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Diatribe: Tigers In A Petting Zoo? Really?!


As a child, I was always fascinated by petting zoos.  Frequently, my folks would give in to what I’m sure was incessant whining and pleading and allow me to pet some goats.  I was intrigued by the double-door system at the entrance to most of these attractions and wondered how often one of the animals would escape.  I would study the animals to determine which was my favorite and why and that would be the animal that I would have to make my “friend”.  I’d stalk the poor critter until it let me touch it and pet it.  Some animals were more willing to be approached than others.  I’m told, but I don’t’ remember that one particularly unfriendly goose frightened me to tears.  Regardless of the circumstances or the animals involved, a trip to a petting zoo was not a success until I was able to coerce someone into giving me a quarter for “food”, usually a handful of pellets, corn or seeds, to feed the animals.

Animals are always cuter when they’re small … even tigers … but some should simply not be included in petting zoos.  The Humane Society of the United States is accusing an exotic animal park in Oklahoma city of allowing children to hand and pose for photographs with tiger cubs in what they called “a petting zoo for carnivores”.

The owner of the G.W. Exotic Animal park denies the allegations and suggests that the human society simply wants his park to fail, however, representatives from the Human Society contend that allowing visitors to hand the unpredictable felines places visitors at risk.  Others fear a disaster similar to one in Zanesville, Ohio, last year where the owner of a private collection of tigers, bears and other wild animals freed them from their cages before committing suicide.

This is the fourth time that this park and its owner has been investigated for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which protects warm-blooded animals that are displayed to the public for compensation.  An investigation is, allegedly, being conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture into the deaths of twenty-three tiger cubs at this park a few years ago.

Hopefully, the matter will be settled soon and local children will have access to a safe, fun and educational petting zoo that doesn’t put them, or the animals, in danger.

Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. While i would love to pet a tiger, or a lion, or a leopard, or a jaguar, or a cheetah, puma, and so on, I am so not a fan of zoos.

    I don’t care how large, or how accommodating, the space, it’s a cage, and that just makes me sad.


    • They really are fascinating and beautiful. I’d like to pet one, too. But they can be dangerous and I don’t think they should be allowed to interact with small children.


  2. I hope you meant Humane Society instead of Human Society because I don’t want to be linked in the same category as tigers. LOL


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