What Does it Take to Make a Tiger Selfie?
Either born in captivity or taken from the wild, the tigers that tourists can take pictures with are suffering. Here’s how.
We’ve all wanted to meet our favorite animal. It’s exactly that urge that leads people to partaking in wild animal selfies, including pictures with captive tigers. But below the soft fur and fearsome growl, these creatures are suffering for your photo opportunity.
A whole life in captivity
Tigers used for photos are either captured from the wild or bred in captivity, where they are torn away from their mothers just a few weeks after being born. Just because an animal is born in captivity does not mean they are domesticated. A tiger that has been bred by handlers is still a wild animal who needs a wild habitat to thrive.
Cruel and unusual punishment
Tigers used for tourism are subject to many abusive “training” practices that attempt to keep this wild animal docile enough to interact with humans. This includes being chained to concrete platforms for hours on end. Can you imagine a miserable life wherein you’re unable to move, and are physically harmed if you do?
An unclear future
As tigers grow older, they become more difficult to handle, and it is unclear what becomes of older tigers once they become unmanageable. They may be killed or sold to roadside menageries – collections of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition. Their life worth is measured by their ability to perform for tourists.
When you’re traveling, make sure you avoid attractions that subject wild animals to captivity in any form, including tiger selfies. Your actions can truly change an animal’s life.