We are often asked if people are allowed to pet our animals. These types of activities where people interact, play with or pose with exotic cats are what we refer to as cub petting or pay to plays. While there are far too many places to interact with wild cats, we want to teach people why this practice is unsafe for both people and the animals. The cats are solely used to make a profit and put the cat’s health in jeopardy.
Fast Facts About Cub Petting
- Cubs are taken from their mothers just hours or days after they are born, so the mom will go back into heat and can be bred to have more cubs.
- The cubs are only used from the ages of 8 weeks-12 weeks before they are discarded.
- Many of these cubs are underfed or not given a proper diet to keep them small so they can be passed off as younger cubs and used longer.
- Cubs are passed around to as many paying tourists as possible, each day, with no regard to the health or needs of the cubs.
Caprichio was bred for cub petting and now suffers from metabolic bone disease because he did not receive the proper nutrition as a cub.
Shenandoah’s teeth were filed down and she was declawed, both are common practices in cub petting because it makes them “safer” to handle.
Long Lasting Effects of Cub Petting
- The tigers that are bred for cub petting are “generic” tigers. They do not aid in conservation because they are not a particular subspecies of tiger.
- Some facilities will declaw and de-fang their cubs to make them “safer”. This is painful to the animal and can cause many long term issues such as infections and arthritis.
- Due to the lack of proper nutrition the cubs can develop metabolic bone disease in which their bones do not form properly, leading to painful, debilitating issues as they grow and age.
It is important to understand the truth and consequences behind cub petting and how to help!
- Avoid places that allow cub petting or photo opportunities with cubs. Facilities who offer this, do it for the money, if they are no longer making money, they will end the practice.
- Educate others on the truth behind cub petting. Many times people simply do not know the facts behind cub petting.
- Visit accredited facilities that are committed to conservation or rescuing wild animals an that do not exploit animals.