It’s not normal for animal abusers to confirm the findings of a PETA exposé, but that’s exactly what Dade City’s Wild Things (DCWT) did when it posted a two-minute video “rebutting” our eyewitness’s findings. The video shows a handler smacking and yelling at a tiger cub named Luna and shoving her into a pool. It’s essentially the same footage we released and what prompted PETA’s lawsuit against DCWT alleging that prematurely separating endangered tiger cubs from their mothers, forcing them to participate in public encounters, and confining tigers to tiny, barren cages are violations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The operators of this tiger-breeding mill claim that their video is providing “context.” But the footage still shows that between periods of petting Luna—who should be with her mother—the trainer jerked the young tiger around by a leash and forced her to perform. It seems the owners are genuinely clueless about what constitutes abuse and what tiger cubs want and need … or maybe they simply don’t care.