The Backyard Tiger

The backyard tiger is an abomination. It is disrespectful of the world’s most impressive and well known animal. People who keep tigers in their backyard are being self-indulgent idiots. Sorry if that is rude. I have to be rude because I am frustrated and fed up with reading about the misery that stupid people bring upon the mighty tiger which is brought to its knees and made vulnerable by humankind.

A lot of casual tiger consumerism is by individuals who haven’t the faintest idea what they are getting into and it starts with something like..

“Oh, isn’t that tiger cub cute…”

Yes, he is very cute dear. Tiger cubs are extremely cute. Then they grow up. Then the problems start. Then the thoughtless person who “owns” the tiger can’t afford the $6,000 per year to maintain the monster in the backyard. Then the tiger becomes ill….and so on. One more neglected and unwanted tiger needs a decent home and is there one around? Probably not because there are too many idiots satisfying their self-indulgent hedonistic ways. And they have tigers to get rid off. There is not enough tiger sanctuary space left to accommodate this madness.

Unwanted tigers are shunted around America in the back of trailers looking for a home. When they are found a home, it seems only to be temporary. Wildlife sanctuaries are struggling to survive in the current dire economic climate in the USA. There are signs of improvement but let’s just say the picture ain’t that good.

How many tigers are there in Texas? We don’t have a clue because there are no records although permits are required. There is no federal system and there is no law regulating this human condition that treats tigers as if they were cars. It is almost certain that there are far more generic tigers (tigers of no breed or cross-bred) in backyards than there are in the wild. That is a frequently quoted “fact” but it is worth quoting because it shows up what we are doing with respect to wildlife. We are being disrespectful of it and using it up unsustainably.

Law

What can we do about it? Nothing really. There is a bill going through the America legislature. It is the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. It amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981. The objective, I am told is to “prevent private big cat ownership across the United States” (The New York Times). Great. Well intentioned and about time, I say. I have been ranting on about this for ages. I wrote an article on my blog site a long time ago.

The big problem with new legislation (new law in the form of a bill) is that it does not become law in the USA. I am told by the gov.track.us website that:

“Just 3% of all Senate bills in 2009–2010 were enacted..”

In layperson’s language it means that of all the new law proposed by senators etc. only 3 in 100 attempts to create new law were successful. Shocking? Or am I missing something? The problem of a paralyzed Congress split down the middle is well documented. The fiscal cliff is a case in point.

The current law on individuals keeping tigers (and big cats) in the USA varies tremendously from state to state as it is made at a state level.

Big Cat Ownership Regualations by State in USA.

Big Cat Ownership Regualations by State in USA. Date from New York Times and Born Free Org. Blank map from Wikimedia Commons. Map by Michael

Price of Tiger Cubs

The price of tiger cubs is indicative of the number of them in America. You can buy one for less than the price of a Maine Coon cat.

Tiger Parts

With such an excess of generic tigers sloshing around Middle America is it not conceivable that some of these tigers are killed to supply the tiger body part market in China? There is no evidence of it as far as I am aware but I feel confident that it happens. Irresponsible tiger ownership in the United States feeds an irresponsible attitude towards the tiger in other parts of the world.

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Comments

The Backyard Tiger — 11 Comments

  1. People are foolish and uneducated about the dangers of an untrained individual keeping a wild animal like that as a pet. As a rule, tiger cubs can no longer be handled safely at the 12 week mark. Like kittens, their paws are gigantic, loaded with full size claws that they do not know how to fully control yet. They can cause a very serious wound without the human even seeing it. Their response is usually to slap at them and say no. You can imagine what happens next.

    What about the man back east somewhere that had his cat get lose. The tiger took to the woods to hunt and came back home at night. The man couldn’t keep him in the yard. He finally had to confess to the authorities and it still took 20 days to find and capture the beast. They showed video of the cat in an iron cage. The man went to say goodbye and the cat clawed out at him. Thankfully, the video cut out there. The man survived, but was seriously injured.

