participate each year, King said.

King said the annual contest began in 1928 to celebrate the paving of the city's streets.

-- (Petula @ PETA.pissed), August 14, 2002



-- Froggie (plunking @ my magic.twanger), August 14, 2002.

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