Tiger and bear cubs are irresistibly adorable. But profit-hungry animal exhibitors exploit these animals’ appeal by caging the frightened, helpless infants and trucking them around the country to be used as profitable photo props on the fair circuit and in shopping malls and parking lots.
Federal law allows for tiger cubs who are between 8 and 12 weeks old to be used in public displays and handled by streams of people. Because the window of profitability is so short, breeders constantly churn out babies so that they always have an “inventory” of cubs available. Tiger cubs are torn away from their mothers when they are just days old in order to “acclimate” them to handling. In the wild, tiger cubs stay with their protective and nurturing mothers for two years.
Bear cubs also suffer when they are taken from their mothers prematurely. Experts believe that a cub’s immune system does not fully develop until after about 12 months. Bringing a bear cub into a public setting is frightening and stressful and leaves cubs vulnerable to illnesses and disease.
Of course, babies grow up—fast. Adult animals will spend the rest of their lives in cramped cages when their cub-making days are over.
What You Can Do
Never patronize one of these booths, and tell others about the grim lives of animals used as props.
Sign our action alert to support the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998), a bill that would mean unparalleled improvements for big cats in the United States.