BENICIA -- When it comes to crusading for a cause, David Sikes is the first to admit he isn't exactly Bono.
Sure, the Benicia resident joined his other bandmates in "Boston" in the late 1980s in raising money for AIDS organizations. And since Sikes left the rockers in 1998, he's done an occasional local fundraiser.
But become the de facto celebrity cheerleader on behalf of animals against an allegedly dangerous yogurt container?
He didn't ask for it.
He just couldn't help himself.
"If I have a soapbox given to me and I think it's a pretty good cause, I'll help," Sikes said. "You don't see me every week getting involved with causes."
Operator of his own All State Insurance branch in Vallejo, Sikes wasn't thrilled viewing videos of the mayhem that Yoplait's 6-ounce containers wielded against skunks, raccoons, possums, squirrels and other wildlife.
"It's hard to watch. They're running around in a panic," Sikes said.
So the 58-year-old bass player became one of what's now about 40,000 signatures on a petition to General Mills, Yoplait's parent company, to alter its container design.
As an occasional yogurt eater, Sikes probably wouldn't have flinched while watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Then he saw Yoplait's commercial for its Boston Creme Pie flavor -- with Boston's megahit, "More Than a Feeling," in the background.
"I couldn't believe it," Sikes said, insisting Boston founder Tom Scholz was vehemently against using the band's song for a commercial.
A few days later, Sikes saw a KPIX-Channel 5 story about small animals getting their heads stuck in Yoplait containers, in part because of the flange (ridge) at the top of the container.
It's especially galling, Sikes said, claiming Scholz has been a longtime "big supporter of animal rights groups."
Rebecca Dmytryk of Moss Landing started the petition against Yoplait after finding a backyard skunk stuck in a container.
"She told me she tried to pull off (the container) and had to mobilize the skunk and cut it off," said Sikes, who has received support from friends and family as he joined the crusade.
"Nobody really had any idea" animals were being trapped, he said. "It just seems like an irresponsible thing to do, to design a container like that."
Dmytryk told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she discovered several things.
One thing is that Yoplait containers are particularly hazardous to foraging wildlife because their narrow tops include an inside lip that angles down.
Animals are able to push their heads in to lick out the contents, only to find themselves stuck because of the way the lip is positioned.
"We're all supposed to be environmentally conscious and do the right thing, and I think wild animals are part of the environment," Sikes said.
Mike Siemienas, a spokesman for General Mills, replied to the Times-Herald in an email that "because wildlife will try to eat from containers of all shapes and sizes, we do urge consumers to crush containers before disposal. We also encourage consumers to dispose of all containers properly. We print the message 'protect wildlife crush before disposal' on our cup for that reason."
If Yoplait decided to make a significant donation to an animal welfare agency, "that would help," Sikes said. "But what I think what would really help is a redesign of their container."
The Santa Cruz Sentinel contributed to this article.
To view the petition asking General Mills to redesign its Yoplait yogurt containers, go to http://tinyurl.com/k5w4wzt
For information on the campaign, visit www.wildlifeservices.org or http://tinyurl.com/lubhd3d.