How do I get a job working with tigers?
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that, I could probably buy India and turn it into a tiger sanctuary.
Would you shut your eyes to the inherent cruelty involved of breeding them for life in cages?
Would you justify taking cubs from their real mothers so that you could handle them and pretend to be their caregiver?
Would you slap them, punch them, pick them up by their tails and scruffs, or press their tongues against their sharp teeth to “train” them not to bite.
Would you drag them by chains to teach them to walk on a leash?
Would you silently witness such actions by others where you work and not speak up because it would cost you the “right” to work with big cats?
Would you enable such bad behavior by volunteering or working for places that are doing these things to the innocent cubs?
Apathy is the glove into which Evil slips its hand.
Those who breed big cats in order to use their cubs for money making purposes could not be successful if not for the apathy of those who enable them. From those who pass by such displays and merely shake their heads in disgust, but never follow through, to those who prepare the bottles, clean the cages, give the “educational” spiels and attend the registers, not to mention those who pay to pet or pose with a cub…it takes a lot of people to cause such misery.
The misery of being caged in small, barren “jail cells” and bred over and over and over to produce a steady stream of money making cubs.
The misery of separation between the great cats, who would be the fiercest and most protective mothers in the animal kingdom, and their cubs.
The misery of crying endlessly for their mother to rescue them when she is far, far away.
The misery of being man handled, grabbed, bounced around and fed a diet of milk substitutes that cannot begin to be as healthy as the mother’s milk they were deprived.
The misery of fighting pneumonia from inhaling their formula so fast because they are not fed often enough and dealing with ringworm and parasites while in such a weakened state.
The misery of being beaten, dragged, choked, gagged and caged in crates so small that the fur is worn from their little noses from swinging their heads back and forth across the bars or crate door.
Anyone who tells you that it isn’t a miserable life, is either profiting off this abusive industry or is gratifying their heart’s desire to work with tigers.
So, what legitimate jobs are out there for those who want to work with tigers?
Forget the silly shows you see on T.V. about reintroducing tigers to the wild. It is T.V. not real and there are NO reintroduction programs for sending captive bred tigers back to the wild.
The only legitimate ways to work with tigers are:
- Work at a sanctuary that does not buy, breed, sell, trade, handle exotic cats, nor take them off site for exhibition. Most of those jobs are volunteer jobs or don’t pay anything more than minimum wage; but the rewards are priceless when you can look yourself in the eye and KNOW that you are helping and not hurting tigers.
- Move to a tiger range country and become a game warden. Sadly there is far too little spent on actually protecting tigers in the wild, and that is where the most money should be going. Because of corruption and the dire circumstances for resident game wardens, the tigers suffer.
- Enable one of the two above. Through fund raising, social networking and being a voice for tigers, you can truly help these magnificent cats.
If you are thinking to yourself, “Yeah, but I want to handle tigers,” then you aren’t doing it for the tigers.