Even today, when global
organizations like the World Wildlife Fund have brought conservation to the
forefront of conversation, animal abuse still happens. Some of it is covered up
by organizations posing as “sanctuaries” that do good. Wildlife photographer
Paul Hilton recently shared an Instagram photograph taken at one such
“sanctuary,” the Xiongsen Bear and TigerMountainVillage
of a tourist cheerfully punching a tiger for fun.
Hilton snapped the photo of
a tiger being hit a few years ago, but said the practice continues today. At
the Xiongsen Bear and TigerMountainVillage,
tigers are drugged and then punched. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
estimates there are 200 tiger farms in China,
Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, where unspeakable crimes
against animals are being perpetrated.
Related: 40 lifeless tiger
cubs discovered in Thailand
Not only are tigers hit for
entertainment at tiger farms, they’re often “speed bred:” tiger babies are
taken away from mothers instantly after birth, and the mothers are forced to
breed again swiftly. The babies are often used for selfies. Tigers are also
killed so their bones can be used for tiger wine, which many believe acts as an
aphrodisiac. There are up to 8,000 tigers forced to live in these horrific
tiger farms, while only around 3,890 tigers still live in the wild.
The issue of tiger abuse is
by no means limited to Asia. According to the
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about 5,000 tigers live in captivity in the United States. But
most of these tigers aren’t in zoos – 95 percent are “privately owned,” often
by people who have no idea how to properly care for them. Further, “tiger
encounters” – where people can pose for pictures with tigers, often young cubs
– mean there’s motivation for people to own and breed tigers. When tigers used
for selfies grow up, it’s more difficult for the illegal owners to feed them
and the tigers often end up in the hands of illegal wildlife traders who sell
them in parts.
WWF started a petition to
Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture, to “fully ban public
contact with tigers in the US.”
WWF policy experts say action in the United
States will send a “positive signal” to governments in Asia considering what to do about the appalling tiger
Tigers punched for fun at horrifying “sanctuaries” in China4.55SEEKER Sunday, 7 August 2016 Even today, when global organizations like the World Wildlife Fund have brought conservation to the forefront of conversation, animal abuse...