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The Truth About Big Cats in Captivity- Part 2

Consider the size of the average parking space. If you had a cage that size, the USDA says you can house two fully grown tigers inside. As long as the animal can stand up and turn around, he or she has all the space required by law.  And because there are no laws requiring exercise or enrichment, many tigers live in a cage that size their entire lives.

Granted, many captive tigers die within the first two years of life. But a tiger can live up to 25 years. 

Female tigers will be bred repeatedly to maintain the number of cubs needed to run the pay to pet operations. One such operation uses up to 200 cubs per year to keep their business going.

Tony The Tiger is confined at a truck stop in Louisiana. Read his story at http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

Tony The Tiger is confined at a truck stop in Louisiana. Read his story at http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

Captive tigers are inbred, which means they are not genetically close to wild tigers. They could never be released into the wild because of the repeated inbreeding. By the way, do you know that ALL white tigers are the descendants of one tiger? They do not occur naturally in the wild, and are available only because of mass inbreeding.

This is Kenny. His deformities are the result of inbreeding of white tigers.

This is Kenny. His deformities are the result of inbreeding of white tigers. (courtesy Big Cat Rescue)

Want a pet tiger? It’ll cost ya! Tigers require 10-15 pounds of meat per day, as well as supplements. Veterinary care will be expensive. Oh, and the smell. Even a spayed tiger will mark its’ territory.

Caring for a pet tiger will cost you around $10,000 per year. But a dead tiger could net you $50,000. Pelts can go for as much as $25,000. Various body parts are sold to make traditional medicines. Bones are used to make Tiger Bone Wine.

Sometimes tigers are first hunted, then killed. Confined or “canned” hunts happen all over the world, including the US. If you have enough money, you can pay to hunt and kill a tiger. Or you can skip the hunting part and kill one in a cage. Some hunters pay up to $25,000 for the opportunity to kill a tiger.


So while it’s nice to think that these animals will get a happy ending in a place like Big Cat Rescue, the reality is there are far more tigers than there are places of refuge. And most of them lead a very sad existence.

A resident of Big Cat Rescue lounges in the sun (photo courtesy Big Cat Rescue)

A resident of Big Cat Rescue lounges in the sun (photo courtesy Big Cat Rescue)

Tomorrow I’m going to tell you what you can do to help stop this insanity.

About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


51 thoughts on “The Truth About Big Cats in Captivity- Part 2

  1. I would love to know how to stop this insanity. My heart breaks for all animals mistreated in any way.


    Posted by journeyintopoetry | March 15, 2013, 5:05 AM
  2. Well doen for raising the awareness on this x

    Posted by mythreemoggies | March 15, 2013, 5:07 AM
  3. I can’t ‘like’ this story. It’s awful. Thank you for sharing it – poor Kenny, I hope he realises how beautiful he is.

    Posted by bumpyroadtobubba | March 15, 2013, 5:13 AM
  4. This is horrrifying.

    Posted by jmgoyder | March 15, 2013, 5:36 AM
  5. ill never forget being taken to a zoo as a child that had a tiger in a cage as small as you describe, my father and i were horrified. I am not totally against zoos, if they are run well and are high quality but about 99% of them need to be shut down and the owners of places like you suerivve should be arrested and put in a similarly sized cell

    urban hounds

    Posted by Urban Hounds | March 15, 2013, 5:42 AM
    • There are some excellent zoos that are working to ensure species survival. When are a part of a scientifically-managed captive breeding program. But most of these tigers you see in private zoos or backyards are not bred in this manner, so they could never be incorporated into an ethically-managed zoo.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 15, 2013, 6:12 AM
  6. This is terrible, it’s worse than I suspected. Thank you for raising awareness of this.

    Posted by Clowie | March 15, 2013, 5:43 AM
  7. How shocking. I had no idea about this cruelty, until I read your post. I really hope this cruelty to the beautiful big cats can be stopped once and for all.

    Posted by adinparadise | March 15, 2013, 5:50 AM
  8. No!!! Purrime Ministerettes has not given any Purrime Ministerette purrmission for doing things like this to big cats and shall never give any Purrime Ministerette purrmission!

    We veto!

    Posted by Shiva & Jaya | March 15, 2013, 6:11 AM
  9. I am so angry I dare not write what I feel. This is reminiscent of death camps WW2 and all prison camps past and present.

    Posted by willowdot21 | March 15, 2013, 6:33 AM
    • Funny isn’t it? Americans are all up in arms about the Chinese for eating dogs. But stuff like this happens in their own backyard and they are allowing it to happen.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 15, 2013, 7:03 AM
      • Same with us this side of the pond we all get up in arms about mistreatment of animals when no doubt alsorts of dreadful things are going on in our own back yards( figuratively speaking that is ) all we can do is to keep shouting loud!

        Posted by willowdot21 | March 15, 2013, 12:07 PM
  10. We hear about this all the time and just can’t believe it still is happening!

    Posted by Emmadog | March 15, 2013, 6:44 AM
  11. Fascinating and so, so sad.

