MIAMI BEACH, FL — A spring break stunt has ended with a Miami Beach nightclub losing its business license and being called out on social media for possible animal cruelty. The video of a white horse bucking a thong-wearing female rider at Mokai Lounge has sparked unbridled consternation from animal lovers. It has also brought unwanted attention from the Miami Beach police department.
"Last night MBPD was made aware of the alleged incident at Mokai," Ernesto Rodriguez of the city’s police department said on Friday. "We are very concerned over the allegations. As such, we have launched a joint investigation with Miami Beach Code Enforcement."
Later in the day City Manager Jimmy L. Morales issued an order revoking the Business Tax Receipt and Certificate of Use for Mokai Lounge. The club is located at 235 23 Street in South Beach.
"I was disgusted and offended that any legitimate businessperson would think this was an appropriate action to take," said Morales. "This activity was not permitted, and as soon as we became aware, I immediately instructed staff to act swiftly in remedying this situation."
Patch reached out to the club’s marketing department on Friday afternoon but was unable to make contact.
The video shows the unsaddled animal in the crowded nightclub bucking its rider multiple times as it struggled to get free. The horse appeared to have been possibly spooked by the loud music and club atmosphere.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he supported the decision to revoke the club’s business license.
"Animal cruelty is an abhorrent and vile act," Gelber said. "I fully support the immediate actions taken by the city manager and his staff to ensure that this is remedied quickly."
Posted under the title: "This is animal abuse," the video had been viewed thousands of times as of Friday and had drawn a string of negative comments on Google Reviews.
"ANIMAL ABUSERS!!! DO NOT SUPPORT THIS PLACE!!!," read one post.
"Disgusting people bring animals into their club for ‘fun’ these poor animals are tortured! A horse was there last night and fell horribly due to too many people on him. Pushing and pulling him. Disgusting people!!," stated another."
"Just curious as to who would ever step foot in this garbage pile of a club knowing they exploit animals for profit? What happened to that horse last night is beyond unacceptable, it’s criminal. You spend your money there," added another. "You are part of the prob."
City Manager Jimmy L. Morales issued an order revoking the Business Tax Receipt and Certificate of Use for Mokai Lounge. Photo by Paul Scicchitano.