Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indonesian Tigers as Pets. Good idea or not?

I'm sorry but this whole proposed project smells like tiger farming under another name. Whereas I am all in favour of captive management and maintenance I would raise questions about how these animals would be monitored in their 'Mini-zoos'. What is wrong with proper zoos? I am pro zoo, 100% pro GOOD zoo and amongst the worst zoos I have seen anywhere have been in Indonesia (read Zoo Hubs). Even the big famous zoos in Indonesia pull their tigers and hand rear them especially for photographic sessions. If the so called "government experts" cannot ensure the welfare of the animals they have already then how on earth are they going to cope with the mini-zoos?  The article states that there are "about 30 captive-born tigers in Indonesia". Rubbish! I don't have the figures but there are far more than that. It would not surprised if there were not 30 in Ranugan Zoo alone. Let people adopt the forest where the last remaining wild tigers live. This way they are saving the tigers and every living creature within. I don't question that we need more holders for tigers but letting amateurs aquire them as status symbols is not the way to go about it - Peter

                                                  Sumatran Tiger

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Indonesia eyes pet market for endangered tigers

The Indonesian government has hatched a plan to save Sumatran tigers from extinction by allowing people to adopt captive-born animals as pets for 100,000 dollars a pair, officials said.

The forestry ministry said the plan could be put into practice as early as this year despite reservations from environmentalists, who say the focus should be on protecting habitats for the remaining 200 tigers in the wild.

"We're not selling or renting tigers. We're only authorising people to look after them," forestry ministry conservation chief Darori told AFP.

"These people will have to follow certain conditions. The tigers will still belong to the government."

He said interested owners would have to "deposit" a billion rupiah (108,000 dollars) for a pair of tigers, which he called a "guarantee towards conservation".

The minimum area required to keep a pair would be around 60 square metres (646 square feet), although something the size of three football fields would be better, ministry officials said.

The animals' health would be monitored by government experts and mistreatment would be punished by fines or jail terms.

"Let's think of the tigers' new homes as mini-zoos," Darori said.

Another ministry official, Didi Wuryanto, dismissed fears the scheme could put a price on the heads of the few remaining wild tigers, which are nearing extinction due to habitat loss on their native Sumatra island.

Much of the jungle which the tigers call home has been destroyed by rampant illegal logging overseen by the forestry ministry, forcing the animals into lethal competition with villagers.

"The chances of people

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