How to Care for a Pet Tiger
Owning a Pet Tiger
Gracing the news and television programs such as Animal Planet’s Fatal Attractions, it would seem as though bad owners of big cats are running rampant. Can a tiger (Panthera tigris) fit into the lifestyle of the average person?
Privately owned pet tigers and other big cats (lions, cougars, mountain lions, and leopards) are an obscure reality, yet their true presence is wildly exaggerated by special interest groups and the news media. While many exotic pets have tremendous popularity, big cats, for obvious reasons, are not commonly kept.
Due to the negligence of a few, the few true owners of ‘pet’ big cats frequently make headlines and bans are prompted of other exotic animals that are of little or no danger to people beyond a cat or dog. The reason may be that the public views the idea of a ‘backyard tiger,’ which is a tiger maintained in a non-professional zoo-like setting, with disdain, but not all so-called backyards (or owners) are equivalent. There are reasonable ways to bring about the proper husbandry of big cats, as long as the owner’s lifestyle fits specific criteria without exception.
Requirements for Responsibly Owning Large Exotics
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In order to responsibly own a large exotic, all of the following statements must be true about you:
Are financially secure
Live in a secluded area
Have experience with the handling and maintenance of large and potentially dangerous animals
Do not travel a lot or have the assistance of qualified caretakers
Live in a state where it is legal or must obtain the proper permits
Tigers Are High-Maintenance Animals
It’s good to see that so many people are surprised to find out that people privately own such a class of animal, which should put to rest the myth that it is a rapidly expanding industry.
Big cats are very high-maintenance animals, and private ownership should only be considered by committed individuals in special circumstances.
Most owners of these animals have dealt with big cats or other exotics in their occupations and businesses (many of these so-called pets are often a part of the owner’s business), or they are usually highly experienced enthusiasts. Caring for such an animal should never be taken lightly, and regulations, not bans, should reflect that.
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