The Private Zoos of America

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.

Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic. He has been jailed for 22 years (from 2020 I believe) for conspiracy to murder Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

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 tiger 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.

Comments for
The Private Zoos of America

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May 19, 2012
Private zoos of America NEW
by: Anonymous

Support the Humane Society of the USA and lobby to get effective controls in place.

May 19, 2012
Private zoosand big cats NEW
by: Anonymous

Support the Humane Society of the USA and lobby to get effective controls in place.

Oct 31, 2011
Private zoos of America
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

My personal opinion is that large wild animals should never be owned by private citizens akin to cats, dogs or aviary birds.
Even if wealthy, large carnivores can be dangerous to handle at times akin to a cat that scratches ocassionally or a dog that bites ocassionally .At least in a dog or cat the damage could be healed but imagine a lage carnivore like a tiger, lion or leopard suddenly gatting violent against its human pet owner.Results could be left to the human imagination.
Private ownership of dangerous pets should be banned.

Oct 31, 2011
What can the average citizen do to stop this?
by: Grahame

Michael, I like to read POC at tea. This fine and timely article turned my stomach. Good!

But what can the average citizen do to put a stop to these arrogant and truly insane crimes against other species? And what can he do against the predations of the insane, run amok species *homo sapiens*?

Much of these crimes against other species are the result of arrogance, and much of that can be put to the Biblical passages which purport to grant dominion by *homo sapiens* over all other species but the self-exalted mankind. The Judæo-Christian constellation of ideas is catastrophic for non-human species. (And don’t try to tell me that Noah, if he existed, was the first and foremost conservationist!)

The Australian philosopher John Passmore put the roots of our crisis of environment down to such dominionist passages in _Genesis_, as did Lynn White, the famed mediævalist historian, Peter Singer, the animal ethicist, and many another. I, myself, researched, for over a decade, the intellectual history of these connections.

And, no surprise, gain of riches at the expense of others, others be damned!, is part of it. It is part and parcel of the reification, the comodification of everything. Alas, these practices don’t even make economic sense.

Regular readers will please forgive me if once again I cite something from the esteemable Henry Beston which, it seems to me, gets right to the heart of the matter:

>We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more >mystical concept of animals. Remote from >universal nature, and living by complicated >artifice, man in civilization surveys the >creature through the glass of his knowledge and >sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole >image in distortion. We patronize them for their >incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having >taken form so far below ourselves. And therein >we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall >not be measured by man. In a world older and >more complete than ours they move finished and >complete, gifted with extensions of the senses >we have lost or never attained, living by voices >we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they >are not underlings; they are other nations, >caught with ourselves in the net of life and >time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and >travail of the earth. [_The Outermost House_]<

Oct 31, 2011
by: Ruth

This is terrible ! Why ever don’t the authorities do something about it I wonder.
I think people who keep wild animals are very inadequate types who need power over animals to make themselves feel good.
They think animals have no feelings but they couldn’t be more wrong !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

3 thoughts on “The Private Zoos of America”

  1. It’s normally unheard of me to add comments on Internet but the feeling of the work you all do, that I felt so profound to leave my comments and opinions on the situations implied from multiple media sources.Firstly after hours of thought I’m 99% behind the commitment it must be required, know one gets it right always. You may be for example the group that has the only DNA needed to save a species from extinction among many other things. It is a shame that you all have to waste your precious time and money fighting battles where the time could be used for more educational purposes or what ever . Being in a 22 year happy gay relationship I am also blessed living on a farm as well. Remember being armed it does not mean you are in anyway dangerous like me it’s just that one stupid person who will go to any lengths to prove there point. Always try to get everyone not to be provoked it’s can be seen as they are right. Keep up the good work you are all doing my kindest regards
    Alan Crossland Grantham Lincolnshire England Ng319fg

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