Tigers, Oh Tigers.

by Emilie Victoria on February 23, 2015 - 3:55pm

Tigers, Oh Tigers.
Emilie Cunningham
    Over the past century tigers have been known as an endangered species. There are approximately 3,500 tigers left in the wild due to; humans purchasing tiger products for food, poaching, money, breeding in captivity, zoos, corporations destructing tiger habitats and the black-market. As only 7% of the tiger species still lives, it is our responsibility to save these beautiful animals who are being exploited as they deteriorate quickly. The sources presented here will unveil the true exploitation of tigers and what can we do to help conserve this beautiful and majestic animal.
    A new law banning ‘Photo selfies” with wild tigers has been put into play on February 7th 2015. It is a vital measure to insure animal and human safety and also that these photos are a form of cruelty. Taking photos with not only tigers but big cats is becoming a trend, as recent pictures of Beyoncé and Cara Delavigne recently took professional photos posing with tiger cubs “ All around the world, tourists are paying for their ‘once in a lifetime’ photographs with tigers and other wildcats” (World Animal Protection.2). These cubs are being used for photo opportunities, snatched from their mothers and often their claws and canines are removed to make them ‘safe’ for human interaction. This is obviously a painful process.
    New York state assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal, who was the prime sponsor of the law     said, “I am so pleased that my law to ban    direct contact between wild cats and members of the     public is taking effect. Wild animals, despite how adorable they may appear when cubs, are still     wild animals, and pose a real danger to the public. In addition to that risk, the wild cats live in     deplorable conditions and are treated cruelly for the duration of their lives. The worldwide and     overwhelmingly positive response has made clear that this idea whose time has come. This law     will go a long way to improving the conditions of captive big cats statewide,” (World animal     Protection.2).
    These cubs are wild; they have wild instincts and don’t belong in captivity for peoples entertainment. This law will help people see that these animals are not for commercial purposes and their wild instincts can take over at any time making them unpredictable, no matter how sweet they seem.
    A recent raid at a Buddhist temple in Thailand near Bangkok discovers the temple has been letting tourists pose with tigers on temple grounds and suspect allege animal trafficking. There have been many complaints from animal advocates who believe that this “Tiger temple” is linked to the black market and the illegal trade in endangered tigers. “I think it’s about time they cracked down on them,’ Carole Baskin, CEO of the Florida-based Big Cat Rescue. Thailand’s investigation might be able to prove that large numbers of tigers are ending up on the black market, where its pieces can fetch 50,000 to 60,000” (News Vice.2). The temple claims that their tigers are legitimately claimed from poachers. But investigators have in fact discovered that the temple is involved in illegal trade and the living conditions of the tigers are very poor. “The reality is that it’s a zoo at which the tigers are kept in very poor conditions, fed inappropriate food and forced to interact with tourists for photo opportunities” (News Vice.3). Said Adam Roberts, head of the wildlife protection group in the US. Also evidence is being gathered on the inside, where a volunteer, Turner Barr claims that these tigers are multiplying, and fast! The Temple claims they are tigers that they have taken under their wing when they are evidently breeding them claims Barr who started his volunteer work when there were 123 tigers in 2013.
    A Siberian tiger attacked a zoo worker in Quebec's Lac Saint-Jean region, located about 3 1/2 hours from Quebec City recently. Suffering from severe lacerations to his throat and shoulder the man will thankfully recover, as employees say, he was quite lucky. The man, a 51-year-old employee with experience entered the tiger enclosure around 9 a.m. to do maintenance. Three Siberian Tigers were supposed to be locked within the sleeping area, but managed to get to the outside space where the man was cleaning. “A female tiger attacked him and then backed off when other employees arrived. The tiger was placed in isolation and the zoo worker was rushed to hospital” (Toronto Sun). The attack was the first of its kind to happen since the zoo opened in 1960.
    People are ignoring where these tigers come from and makes this issue highly unethical. These articles from different areas of the world provide insight on what is really happening to these animals, how they are being treated, bread and exploited. This majestic species needs to be saved; new and creative ideas should be put in place to insure tiger survival in the wild and not in captivity. Tiger sanctuaries provide very large areas for tigers to run around in a ‘semi-wild’ environment, allowing tigers to hunt on their own in the sanctuary will be able the tiger to survive on their own in the wild. Rather than trying to keep wild animals as pets, they should be bread and taught to survive in the wild, and eventually they will no longer be an endangered species. Laws would be put in place to ensure the conservation of tigers, their land, strict hunting and illegal trade. As tigers are wild and unpredictable, they do not belong in captivity.

Works Cited
World Animal Protection. “New York declares tiger selfies cruel, not cool.” (02/11/2015):1-4.Web.

Matt Smith. “Thai authorities raid famous Buddhist tiger temple for alleged wildlife trafficking.” News Vice (02/5/2015):1-4.Web.

Qmi Agency. “Tiger attacks Quebec zoo employee.” Toronto sun (03/28/2013)1.Web.