Reality Bites: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Tom Sandoval Faces Backlash for Tiger Selfies

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2 min read

Tom Sandoval needs a reality check (again). The Vanderpump Rules star posted pictures from his recent trip to Thailand and included photos and videos from a scummy tiger-abusing tourist trap. Hundreds of thousands of animals are bred and suffer worldwide in the tourism industry. Whether it’s photo ops with tigers, bathing with elephants, cub-petting, or bottle-feeding, any time humans are allowed to be close to wild animals, you can be sure it’s unethical.

Many facilities that exploit animals operate under the flimsy guise of sanctuaries, keeping their businesses afloat by lulling visitors into feeling better about paying to interact with their victims. A true animal sanctuary would never buy, sell, trade, breed, exploit, or profit from animals. Nor would it use deprivation or punishment to control them or force these vulnerable and fearful individuals into unwanted contact with humans. Reputable sanctuaries provide animals with large naturalistic habitats where they can roam and engage in other normal behavior, protected from harassment.

Pay-to-play interactions with animals, including big cats, pose dangers for everyone involved—both the humans and the other animals—and captive big cats have attacked and killed their keepers and visitors.

Among those appalled by Sandoval’s actions is fellow Vanderpump Rules castmate and PETA friend Lala Kent.

Lala Kent's response to tiger photo op

There are several true tiger sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) that are helping to end the abuse of big cats. PETA has worked with many of them, including The Wild Animal Sanctuary, to retire some of the animals we’ve rescued from abusive operations. If you’re wondering where to find a reputable tiger sanctuary near you, please use the GFAS website and support true animal advocates.

Don’t Get Yourself Into a ‘Scandoval’

When making travel plans, please be sure that cruelty isn’t on the itinerary. As a consumer, you have the power to choose compassion and support genuine sanctuaries that prioritize the well-being of animals. Make ethical choices in your travel plans and ensure that your adventures align with your commitment to rights for all.

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