Awww look! A tiger and dog sleeping together, how cuuuttteee … wait a minute! WTH?!? Why in the world are a tiger and a dog sleeping together? That is the question we should all be asking before sharing photos and videos of unnatural animal “friendships.”

While on the surface, it may seem pretty adorable that a lion and a chicken or a tiger and a monkey are BFFs, in most of these circumstances, the animals are forced together as entertainment by people who hope to make a profit off of the “cute” factor of these unnatural relationships.

Oh look, an endangered wild tiger in bed with a dog. Yep, this is totally natural!

These Animal Friendship Are Anything But Cute
 

In one viral story from the Sriracha Tiger Zoo, well-known for its cruelty to animals, in which a mother tiger supposedly lost her cubs and became depressed. She wouldn’t eat and drink and zoo staff didn’t know what to do to help until they tricked her into adopting a group of piglets dressed up in stripes. If this sounds far-fetched to you, it should. Such stories and photos are nothing but a ploy for unsuspecting tourists to garner attention and dollars.

We’re sure that pig got just what it wanted for Christmas. And that tiger will definitely be returned to the wild. Yep, lots of pigs with bows in the jungle. 

These Animal Friendship Are Anything But Cute

In another case, a so-called tiger “sanctuary” in Slovakia features the completely unnatural friendship between three German shepherds and its Siberian Tigers, all of which have been bred and raised in captivity. The facility runs a captive breeding program to supposedly help save the Siberian tiger, but it is very unlikely that these tigers will ever be introduced into the wild.

Lion cubs give monkeys piggy-back rides all the time in the wild. See? All the time!

These Animal Friendship Are Anything But Cute

This chimp was taught to hug a cougar because cougars just love hugs by their prey. Just love them!

These Animal Friendship Are Anything But Cute

How You Can Help

Here at One Green Planet, we share videos of animals all the time, however, there are a few things that we keep in mind to ensure that the videos and photos we share were not created at the cost of an animal.

  1. Always consider where the photo was taken: did this photo come from a reputable sanctuary or the wild? If not, was it posted by a zoo or tourist attraction, if so do a little research into what they do, check out this guide to help you discern if it is reputable or a scam.
  2. If it is a baby animal, where is its mother? Was the baby orphaned and are they being raised for release back into the wild? If the animal is being used as a selfie prop or to entertain people – chances are it isn’t a good situation for the animal.
  3. What sort of behaviors are the animals exhibiting? Check out this piece to identify stereotypic behaviors that indicate deep mental distress or anxiety. Always ask yourself if a strange or unusual behavior could indicate some deeper condition – maybe do a quick Google search to check it out.
  4. Sometimes there is no clear indication of where the animal is or what circumstances lead to the creation of the video, in these cases, you should use your discretion.

As a general rule, don’t visit cub petting schemes. Encourage your local venues to reject proposals to host them there. And only visit accredited sanctuaries that actually help the animals, do not breed them, and always put their welfare first.

All image source: abysaidmaybe/Imgur