Friday, February 10, 2012

Tony the Tiger

Today I want to talk about an article I read about a Siberian-Bengal mix named Tony. Tony the tiger lives at a truck stop in Louisiana and has been an attraction there for passersby for years. The tiger has been there since his owner bottle fed him as a cub and now animal rights groups are trying to remove Tony from his home.  I have many different feelings about this. On the highest level, if the animal is in healthy condition and has an adequate living situation and the owner has him legally, then leave them be.
Should tigers be pets? Probably not. But the guy doesn’t have Tony running around his living room playing with his children calling him safe! He knows the pet is dangerous and treats him with respect. I think people are so quick to jump up and down for pets like this because they don’t see a tiger as a pet one should own at all because you can’t play with it and it can kill you… Well my pet jellyfish sits in that same category.
And for a tiger that has grown up in that environment, what difference does it make to him? He has no idea he lives at a truck stop. And if you move him to a sanctuary, how do you know he won’t miss his owner? As long as he lives in a suitable environment, to me, what difference does it make if people take pictures with him at a truck stop versus a zoo? Apparently “Truck Stop” is a dirty word and automatically means it’s completely unfit for pets. If Tony is healthy, I say let the man keep his cat.

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