Written by PETA
Gas, trucks, and tigers?! Oh, no they don't!
The Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, has been on PETA's most hideous radar for years. This roadside hellhole, which at one time housed four tigers, now has one, a Bengal tiger named Tony.
Complaints about the welfare of these tigers have flooded PETA's inboxes, mailboxes, and phone lines. We have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and written to the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop offering to help pay the costs to get the animals transferred to real sanctuaries.
Now, state wildlife officials have joined the growing throng of animal rights organizations (such as the Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates, which has battled the truck stop for years) and compassionate people who are fed up with the owner's repeated violations of animal care standards. Violations include having an insufficient number of trained employees, keeping the tigers in unsound facilities, having no veterinary care program for the tigers, and providing improper nutrition for the animals. In a letter to the truck stop owner, officials warn that Tony must be "legally removed from the premises to a Department-approved facility or out-of-state within 30 days …." Thanks, guys. Nice!
Roadside exhibits and novelty displays are worlds away from suitable habitats for exotic animals. Not only are these frustrated animals dangerous, but they quickly become stir-crazy and display stereotypical behaviors within their cramped pens. Hopefully, now, with the state stepping in, the Tiger Truck Stop has exploited its last animal and Tony is off to a great life.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
At our behest she has just sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their irresponsible decision to issue a permit that will allow two tigers to be transferred to the Baghdad Zoo. That's right, according to the permit, Riley and Hope will be sent off to live an uncertain future in a war zone—an area already proved to be dangerous and deadly to the animals at the Baghdad Zoo and where the last two tigers were shot to death by…”friendly fire.” You can read Kim's full letter here:
July 28, 2008H. Dale Hall, DirectorU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1849 C St. N.W.Mail Stop 3238 MIBWashington, DC 20240Dear Mr. Hall,I have long had an interest in how “exotic” animals are treated in captivity. Now, I am very troubled to learn that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved an export permit to send two tigers, Riley and Hope to the Baghdad Zoo - into a war zone with an uncertain future - and hope you will do all in your power to reverse the Service’s decision.It has already been shown that the animals at the Baghdad Zoo cannot be properly protected from the country’s military conflict. When the war began, hundreds of animals in the zoo were killed, stolen, eaten, or let loose by looters. The last two tigers escaped and were shot dead. The future is uncertain. Most of the people in Iraq still do not have access to basic necessities or a safe environment and Iraq remains a war zone: sending tigers there would place the animals squarely in harm’s way.Also, because Iraq is not a signatory to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), issuance of the permit would violate the basic tenet of CITES and will eliminate a significant incentive for other countries to sign on to the provisions of this very important international treaty that is designed to protect tigers like Riley and Hope.The Endangered Species Act mandates that such a transfer enhance the species in the wild, yet there’s absolutely no evidence that sending these tigers to Iraq would fulfill that requirement. Their presence is for amusement.In their natural environment, tigers quietly roam throughout many miles of territory consisting of forests, swamps, grasslands, savannahs, and rocky terrain, hunt, and raise their young. This is the life that they were meant to have—not dodging bullets in a facility that does not have the expertise or resources to properly care for them. It’s my understanding that the zoo even lacks veterinary diagnostic capabilities and many of the animals are handled with the crude use of ropes.Surely your agency will give thoughtful reconsideration and make the kind and responsible decision to deny the export. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.Sincerely,Kim Basinger
If you're as outraged by this decision as Kim is, please immediately contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using our action alert. Ask them to rethink their decision to transfer Riley and Hope and to consider the safety of all animals at the Baghdad Zoo.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
People are still being blown up in Baghdad, and no one knows what the future holds for human beings there. So is it really a safe and responsible place to send these massive, beautiful wild animals?
If you're like me and you're equally angered by this madness, check out what we have to say in our official action alert and let the Fish and Wildlife Service know what YOU think.
Posted by Christine Doré
"They buy them as babies," said the officer on the scene. "They don't realize it's going to get to be hundreds of pounds, eat an awful lot of food and become dangerous." I can picture Joe Schmo at home with his 6-month-old tiger now ... wow! Who knew a hyper-carnivorous alpha predator with 1,000 lbs. bite strength could eat so much? And wow, she's already way too big for a doghouse!
Sadly, it's actually become quite a trend to have a tiger, as 15,000 are kept as "pets" in the States. Since most of the shortsighted people looking to acquire an exotic animal on the black market don't happen to live in a 400-square-mile forest, when adopted into civilian homes, tigers face futures filled with malnutrition, loneliness, and captivity-induced mental illness. Now, while pondering to make the wonderfully progressive decision to write a letter or support a tiger sanctuary, if you want, you can still go ahead and spit.
Posted by Missy Lane
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.