This month a pair of tiger cubs found wandering along a highway in Gaston County NC were placed in a wild life preserve called Carnivore Preservation Trust. Now they have room to roam, food to eat and beer barrels to play with.
The hot shot who abandoned them has never been found. Apparently, that's a common practice among owners of exotic animals. Once they aren't cute any more, they let them go. Or they call zoos or animal shelters, asking them to take the big cat off their hands.
Who are these idiots who think they have a special rapport with lions and tigers? These animals eat huge amounts of meat, soak everything with buckets of nasty smelling feline urine (think alley cat times 100), full grown they weigh 450 pounds and they can kill you. In the wild, a tiger will kill its own mother if she trespasses on his territory. They have even less regard for the human who feeds them.
Not only are tigers a danger to their owners, they are a danger to the public. They can and do escape. Earlier this year, a tiger was found wandering in the hills around the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. The tiger was killed and its owner was never found either.
But for me, the worst thing about this practice is that it's so crushingly humilating to these beautiful, proud animals. They were never meant to live in tiny fenced in yards. They were never meant to bond with humans. Owning them is just plain wrong.
Here in North Carolina there are no laws to restrict the ownership of exotic animals. If I had my way, it would be banned outright for the reasons I mentioned. If the city of Cincinnati can ban owning pitbulls, surely banning the ownership of animals much bigger and much more ferocious than pitbulls can be done as well. You can bet I'll be writing my state representative.
If you feel the need to bond with a tiger, visit the zoo.