    The law in Arizona is setup so that we had all these side-of-the-highway mini-zoos back in the 1970’s and ’80s. Ben, the bear that played the bear on the tv series Grizzle Adams was one of these poor beasts. What ended up happening — as permits were denied — the animals ended up at one big wild animals/rescue zoo. They were so poor they had to ask the public to help build permanent quarters for all these animals on some donated land. They literally had just hours left to leave the O’Otham Indian land (Salt River Tribe) that they had been on. It worked out, but no without a lot of donations and hard work. Permits are hard to get now. Those animals made it, barely.

    Grow up people.

    • Dan you are so right to say ‘grow up people’ As children we say ‘I want’ because we know no better, we see something beautiful and want it but we are usually taught we can’t have everything we want and that it’s sometimes not practical to have that something either, especially a living creature.
      Adults who ‘want’ a tiger as a pet should be able to think ahead to the responsibility of having a wild animal in their possession, they should think could they care for that animal properly?
      Many Americans don’t seem able to care for small cats never mind large ones, judging by the large numbers abandoned and killed in Shelters, many with problems from being cruelly declawed.
      Education and animal welfare laws are very badly lacking there and there are too many cats suffering because of that fact.

  2. This whole thing is literally and completely bonkers. What government in their right mind would even allow a private untrained person to ‘have’ such an animal in the first place. And how totally incompetent do you have to be to actually get one. It really is a side product of some kind of mental disease humans seem to have with regard to ownership and nature. I could think of nothing more idiotic than to want to actually posess a tiger based on the fact that you are in awe of them. Furthermore I could think of no law more stupid than one that in any way allows these idiots to ‘have’ one. It’s moronic, depressing and disgusting. Besides, it’s more than incredibly arrogant. There isn’t a word for that kind of arrogance, except maybe ‘God’.

    When I finally decided to have 3 cats instead of 2, it was after months of consideration of how well I could take care of them and if it would have a negative effect on the first 2 etc. I was seriously unsure and went over it in my head trying to think if I should really not allow myself another, even though I really wanted a new friend for mine and just another cat and a new dynamic. It worked out very well indeed in the end. I think a lot of people aren’t even really able to own dogs since they are so needy and to be happy and well looked after you cant just walk them twice a day and leave them inside and go off to work. But all of these important and serious choices with long lasting consequences pale in compirism to the royal pillocks who want to have a tiger…. in a house….. in America…. maybe there’s a big garden too…? Lets hope those people don’t reproduce, and lets hope the people who allowed it don’t reproduce either.

    In Australia there’s something called the ‘Darwin Awards’ which are awarded posthumously to people who manage to lose their own lives in the most incompetent and stupid of ways – a Darwin award is given in view of the persons act of goodwill of removing themselves from the gene pool for the betterment of humanity. I just glanced at their homepage and it seems lately a lady was walking along a cliff edge that was fenced in for security reasons however she climbed the fence and fell off the cliff whilst trying to catch a feather. Perhaps the wanting of the ‘floating over the edge of a dangerous cliff feather’ can be aligned with the wanting of an ‘in your house and backyard awesome tiger’. I can just see the next possible Darwin award being awarded to a person who saw a really cute and fluffy tiger cub and decided to buy it for a few hundred bucks because tigers are so awesome and cool and stuff. Then the tiger grew up and one day a frying pan fell on the floor and the tiger got so shocked by the sudden noise it accidentally ripped his owner apart causing him to die immediately. The question here however would be as to whether the person really deserves the Darwin award or if in fact the tiger does.

  3. At the Bangkok zoo in 2005 had photographed myself with two full-grown tigers on a leash, myself seated behind the tigers, a normal photograph for tourists. In another park in Bangkok got myself photographed feeding a tiger cub,again, a common tourist photo in Bangkok. I did this for the experience of feeling the touch of an authentic tiger. Honestly, i felt sad for two majestic tigers being degraded to the status of pet dogs for tourist photos.As for the tiger cub that i cuddled and bottle fed, definitely will take its place as a pet tiger for tourist photos once grown.Agreed, the zoo makes its money from tourists through these few hand bred tigers that are photographed with tourists.It also gives a wrong impression of the ferocity and individualism of these majestic creatures as seen in the wild or large zoos.According to the media, the U.S.A has the largest number of captive bred tigers, a animal definitely not meant to be a house-pet akin to a cat.

