SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There is backlash over a California recall campaign stop in Sacramento that included an unusual prop: a live, 1,000-pound bear.
The candidate, John Cox, told the crowd the whole point of bringing out the bear out was to grab attention, as a political stunt.READ MORE: California’s Population Falls For 1st Time In History
The California BEAR League is calling it “unbearable.”
Video shows the obedient bear sitting on command, eating out of his owner’s hand, at times catching his food from afar, and lazily laying down behind Cox, during the campaign stop at Miller Park.
All eyes at the political press conference were looking straight past the candidate and on the massive Kodiak bear.
“The bear is here for a reason, to demonstrate that we are going to need beastly changes,” Cox said.
Cox knew it would get attention.
“You know, it’s a wonderful bear,” Cox said. “I actually did kiss the bear.”READ MORE: Court Upholds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Use Of Emergency Powers During COVID-19 Pandemic
BEAR League executive director Ann Bryant calls the decision to use the bear bad judgment.
“For me, it doesn’t have a place in politics,” Bryant said. “It’s just so far beyond what we’ve all come to expect as normal, and I’m still in awe that this happened. I can’t believe that somebody did this.”
The 9-year-old bear named Tag has starred in the tv show “Yellowstone.” It’s also appeared in movies and commercials. It’s owned by the company Working Wildlife.
Its owners told CBS13 Tag was born in captivity at an Ohio Zoo and trained safely at their Southern California facility since he was a cub.
“I think this bear is well cared for,” Bryant said.
Tag is now the poster child of this new California recall campaign, proving recall politics is in for a wild ride.
The city of Sacramento tells me all the proper permits were in place for this event.MORE NEWS: Facebook Oversight Committee Upholds Former President Donald Trump’s Suspension From Social Media Platform
Tag’s owners say they were paid about $5,000 for this campaign stop.