TIGERS IN AMERICA

PROBLEM

CUB PETTING

Some exhibitors will let you pet a tiger cub for a fee. This happens at the park, reserve, preserve, zoo, sanctuary (not a true sanctuary), orphanage or whatever they call the facility where the animals are kept.

Other exhibitors have mobile exhibits that travel almost constantly, setting up in malls and fairs. The cubs are taken from their mothers soon after birth, a torment to both cub and mother, and then carted around to strange settings to be groped by strangers hour after hour. One such exhibitor had 23 cubs die in 2010.

Federal regulations currently permit cub petting for 4 weeks (from 8 to 12 weeks of age). Florida law allows contact with a cub if it weighs less than 25 pounds. Some exhibitors extend the petting time by underfeeding or giving pills to cause diarrhea, which keeps the cub as small as possible.


Petting cubs is BAD

Once the cubs are too old or too big for petting, they are sold, given away, returned to the breeder if they were leased, and spend the rest of their lives — up to 20 years —  in miserable conditions. One exhibitor who has both a park and a facility in a shopping center for cub petting admitted privately that he requires 200 cubs per year to operate his petting business.

Other exhibitors display full grown tigers, either at their facility or offsite. When offsite, the cats typically are confined to a small wheeled wagon where they can do little more than stand up and turn around, or lie down all day long, often in a hot parking lot.

Federal regulations do not have a minimum cage size. They have language about allowing the animal to be able to make postural movements. The only known citation for cages being too small  was a woman in Florida who put more than 68 tigers in small cages in one trailer.

A tiger in the wild roams from 9 square miles (Bengal) up to 400 square miles (Siberian) every year.

In a 2012 rescue of 3 tigers from a Mississippi roadside zoo, the cages had to be cut open because their doors were too small for the tigers to pass through. They had been put in these cages as cubs and grew too large for the opening. They had never left the cage.

Exhibitor education is doing more harm than good:
In order to justify their tax exempt status, exhibitors claim they are educating the public about wildlife conservation.

There is no evidence that people who hear exhibitors talk about conservation take any action that supports preservation of the tiger in the wild. R. L. Tilson, in a research report on private ownership of tigers, reported that, “During the 2002 Tiger SSP Master Plan meeting, there was a consensus among the participants that handling tigers in public places…promotes private ownership and a false sense of security in handling big cats….”

Exhibiting cute cubs gives the impression that they make good pets. The message the exhibitors convey is you can own a tiger if you are special.

Exhibitors will sell the young tigers or even give them away once they are too big to use for 'pay-to-play'.

 

 

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