Australia’s very own wildlife warrior and son of the legendary Steve Irwin, Robert Irwin, has become involved in an investigation from animal rights group PETA following a TV segment he was involved in.

US-based organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called out the young Aussie and US TV personality Jimmy Fallon for a segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that they claim displayed the “cruel” treatment of animals.

PETA has since launched an investigation into the segment, claiming that celebrities were given permission to handle animals on the NBC network program without a license to do so.

“Animals suffer every time they’re expose to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” she Lisa Lange, senior vice president of PETA, to Page Six.

“PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating – on camera – the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits.”

During the segment on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show, PETA claims that Robert Irwin handled various animals including an alligator, a millipede, and miniature horse on separate occasions without a permit.


They claim that the only person on set who was permitted to touch the animals was Grant Kemmerer and therefore it was violation of their codes to allow Irwin and Fallon to interact with the wildlife.

“PETA is calling for an investigation into animal exhibitor Grant Kemmerer – who regularly supplies animals for segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and other talk shows – for apparently violating the terms of his permits,” they wrote on their social media.

“Wild animals don’t belong on TV!”

They have also released an article explaining why they believe that animals don’t belong on TV, saying that “forcing animals to appear on talk shows is never ok”.


Kemmerer has since responded to these claims, saying that he had a particular deal with the NBC that was exempt from PETA’s rules.

“Fallon or Robert Irwin are not the public,” Kemmerer also told Page Six. “It was deemed even people in the audience are not looked at as the public – in the eyes of the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] – because they’re paying for an entertainment show and expect this type of show… You’re not going to pull out a random animal and hope it goes OK.”

“We are alleviating any potential risk, and for Jimmy Fallon, he’s not going into this unknowing,” he added. “He is a participating person in this. They’re having Robert on there to bring the animals.”

Robert Irwin has not yet commented on the investigation.

Mix 102.3 Adelaide