International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Texas Tiger Trafficking

Snug in the LogsI always have my ears perked for appearances of cats in the media. This happened this week while watching the episode of ABC’s Caslte, titled “Cuffed.” While not a major plot point, cat conservation played a role.

Specifically, it dealt with tiger breeding and trafficking in Texas. One character mentioned that laws regarding the possession of wild animals quite lax. This is actually a serious problem: there are 3000 tigers in Texas, more than the wild population in India. Tiger breeders many be registered, or someone with a couple of tigers in the backyard. In 2008, a woman was charged with selling tiger cubs in a Wal-Mart parking lot. There are few few laws restricting this, and the ones on the books are only sporadically enforced.

Taking in a house cat is a big responsibility, and it a tamer, smaller animal. Caring for a tiger requires space, lots of food, and specialized equipment just for a checkup, is beyond the means of private individuals. Professionals have these resources. Unfortunately, only 10% of the tigers in the United States are in accredited zoos or sanctuaries. There are lots of other reasons not to have a tiger, or any other wild cat, as a pet.

Tiger breeding is a serious problem, and can result in harm to the animals, to even the tragedy seen recently in Ohio. If you want to see these magnificent creatures, the best way is to go to your local zoo.

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3 responses to “Texas Tiger Trafficking

  1. Skye December 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    This is not beyond the means of private individuals! Some yes, not all – but then again having an exotic pet large or small or even a domestic pet is not for everyone. As long as the person has the means, the knowledge & the committment it should be permissable.

    Most sanctuaries are private owners who take donations to support their animals. Most were & are private owners that decided they wanted more animals & can’t take care of all those animals on their own so they become a sanctuary & take donations & some speak out against other private owners. This is wrong.

  2. Jaguarundi December 19, 2011 at 1:15 am

    This 3000 number a much repeated internet urban legend, Accurate and objective recent counts of Texas tigers is much smaller.according to the Feline Conservation Federation: The latest count of Texas tigers according to FCF research, is 312 tigers, housed in 47 locations. Nine Texas sanctuaries hold 107 tigers, and 36 tigers reside in 13 Texas zoos. The urban legend pet tiger is nearly non-existent.
    There are responsible and knowedgeable private owners , They are certainly not all uneducated idiots with inadequate cages on the roadside! Unfortunately, the stigma of the big cats issue has also cost many smaller and far safer wild cats private caring homes that could offer a better and enriched life for the cat than a public zoo or refuge. I wonder how many happy, healthy small cats were euthenized when restrictive laws were passed a decade ago in Texas due to various groups lobbying efforts . I saw the tragic results of poor legislation, Unfortunately, it has not been the interest (fundraising) of certain large national animal rights lobbying organizations to present a balanced picture of cat ownership. Some organizations have totally misrepresented themselves in fundraising (http://www.humanewatch.org) One can only wonder what the end game from so called animal rights lobbying will be, when we really need real animal welfare, habitat protection and effective education programs. As it stands in the next century few of us will have the opportunity to even see, hear, study or learn about endangered cats of all sizes ( as the movies in this wonderful site). no young naturalist will have the thrilling opportunity to be head butted by a hand -reared bob cat, touch its coat,or be able to interact with a good tempered ocelot as i did as a child and watch it chase a butterfly,.. I fear as the world of felines fade from public awareness by well funded, misrepresented and misgulded animal rights lobbies so will the very existence of endangered small cats, they will only exist in movies and TV documentaries .

    • Raul Marques December 22, 2011 at 2:26 am

      I can actually NOT believe that your comments were posted.
      You are spot on and it is really very sad how these animal activists/rightists are
      destroying the world’s animal heritage for their own gain.
      I did post some comments a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately they were not put in,
      they simply disappeared.
      I breed Ocelots, Servals, Black Foot Cats among others and it is really depressing
      that the knowledge I have gained over the past 25 will be gone when I am gone

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