NORFOLK, VA — Earlier this week, the radical animal rights activist group PETA lobbied the government for increased legislation to protect the rights of American professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Citing loopholes that have allowed the WWE to exploit Hogan for over a decade, PETA called for legislation that would make it illegal for wrestling companies like WWE to continue to employ Hogan, who is now 61. Further, PETA believes the claim is justified by recent film evidence suggesting that Hogan is in fact sentient.

In order to confirm this suspicion, PETA permitted scientists to perform certain laboratory tests on Hogan.  He learned how to communicate with humans using symbol charts associated with play objects. Under pressure, Hogan successfully completed a maze faster than most rats, and was rewarded with a sizeable amount of cheese.

“Of course, there’s no way to know for certain. But we had some experts analyze Hogan’s performance in the 2003 WWE SummerSlam. They concluded that while Hogan was incapable of abstract reasoning, it’s highly probable that he was able to experience anger and pain,” reports Barry Sikorsky, a spokesperson for PETA. “Our stance has always been that all creatures: rats, dogs, Hulk Hogan, pigs, and horses, all deserve the same fundamental rights and treatment that humans receive.”

Whether PETA is able to secure legislation protecting Hogan, the cause is already being championed by other, more moderate animal rights activist groups demanding at the very least increased ring sizes for pro wrestlers.  It is unclear whether ‘SmackDown!’ will retain the right to pit these wrestlers against one another in the future.

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