Pretenders Review Zoo

The Pretenders’ Aug. 19 Minneapolis concert will take place as scheduled, but not at the zoo as originally planned because leader Chrissie Hynde took exception to its petting zoo.

The Pretenders will play the city’s Orpheum Theatre instead. Hynde, an animal rights advocate, said in a statement her problem was not with the zoo but its “Family Farm” petting zoo exhibit.

That was because the farm animals wind up where they would on farms that don’t have dairy as their primary income.

“[I’m] sorry for the inconvenience of moving our show in Minneapolis,” Hynde said in a statement. “I had serious misgivings when I found out it was to be held in a zoo and although [the Minnesota Zoo] seems to have some very good policies, the fact that the animals in their petting zoo go on to be slaughtered at the end of the season left me decidedly unable to perform there.”

Zoo spokeswoman Kelly Lessard told St. Paul’s Star-Tribune the petting zoo includes graphics of the animal production process. The pigs, goats and calves are sold at a livestock auction at the end of every summer.

“We’ve never hidden our mission,” Lessard told the paper.

The Pretenders would have played on the zoo grounds at the 1,400-capacity Minnesota Zoo Amphitheatre, a venue that has held concerts by acts including Los Lobos, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Dark Star Orchestra, while the sounds of animals play in the background.