I watched a television program last night about American’s who like to keep dangerous pets. It was not about the odd person with a cougar in the living room (which is bad enough) but about people like Joe who has 176 tigers in cages in the back yard! And 1200 more wild animals in more cages such a primates. A cougar by the way is a large wild cat. They can be tamed but as far as I am concerned are highly unsuitable as a domestic cat.
Another person interviewed was Tim. He liked animals and disliked people. He said he disrespected and distrusted all people including his wife who was standing next to him. His wife paid all the bills, however. Bizarre.
It was a hobby that had got out of control. It was big cat hoarding on steroids for me. He brought a Siberian over to the interviewer, Louis Theroux, on a chain leash. He said he had him on a short leash so Louis would be OK! Louis made the point that the tiger is stronger than him and then Louis briskly went into a room and closed the door. The cages were small and muddy. The tigers were flabby. The primates were depressed.
Joe had a similar reckless mentality. It is all so self-indulgent. There is no real connection to conservation. However, Joe justifies what he does by saying that he was helping in the conservation of the tiger. Pure nonsense – sorry. He was achieving the opposite (see below). He had no concept of inbreeding. He was cross breeding tigers and lions creating ligers and other hybrids. He was in financial difficulties but was still allowing his loins and tigers to breed – more overheads.
He would probably say he loved his cats but he then said that if he went broke (likely) he would probably kill all his animals; all 1,400 of them. He would do this rather than rehome them. Bizarre and bad. Very bad. But good business.
These tigers are what are called “generic tigers”. They are not a species of tiger such as the Bengal tiger. There are no registration controls in America over these animals. Except perhaps in certain states such as Massachusetts.
America allows individuals to acquire large numbers of tigers and lions without licensing controls. It seems that there are no checks, courses, training etc going on.
These people keep these large animals as if they were pets; as if they were domestic cats. People get hurt and sometimes children are killed. It is very dysfunctional for me.
There is currently a discussion going in America about the lack of control over the keeping and breeding of tigers and other large exotic animals, particularly generic tigers.
We don’t know what happens to dead tigers from private unregulated zoos. Tiger parts are very valuable indeed. A tiger’s penis is worth $6,000! Yes, some people think it is good to eat tiger penis as it helps male virility. Bizarre. Tiger bone is more valuable. His tigers are worth a lot – dead.
I wonder if Joe is thinking about cashing in, retiring. The penises alone are worth a million bucks!. It is said that the keeping and breeding of generic tigers might be supplying the tiger body part trade for use in Asian medicine products. If that is so it is very damaging to the tiger in the wild because it encourages the trade. Joe and Tim are indirectly encouraging the killing of tigers in the wild in India and Asia. This is the exact opposite to his professed objectives which are really a piece of self-deception and rationalization. Horrible.
Joe was right on one thing, though. He said that tigers would be extinct in the wild in 15 years. He said he was doing something about that. He was. He was hastening along the whole grizzly process.
The keeping of tigers by individuals in America as pets in this self-indulgent manner has to stop. It looks bad. It gives America a bad name. It looks like another one of those American excesses that annoy people from other countries. You don’t get it anywhere else.
Louis asked how these animals felt being locked up in small cages. Joe said they knew nothing else so it was OK. Tim said that animals only need large ranges because they have to have them to find prey. They prefer to be feed by humans though.