    Posted by Paprika Furstenburg | March 15, 2013, 7:16 AM
  12. how cruelty – Sometimes I feel shame for being a human…

    Posted by easyweimaraner | March 15, 2013, 7:16 AM
  13. Paying to kill a tiger in a cage?? That is without doubt the most grotesque thing I’ve heard for a long while. Sick, sick, sick! What big men (and women) they must think it makes them. Pah!

    Posted by The Barkshire Post | March 15, 2013, 7:20 AM
  14. When I was a child I remember a tiger pacing back and forth and pacing and pacing in what must have been an 8×14. Even at that young age I knew he must have been going stark raving mad.

    Posted by Carl D'Agostino | March 15, 2013, 8:33 AM
  15. Rhat is so horribly sad Rumpy, and such evil humans. I hope Karma bites them on the buttocks.

    Posted by Brian | March 15, 2013, 9:32 AM
  16. That YouTube is so sad……and the picture of white tiger….it’s not his fault at all though…. 😦

    Posted by eripanwkevin | March 15, 2013, 10:07 AM
  17. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY.

    Posted by Teepee12 | March 15, 2013, 10:27 AM
  18. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog ! I appreciate ❤ what great blog here! Love animals specially cats and dogs! Happy to find your blog for getting many informations about them😃

    Posted by violetski | March 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
  19. Thanks for sharing this Rumpy – this is really sad and I didn’t know about it.

    Posted by Ann "Paws" Staub | March 15, 2013, 12:58 PM
  20. This is so not cool, it breaks my heart!

    Posted by Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom | March 15, 2013, 1:00 PM
  21. It is good that you publicise this. I have never heard of tiger cub petting shows, breeding mills… if this means here in Australia we are not contributing to this, that’s fine with me. The other animal welfare issues we have to deal with are more than there should be. The human species can be so stupid & greedy.

    Posted by EllaDee | March 15, 2013, 2:46 PM
  22. I’m not a cat-lover, but I hate to see these giant felines treated so negligently. People who do this need to be smacked and then jailed.

    Posted by Alejandro De La Garza | March 15, 2013, 2:48 PM
  23. I’ve seen the deformed tiger.. all white tigers have deformities because they are unnatural. It’s heart breaking to see these animals.

    Posted by ilovecats | March 15, 2013, 11:52 PM
  24. It’s an important blog. Thank you for writing it. I hope that you don’t mind, but I have included a link to your blog on my latest whatdoyareckon.wordpress.com called “Grace”

    Posted by Mrs Bushranger | March 16, 2013, 7:06 AM
  25. My children and I went to the zoo this week, and my kids loved the Tigers so much they were asking to have one as a pet. I spent a lot of time explaining to them that Tigers aren’t meant to be pets. I’m shocked that the cage requirements aren’t more than that!!

    Posted by Tiffany (lifewithblondie) | March 16, 2013, 11:03 AM
  26. I can’t stand it! This is so sad. Poor kitties. 😦

    Posted by ILoveDogs | March 16, 2013, 12:00 PM
  27. When one of my students told me she wanted to own a dolphin, I told her that they need to be in the wild … that the water they are in (Killer Whales, and other huge marine life, have at places like Sea World) is very confining compared to what they would have in the wild.

    For a cheetah, which can run up to 70 mph, no zoo provides the kind of space the cat would find in the wild … and that’s not right.

    Posted by earthriderjudyberman | March 16, 2013, 1:01 PM
  28. I have thought about this many times! Have you seen the movie
    “WE bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon? You MUST watch it!!!!

    Posted by vastlycurious.com | March 16, 2013, 1:29 PM
  29. Gad, I would love to put the humans in the cages. What travesty.

    Posted by Valentine Logar | March 16, 2013, 6:18 PM
  30. I don’t understand why zoos and other facilities have one set of requirements that meet the animal’s needs, yet there’s another set for private ownership. Even why there can be private ownership.

    Posted by Bernadette | March 16, 2013, 9:08 PM
    • The USDA regulates private ownership of tigers, as they do puppy mills. In fact, the problems with captive tigers sounds eerily similar to those of the puppy mill industry. Which is one reason why I am fighting this fight. One can only help the other.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 16, 2013, 9:16 PM
  31. Tiger Tiger burning bright in the forest of the night. But they lose their glow when encarserated.
    btw. That Kenny is a good likeness of me 🙂

    Posted by Kenny2dogs | March 17, 2013, 8:01 AM
  32. Apart these activities being brutal and disgusting, someone wants to kill an animal in a cage!! What category do they put that in? That is the lowest I’ve yet heard when it comes to so-called hunting. What cowards these people are 😦

    Posted by Mungai and the Goa Constrictor | November 14, 2013, 6:31 PM


  1. Pingback: The Truth About Big Cats in Captivity- part 1& 2 | Rumpydog | The Deep Emotions of Animals - March 15, 2013

  2. Pingback: Stop the Exploitation of Tigers! | Rumpydog - March 16, 2013

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