Mario faces raccoon cruelty claims

Posted by Mark Raby

Yes, believe it or not this story is actually for real.

The latest Mario game from Nintendo is coming under fire from none other than animal rights activist group PETA.

The always controversial group has taken issue with the "Tanooki" suit in the game - a Mario power-up staple that allows players to swing their tail and hover in mid-air to help them on their platforming adventure.

"Tanooki may be just a 'suit' in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their," PETA wrote in a statement.

The Tanooki suit first appeared in Super Mario Bros 3 and has since become one of the favorite power-ups for Mario fans. But PETA clearly is not a fan.

"By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur," the group said.

But to take such a ridiculous stand is never enough for the radical animal rights activists. PETA's goal is to go above and beyond what rational human beings would do, and to live up to that reputation it created its own game called Mario Kills Tanooki.

In the simple Flash game, players control Mario in his Tanooki suit while being chased by an angry skinned Tanooki.

Nintendo has not commented on PETA's complaints. Also unclear is if horticulture activists will start attacking Mario for his wreckless use of flowers.