When most people bring a new animal companion into their lives, it is typically a dog or cat, or maybe a rabbit or other domesticated animal. But for too many others, a new “pet” means a wild animal like a big cat.
Viewing big cats like tigers as status symbols or as easy ways to make a profit, private owners and roadside zoo operators purchase these wild animals and fuel the illegal wildlife trade, which is riddled with corruption and animal abuse. The private ownership of wild cats is such a major issue that there are more tigers in backyards today than there are in the wild.
When people purchase wild cats, often as young cubs kidnapped from their mothers, they are clueless to the fact that there are major differences between wild and domestic animals. When these animals mature into adults, they typically prove to be too much of a “pet” for people to handle, and the animals are often killed. Additionally, due to their wild nature, the hunting instincts of big cats can result in maulings or even death for humans.
A petition on Care2 written by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) explains that the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced new legislation called the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818), which would ban the private ownership of wild cats and ultimately save lives of both animals and people.
If you agree wild animals belong in the wild and not as pets, please sign the petition in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. There is great power in numbers, so please share this with your network to get the word out and gain more support for the cause!
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