Justin Bieber and his recently remarried bride, Hailey Baldwin, just welcomed two more members to their family. The newlyweds purchased a pair of Savannah cat kittens for a whopping $35,000. Sushi and Tuna already have their own Instagram with hundreds of thousands of followers–but they have some very vocal critics, too.
In a statement to CNN, PETA called out Justin and Hailey for buying pricey designer animals: “Justin Bieber could inspire his fans around the world to save a life by adopting a cat from a local animal shelter — rather than fueling the dangerous demand for hybrid cats, contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis, and proving that when it comes to helping animals, his stance so far is ‘I don’t care.'”
Aside from the “adopt, don’t shop” issue, Savannah cats are not easy animals to care for. They are exotic cat hybrids, a blend of a domestic cat and wild African cats called Servals.
They grow much larger than typical housecats–up to 30 pounds–and are illegal to own in many states.
Justin Bieber was not amused by PETA’s statement.
First, he posted a screenshot of the story with the caption “PETA can suck it.” Then he fired back with a series of IG Stories, scolding the animal welfare organization for failing to focus on bigger problems “[l]ike poaching, and animal brutality.”
“Ur tripping because I want a specific kind of cat? … PETA go help with all the plastic in the ocean, and leave my beautiful cats alone,” he wrote.
The pop star argued that breeders are fine if you want to own a certain type of pet, such as a giant designer cat or a tiny Yorkie puppy–both of which Justin has purchased.
Justin’s history with exotic pet ownership is sketchy at best. He famously decided to bring his pet monkey, Mally, to Germany in 2013 while he was on tour.
The adorable Capuchin monkey was seized by customs officials at the border and placed in quarantine.
Justin never bothered to fill out the paperwork required to get Mally back. The monkey was eventually moved to a zoo in Hodenhagan, where zookeepers struggled for years to integrate him with their resident Capuchin group.
Unfortunately, the staff at the zoo suspects that Mally was purchased on the black market and taken from his family far too soon, making it very difficult for him to live with other monkeys.
Three years later, he admitted to GQ that it had been a huge mistake: “Honestly, everyone told me not to bring the monkey. Everybody. Everyone told me not to bring the monkey. I was like ‘It’s gonna be fine, guys!’ It was the farthest thing from fine.”
Justin also auctioned off his pet Boa Constrictor, which he wore as an accessory to the MTV Music Awards in 2011. Johnson the snake was purchased by a small reptile zoo in Minnesota.
Hopefully, he has matured since then and can give Sushi and Tuna a loving, stable home for many years to come.