Monday, May 24, 2010

How Not To Treat A Tiger!

The video you will see below will shock you. It will disgust you and it will make you angry.

The video below was taken at the A'Famosa Animal World Safari in Malaysia.

If you think this is unusual it is not. Drugged tigers are used and abused in second rate zoos all over the world. Here they appear to have overdone the drug just a little. It is scenes such as this which make me continue to condemn any form of 'hands on' action with large carnivores. 'Hands on' is not never is! The deliberate pulling of cubs from the mothers so they can be hand reared to 'perform' like this is evil. Using arguments like 'raising money for conservation' hold no sway with me. Using white tigers just smashes the conservation concept.

There are big reputable zoos in the West and Australia who are to blame here. They do it as well. Okay maybe they don't use the drugs but they do the 'Tiger Posing'. Some declaw of course to make the 'wonderous experience' that much safer. The reputable zoos should stop this today and send out the message that it is wrong and not acceptable. There is no way that we can seriously point a finger at places like Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Taman Safari, the Tiger Temple or in this case A'Famosa (there is a huge list) if we cannot get our own zoo house in order.

Tigers, if properly managed do not need to be hand reared except in exceptionally and very rare circumstances. Tigers and other big cats need to be mother reared and brought up to be what they are and not some tiger poseurs plaything.

Get this. It is not clever, amazing or wonderous to commune with big cats. Let them be.

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  1. Whilst this is an appalling story, please get your facts right before printing your defamatory accusations....NOTHING like this happens in Australia....there is no way our Animal Welfare bodies would allow drugging or de clawing of tigers for so tourists can pose nect to them...your story loses credibility with such statements,

  2. Thank You SHARON - I never said that zoos in Australia drugged or declawed their Tigers but some collection DO 'Tiger Posing' and so in spite of your denial DEFINITELY something like this DOES happen in Australia. They need to stop lining their pockets (in spite of conservation cash) and send a message to the world, including A'Famosa that such activities are not right. I don't believe I have lost any credibility by drawing attention to something I strongly believe as wrong, unnecessary and an accident waiting to happen!

  3. Whilst I respect you point of view Peter, I do find it a little narrow minded. Thank you for clearing up the misunderstanding regarding the practice of declawing and drugging of tigers, which does occur all over the world, but certainly not in the two facilities in Australia that have a “hands on” and interactive program with their tigers.
    Unlike most of the places you draw your comparison too; both the Australian institutes have fantastic facilities for their animals, fully participate in cooperative regional breeding program and contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to in-situ conservation programs every year. Any public interaction is very limited, and under very strict guidelines, which do not adversely affect the animals – again, nothing like the grotesque spectacles you see across Asia.
    I would also argue that not only are the animals happier and more stimulated within these two facilities than many of the traditional examples of tiger enclosures commonly found in Zoos; but also the interaction between handlers and animals allows for a much greater education experience – In fact I know so , with several university students doing studies proving so.
    If the staff are well trained and experienced, then interacting with tigers carries no more risk than interacting with elephants, which seems to be widely accepted.
    You also make reference, to letting these animals be “brought up to be what they are”, unfortunately, that is a captive animal – The priority needs to be with providing them with the best conditions – not our perception of letting them live wild – because they are not – and if we are completely honest, they, their offspring or any captive raised population will never have the opportunity to live free in the wild!
    At the end of the day, I agree, with you – these disgusting freak shows across Asia play no role in conservation or education and the welfare issues are glaringly obvious, and they should be shut down – but please don’t lump the few professional examples in the same category. That is not to say that “hands on” should be for every zoo and captive facility – but again, save your scathing remarks for those that truly deserve them.

  4. I would like to respond Panthera because I disagree with so much of what you say. I have written much on tiger posing elsewhere...Sadly I decline to repeat myself unless you are prepared to waive your anonymity and give details of where you work and expertise.
    My last word on the subject for now is

    "The reputable zoos should stop this today and send out the message that it is wrong and not acceptable. There is no way that we can seriously point a finger at places like Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Taman Safari, the Tiger Temple or in this case A'Famosa (there is a huge list) if we cannot get our own zoo house in order."