    • I agree of course. There is something disrespectful and demeaning in keeping the tiger is a backyard zoo. Actually it is worse. It is plain cruel and immoral. Even mainstream zoos have a problem justifying their existence.

  4. The Congress wants to regulate gun ownership , But my crazy neighbor can own a man eating big cat . Makes sense to me ; NOT!!!!!!! What the hell kind of sense does this make ? I live in Wisconsin and will knot give up my guns , because , YOU DO NOT NEED A PERMIT TO OWN A BIG CAT HERE , and I MAY HAVE TO SHOOT ONE SOMETIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I feel the same way about Letting untrained people own them in their home and it gets loose ; someone gets hurt or killed . We should just except this ? I own guns and if I were to go out and shot someone , (Which I would never do ! ) I would be held accountable for my actions!
    Some one leaves a gun on a table ; somebody must pick it up and pull the trigger for someone to be harmed. Forget to close and lock a cage and someone will be harmed!!!!
    That is the difference !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing. For me, as an outsider, both backyard tigers and freely available guns over the counter are wrong. The rate of killings of people by gun in the USA is very high just behind one of the South American countries. Too high. The only time tigers are shot is when they escape private zoos!

  5. In the Constitution of The United States of America , 2nd Amendment: We have a right to bare arms . I am a Law bidding citizen , respect the laws of the land . I know that you and I may not see eye to eye on this . I still say that a loaded gun on the table will not hurt anyone , unless someone picks it up , aims , and pulls the trigger. That does not mean that I can not understand you . I respect your opinion and I hope you can respect mine. I understand that too many senseless shootings a cure . We need to come up with a way to take the guns and other weapons away from the criminals and not the law bidding citizen . If the law bidding citizens give up their guns , only Criminals will have guns . I will ask you a question : If you were a criminal and knew That a person maybe armed , are you more likely to pass on doing something to them ? Chances are you would pass on that person , because it is a good Deterrent , no one wants to mess with an armed person unless you are crazy!
    I do want to thanks you for opening my eyes on the big cat problem in the United States , I do not think anyone should be able to keep animals that are dangerous to other people around them . It is not fair to the people or the animals .

    • I do respect your views and I do respect the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America which is the right to bear arms. And I do agree that a gun is simply an inanimate object. It does nothing on the table. It requires a person to pull the trigger. However, when guns are sold over-the-counter anywhere in America without tight regulations then, as you imply, the wrong person will acquire a gun and they will use it to shoot children at a school just because they hate the world and I want to get back. That cannot be right. People looking in to America from outside in places such as Europe will often see the American gun lobby as a bunch of fanatics who simply don’t care enough about the lives of people and particularly children because it’s so often happens that children are slaughtered en masse at schools by some crazy gunman.

      The point is, you cannot trust people with guns. Even good people can lose their temper and if there’s no gun in the room they may hit somebody with their fist or fight that person with their hands but if there is a gun in the room they may pick it up and fire it because the temptation is there. Guns are a temptation and people are weak.

  6. I do agree that guns are Bad to have around or should not be readily available to people who are not mentally stable. But if people want to kill there are , bombs , kitchen knives , axes ,razors , cross bow , swords , vehicles ,planes and more weapons they can use . To do the unthinkable . I think all the things above are ; all things that have been used as weapons .I agree that we need tight controls on schools . There has been to many innocent kids and teachers killed over the past years . I think no one needs to have ak-47’s or sub-machine guns . Having 50 to 100 magazines for any person is crazy !!!! I have antique guns passed down to me , and will pass them on to my two kids . These all have 1 to 3 shots you can take . Sporting guns , not assault guns . The people who have these assault weapons should not be able to have them . All they are asking for is trouble down the road if they are not properly locked up , away from children and mentally unstable people .
    Most kids need to learn to control their tempers , I think a good start would be mandatory coping skills classes . Getting rid of these video games that is all killing and destruction . I think this has alot to do with programming their minds that killing is OK . Most of the violets on tv and movies also add to the problems. Years ago tv and movies was not all this violets . Where are the values respect and morals gone ?

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