There is an allure to owning an exotic pet. In a world where individuality is desired, obtaining and owning something that is unique and somewhat controversial is coveted. Sadly, personal vanity is often weighted far above the well-being of the wild animal.
Regulations regarding the private ownership of exotic animals vary from state to state and some are more lax on laws and penalties than others – in some places, all you need is a driver’s license and proof of residence. Aside from state regulations, the lack of personnel in place to monitor the wildlife trade (a multi-billion dollar business in the U.S alone) has made it surprisingly easy for the everyday person to obtain exotic animals. Because of this oversight, animals are often hidden and smuggled through customs and across state borders unnoticed. While it may be legal in some cases to own an exotic animals, that in no way means that it is the right thing to do.
Many people purchase animals and then find they are wholly unequipped to care for the animal, especially as they grow. Between the cost of maintaining the proper diet and housing for wild animals, it is extremely difficult to keep these animals without professional experience. Further, even if the animal has been “hand-reared,” that hardly deters their wild instincts, which can lead to situations that are dangerous to both people and the animals themselves. Since 1991, captive big cat attacks in the U.S. have resulted in the death of 24 humans, 17 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 261 more adults and children. There have also been 275 documented escapes which resulted in the killing of 147 big cats, and 133 confiscations. And these are only the incidents that get reported to authorities. This is hardly the way for these animals to live, but sadly – thanks to the popularity of this trend, there are currently more tigers in U.S. backyards than their natural habitat.
As if things couldn’t be more bleak for pet big cats, videos have emerged of former boxer Floyd Mayweather parading a tiger around a hotel room on a leash. What?! At one point in the video, the tiger appears interested in wandering around the room but Mayweather yanks the tiger back, visibly pulling hard on the animal’s neck. And this is not the first time Mayweather has been seen mistreated big, exotic cats. At his 40th birthday party, the boxer allegedly had a caged albino tiger as “decor.”
Over 28,000 other animal lovers have already signed an urgent petition on Caer2, asking Mayweather to give the tiger to a wildlife sanctuary. Will you join them?
Since Mayweather’s tiger has never experienced life in the wild, the right home for him would be a credible tiger sanctuary. There are dozens of facilities that could provide exceptional care, as well as open space that mimics a tiger’s natural habitat.
As Elisa Allen, Director of PETA UK stated, “Captivity is a living hell for animals who are meant to run free. If Floyd Mayweather cared about tigers at all, he would transfer this animal to a reputable sanctuary and put his muscle and money into protecting them in their natural habitats.” This is a sentiment we absolutely echo – no wild animal should have to suffer for the sake of our entertainment. Please sign this petition and encourage others to as well!
Image Source: Floyd Mayweather/Facebook