Robert Irwin has found himself in some hot water, being named in an investigation by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The 15-year-old son of the late Steve Irwin, is the subject of a letter the PETA wrote to the New York City Health Department which accuses Irwin and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon of misconduct.
The PETA alleges animal exhibitor Grant Kemmerer – the animal supplier used on the show -unlawfully allowed members of the public to have direct contact with wild animals during the filming of the show.
The group is requesting Kemmerer be banned from obtaining future permits.
“PETA notes that an unauthorized individual, Robert Irwin (who’s also a minor and the son of Steve Irwin), handled various animals provided by Kemmerer—including a camel, an alligator, and a wild cat—for segments on The Tonight Show in both January and February,” said PETA in a statement.
“Irwin also encouraged host Fallon to touch many of the animals, which he did—even though Kemmerer’s permit prohibits direct public contact with the animals.”
PETA also makes note that Irwin is still a minor.
“Animals suffer every time they’re exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange.
“PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating—on camera—the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits.”
Kemmerer is apparently a repeat offender when it comes to mishandling animals, having last year violated New York’s “tiger selfie” law.