Did you know there are more tigers in backyards than in the wild? Several states in the U.S. have no laws (or lax laws) regarding the private ownership of wild cats, which has led to people brazenly putting these beautiful animals on display as tourist attractions. These greedy people are reaping in a profit at the expense of these animals, and some of these businesses even exploit these animals under the guise of “conservation.”
Wild cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, and jaguars are often found in roadside zoos and “pet wild cat” selfie attractions, where visitors are allowed physical access to vulnerable cubs for a price. People are often so enthralled by the beauty of these animals that they forget to question where they came from and in what conditions they are forced to live.
The truth is, life for wild cats in tourist attractions is dismal at best. Many wild cats are kidnapped from the wild as cubs and sold into the exotic pet trade, while those who are born in captivity are more than likely the result of “speed breeding,” where cubs are separated from their mothers at birth so the cubs can be bottle-fed by paying tourists and mother tigers can become pregnant as soon as possible after giving birth.
Seeing the private ownership of wild cats as a serious problem, the U.S. House has introduced the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban the private ownership of wild cats. A petition on Care2 explains that private ownership of wild cats is not only dangerous and unhealthy for the animals, but it is a public safety hazard as well since there have been several cases where captive wild cats have escaped their enclosures and mauled or killed people.
If you would like to see an end to the private ownership of wild cats, please take a moment to sign this petition in support of the new proposed legislation. And PLEASE share this with your network to educate your friends and family about the truth of wild animals in captivity. Wild animals belong in the wild, not in cages to be handled and photographed and for a pretty penny.
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