Wild animals belong in the wild, not as pets. However, there has been a growing global epidemic of people acquiring wild animals through the wildlife trade and keeping them in domestic environments. Big cats are especially popular choices with people who view the ownership of them as status symbols or with those who wish to profit off of them at roadside zoo attractions. This is such a giant problem that there are more tigers in U.S. backyards today than there are in the wild.
A recent story regarding the private ownership of big cats involves a 24-year-old male from a Paris suburb who acquired a lion cub, took selfies with it to post online, then mercilessly abandoned it in an apartment.
With a stroke of irony, and perhaps a dose of karma, it was these selfies that he posted on social media that led to authorities tracking down the individual, and eventually, the lion cub.
The defenseless cub was alone, terrified, starving, and “wasting away” in a tiny cage, but Pompiers de Paris (the fire brigade) was able to lasso the animal and take him in for veterinary care.
Thankfully, this story ends on a positive note with the cub in the care of an animal welfare group and the suspect in custody with charges of illegally keeping a wild animal. However, this story never should have happened to begin with.
Few people realize what is wrong with the private ownership of wild animals, so please share this with your network to spread awareness!
All Image Source: Pompiers de Paris/Facebook