Holy bananas! Is there anything more adorable than an orangutan bottle feeding two baby tiger cubs?! Based on the glowing comments from these news anchors … we’re thinking not!
Well, that is the video looks really cute until they drop where these animals are from … T.I.G.E.R.S (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species Safari and Preservation Station) a wild animal attraction in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
While the video makes it looks like the orangutan just decided to take in these sweet tiger cubs as his own, there is a much darker side to this “sweet” story.
T.I.G.E.R.S is one of the most infamous wild animal breeding facilities in the U.S. Masquerading as a “wildlife conservation” organization, T.I.G.E.R.S offers tourists the chance to take selfies with tiger cubs, swim with elephants and of course, hang out with the orangutan featured in this video.
What the fine people at T.I.G.E.R.S do not tell the public, however, is the fact that most of their animals (like the white tiger cubs featured) are the product of years of reckless inbreeding that causes the cubs to suffer from developmental abnormalities, blindness, and other serious disorders. In order to keep the cubs so small and “cuddly,” they keep them on a strict milk diet far too long, causing them to be emaciated and have severely underdeveloped muscles and bones … but hey, as long as they look cute for the cameras, right?! If the cubs were being released into the wild to survive on their own, this would be a major problem. However, based on recent undercover investigation from the Humane Society of the United States, it seems more likely that the cubs at T.I.G.E.R.S. are more likely to be sold into the illegal wildlife trade or “discarded” once they are too large to serve as photo props anymore.
While it is such a shame that something as innocent and cute as an orangutan bottle-feeding tiger cubs could be riddled with so much cruelty and exploitation, it is a sad fact. As animal lovers, it is up to us to always question the “cute” videos and attractions that we come across to ensure that no animals are being harmed for the sake of our entertainment. Remember, always do your research. To help you differentiate a cruel attraction from a reputable sanctuary, check out this post.