Kill the Tiger!!
I’m sure by now you’ve all read/seen/heard about the tiger handler, Dave Styles, from Australia Zoo being ‘attacked’ and ‘mauled’ by one of the Sumatran tigers he has raised since it was a cub. If you haven’t, go Google, I’ll wait.
Have you got your pitch fork out yet? If not, why not? Come on, this is a wild animal attacking a human being. It should be killed. Immediately if not sooner. We should jump online and brandy the term wild animal like it’s actually insulting because a tiger isn’t a wild animal with animal instincts and it should totally know better. Oh. Wait.
Or, lets jump on and carry on about animals in captivity, with no actual knowledge about what we’re saying. Cry wolf about how they’re bored and how they should be out in the wild. You know, becoming extinct and all.
Rant and rave when you’ve actually not set foot inside a conservation driven zoo (in a very long time, or ever) and haven’t heard the why or the how these zoos are helping tigers. Also, for the trifecta, make sure you’re aware of ‘the palm oil issue’ but not changing any of your habits. Condemning those making efforts in conservation by having and breeding, learning from and educating the public about endangered animals while sitting at home and being part of the problem which is killing them and removing their natural habitat, which you so passionately demand they be returned to, makes you all kinds of awesome.
If you add that you’re pro culling the sharks, you get extra points, because people should absolutely be able to go into an animal’s own space and expect it to not act as if it is, in fact, an animal.
Oh, yes. Get out those pitch forks, yell and scream, raise them. Make some noise. And then? Fall on them. Because STUPID.
That tiger? Was playing. I don’t contemplate putting down my son when he bites me. We didn’t dispose of our cat when it bit through James’ hand. Animals, WILD animals, do not know their strength nor do they know just how fragile we humans are. Had he wanted to ‘maul’, ‘attack’, ‘kill’ or whatever else then Dave would not be alive. The other handlers would not have come out unharmed. Simple.
Having the tiger destroyed does what exactly? Kills a critically endangered, not to mention protected, animal and goes against everything Australia Zoo stands for.
Zoos are such an important part of conservation. They are educating people, learning from the animals, sharing their knowledge and igniting passion. But, you guys have heard all these things from me before. When I read the ‘oh those poor animals’ hoohaa I just can’t help but wonder if these people have been to a zoo recently. Maybe there are crappy zoos still out there and I haven’t been there, but the ones I have visited are awesome. The enclosures are big and comfortable, the animals are well cared for, engaged and healthy. Sure, a life in their natural surroundings would be so awesome, but wouldn’t you choose to live in a zoo where you’re catered to than be in an area where your home is being destroyed and your family is dying. I know what I would choose.
If having these tigers in a zoo right now leads to more understanding and change then it is nothing but good.
My heart absolutely goes out to the trainer and I pray he has a speedy and full recovery but I do not for one single second think he would condone the tiger being destroyed. He knows the risks of working with wild animals, he is trained and prepared and he is passionate. I spent some time with a man who raised a tiger for my birthday when I got to meet and feed Kinwah at Mogo Zoo – that little glimpse (I shared a little in a video compilation, you can see it below) showed me how much one man can love a big cat. The amazing bond there can be and people calling for the death of something you love and have raised must pull at your heart in a way I can’t even imagine.