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Clay is licensed under the federal regulations for animal exhibitors, which specify that ‘drugs, such as tranquilizers, shall not be used to facilitate, allow, or provide for public handling of the animals,’ and that handling of animals should not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort.
Despite Clay's denial, Animal Planet and Sharp confirmed to Mother Jones that the zebra was drugged before filming, but they say it happened behind their backs.
In an episode called “Call in the Cavalry,” Turtleman (aka Ernie Brown, Jr.) and his “Turtle Team” construct an elaborate treehouse out of “locally sourced” materials from the private property of J. Long, a 56-year old landscaper and nurseryman from the tiny hamlet of Liberty, Kentucky.
Long says that the show’s producers illegally trespassed on his property, chopped down his trees and dammed up his creek while building the treehouse on his property.
In a phone interview, Clay confirmed that he supplied the zebra, but denied using sedatives.The scripted segment was aired in the episode Lured into Danger in July 2013 and was filmed on May 10, 2013 in Waddy, Kentucky, three days after the photograph of the caged coyote was taken in Bowling Green Kentucky.According to an investigation by Mother Jones, Sharp Entertainment - the production company commissioned by Animal Planet to make Call of the Wildman - obtained the first coyote through the Kentucky Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCO).The notion that there is a culture of 'neglect' at the only network that is devoted to celebrating and protecting animals is absurd.'Claims in the 'Mother Jones' article were brought to the production company's attention nearly nine months ago.Where appropriate, Sharp Entertainment promptly instituted changes to further ensure the welfare of animals while filming the series.' it read.