02/23/2005 at 08:30 AM EST
The plumage at a purported P. Diddy party appears to have ruffled PETA's feathers.
The animal rights activists were outraged by the appearance of six penguins on a floating plexiglass island in the pool at the new Hotel Victor, in Florida's South Beach, reports the New York Post.
"Penguins live in very cold climates, so the heat was probably unbearable for them," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw told the paper. "They're very sensitive to temperatures, so if it was as hot as we've heard, it's a wonder they didn't collapse. In any case, they were likely terrified."
The hip-hop star turned entertainment mogul was billed as "host" of the hotel's opening party, although his publicist, Rob Shuter, tells the Post's Page Six that bringing the penguins was not Combs's idea. "He had nothing to do with planning the party and nothing to do with the hotel," Shuter said.
Nonetheless, this would not be the first time fur has flown between PETA's activists and the artist formerly known as Sean Combs. His Sean John fashion line has made liberal use of animal pelts, and PETA called off a planned 2001 protest after a Combs aide pledged that
there would be no fur used in the collection – a claim that turned out to be untrue.
After hearing that the fur would be nixed, McGraw recalled to the paper, "We sent him flowers and a vegan chocolate champagne bottle. And the next day, there was fur all over his runway. We were duped. We later named him to PETA's annual worst-dressed list."