Robert Irwin, the son of late Australian celebrity zookeeper Steve Irwin, has been named in an investigation by animal rights group PETA into alleged animal cruelty on television.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for popular US late-night talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, to be investigated for allowing celebrity guests to handle animals for entertainment purposes.
- Robert Irwin recreates famous photo of his dad Steve
- Steve Irwin's family struggle with a giant snake at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Steve Irwin's chilling prediction before death
"Animals suffer every time they're exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props," PETA said in a statement to Page Six.
PETA's letter to the New York City Health Department accuses the show's on-set animal handler Grant Kemmerer for allowing celebrities to handle animals, despite Kemmerer being the only person qualified to do so.
The organisation listed the actions of Steve Irwin's 15-year-old son Robert Irwin as examples of on-air animal cruelty, claiming his handling of an alligator, a miniature horse and a millipede on separate occasions constituted "cruel" practice.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford claims PETA has continually shown bias against the Irwins.
"After all these years, they go after him," he said to 7News.
Steve Irwin died in September 2006 after being pierced by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary.
Robert has followed in Irwin's footsteps as a television personality, currently starring on the Animal Planet series Crikey! It's the Irwins with his mother Terri and 21-year-old sister Bindi.