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.
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.
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.
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.