Bengals Monkeys Riding Dogs

The Cincinnati Bengals’ Halftime Show Features Monkeys Riding Dogs Herding Sheep

Last night’s halftime show by the Cincinnati Bengals made up for their lackluster play. Fans were treated to an iconic scene: monkeys riding dogs herding sheep. It has quickly gone viral online.

Tim Lepard from South Carolina came up with the concept for this show and is known by his group “Team Ghost Riders.” Since 2006 he has performed his show at events ranging from Minor League Baseball games to county fairs – with crowds responding enthusiastically but animal rights organizations showing displeasure at what has become popular with them.

Activists contend the practice is both demeaning and dangerous for monkeys. That’s because these primates don’t actually receive any training to ride these high-speed canines – they’re simply strapped onto them as they race around a field at high speed with frequent stops and turns which could potentially injure both themselves as well as their riders.

But Lepard insists he’s doing nothing wrong. He states he aims to select only well-trained dogs – first from old English sheepdogs before selecting border collies – before dressing the monkeys with clothing that won’t bother them while on the dogs, while not forcing any animals into performance; should they decline, their costumes can simply be removed.

But despite that, it’s difficult to imagine a world in which the Bengals were an inept team while their halftime show featured monkeys riding dogs herding sheep – though we’ve seen it on television, this show truly amazes people in person too! Perhaps part of the problem lies with these animals being used for entertainment rather than as part of an ecosystem they inhabit – an issue many don’t care much for anyway.

Public outrage has already succeeded in ending Barnum & Bailey’s elephant acts and Sea World’s performing orca shows, and may eventually do the same to monkey rodeos.

If you want to watch these monkeys at work, visit Team Ghost Riders website or Twitter and follow them. While you’re there, check out this video of one of the dogs chasing sheep.

No matter which side you support, it’s clear that this momentous moment in a football game was one of the most thrilling in recent memory.

Jim O’Neill and John Mehagen contributed to this report for The Associated Press. You can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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