Manchester United star Scott McTominay is facing extreme backlash after playing tug-of-war with a tiger at a private zoo in Dubai.

McTominay and his girlfriend went to the private zoo called Fame Park in Dubai and got close and personal with numerous captive exotic animals. McTominay shared photos from the day showing the couple smiling, holding large snakes, meeting a bear, and even petting a tiger before playing tug of war. Fame Park is a private zoo that is aimed at celebrities and stars. After the pictures were posted, the couple faced backlash from football fans, animal activists, and charities.

Katheryn Wise of World Animal Protection said, “It’s disappointing. These incredible animals are not commodities to gain likes on social media.

Captive wild animals face a lifetime of suffering, just for the enjoyment of tourists. Wild animals are not ours to exploit. They belong in the wild.”

Sonul Badiani-Hammett, of charity Four Paws, said, “It is so upsetting to see someone who so many ­people look up to acting in this way.”

This happens after, earlier this year, English footballer Ben Chilwell was called out by animal rights organizations for playing tug of war with a tiger at a theme park in Florida. Also this year, West Ham United player Kurt Zouma abused his cat and was fined £250,000. Both Zouma and his brother, who filmed the abuse, are now being prosecuted by RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act.

Chilwell did not face prosecution like Zouma, and likely neither will McTominay, but this event calls attention to the cruel practices of these zoos. Animals are confined in small cages and used to make a profit. The zoo is operated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which has had numerous animal rights violations and has notoriously been cruel to its animals in confinement.

Many times, captive tigers are drugged and beaten to perform these activities for the entertainment of customers. It is extremely cowardly for humans to participate in an activity like this that you would never do in the wild. We cannot cage animals because we want to “play” with them. Keeping animals captive is also extremely dangerous. They live sad and lonely lives and they easily become bored and anxious. There have been instances where tigers have attacked workers or customers that got too close or came into the cage. I’m sure you would be angry too if your freedom was taken from you and you had to spend the rest of your life in a cage entertaining others.

This is not ok, and animals are not meant to be used for entertainment. The poor tiger is locked in a cage when it should be out in the wild, living in its natural habitat.

Sign this petition to ban animals from being used for entertainment!

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and essential stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!