Is a dying tiger ever fun?

Everyone knows that a beast is a beast no matter how much you beat it, so why do they try?

Tigers, elephants and other animals that are used within circuses for our entertainment do not jump through flaming hoops, stand on their heads or balance on large bouncy balls because they want to. They perform these tricks in fear of what will happen to them if they don’t.

Tigers are a common staple in any major circus. People don’t even realise that they are critically endangered. According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), there are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild.

Would you ever dine with a beast like Tarzan? No? Then how are you going to watch a wild animal prance around for you while you throw popcorn and cheer for more?

Imagine if Moana released HeiHei into the wild, that chicken with its rock eating fasciation wouldn’t survive more than a day. The same goes for a circus tiger, it won’t mistake its food for a rock but its chances of survival are slim.

A circus won’t replicate the tiger’s natural habitat; in fact, they don’t even attempt to. These big cats are kept in “beast wagons”, where they spend 90% of their time. So when you’re going home to relax on the sofa to play Xbox, they go back to their cages and play with their faeces.

photo for tiger
A caged tiger in one of China’s many circuses

Doesn’t it just suck when you’ve got a cold because you were in the freezing rain, and couldn’t change your damp smelly socks?

Well, guess what. Circuses travel all year round, even during extreme weather conditions, for days on end. A when they’re traveling, the big cats are kept in trailers or trucks, where they may be denied access to food, drinking water, and veterinary care. But you don’t see them complaining, do you? Oh yes, because they can’t!

When you bring a cat into your home you don’t expect it to kill you; with its big claws and a ferocious “growl”. Now because of that, it makes you think that bringing a tiger (part of the cat family), with natural hunting instincts and canines the size of your middle finger, into your circus it won’t kill you.

This logic is only slightly flawed, as a few weeks ago a circus trainer was mauled by a pack of tigers during the act in front of screaming families in Ukraine.

Let’s thank PETA, an animal cruelty-free organisation, working day and night for the release and ban of these animals within circuses.

According to Peta: “All circuses are moving to non-animal productions. Over the last 20 years, both through strict regulation as well as changing public sentiment, performing animal acts have begun to be a thing of the past.”

We know they have been starved, beaten and broken to prance around a ring and jump through flaming hoops for our entertainment. The question continues; why are we still allowing this to happen?

Victoria Locke


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