Animal rights group PETA has targeted Nintendo's famous plumber, Mario, for wearing a raccoon costume in the game Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has targeted Nintendo's famous plumber, Mario, for wearing a raccoon costume in the recently-released Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS.
PETA believes Mario takes a "pro-fur stance" because he "wears the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers" in the handheld game.
The group launched a website – Mario Kills Tanooki – which includes a game with the objective of running for your skin, as well as a disturbing video on the procurement of raccoon dogs' skin. The press release launching the site said: "If PETA has its way, Mario has stolen his last tanuki skin.
"The mustachioed plumber is back to wearing tanuki fur (the Japanese word for raccoon dogs), and now Tanooki is fighting back to reclaim what's his in Super Tanooki Skin 2D."
The website says: "Tanooki may be just a suit in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur."
PETA's executive vice president Tracy Reiman added: "Tanukis are real-life raccoon dogs who are beaten and, as PETA's undercover exposés show, often skinned alive for their fur.
"By wearing the skin of an animal, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur."
The website features a disturbing video revealing undercover footage from a fur farm in China, which PETA says is the world's largest fur exporter. The video shows raccoon dogs being dragged from cages and slammed repeatedly to the ground to kill them.
"One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on a heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and look into the camera," said Reiman.
*Image from PETA.org