Sideshow Hucksterism

Children of readers of The Hawk Eye should study the photograph that accompanies the account of the “Joe Exotic” exhibit Palm Sunday at Pzazz.

 

The tiger cub pictured is very young. Cubs are taken from their mothers shortly after birth and placed in this traveling exhibit.

 

True sanctuaries of “big cats” that include lions and tigers do not breed them nor do they yank cubs from their mothers and cage them for interstate truck travel to malls and casinos until they are too big for little junior to pet.

 

Such a sanctuary, designed to care for big cats not profit from them, is located in Tampa, Fla. Big Cat Rescue at bigcatrescue.org is open to the public.

 

God did not intend for these incredibly beautiful but wild tiger cubs to be caged in such conditions. There are reputable sanctuaries and zoos for children to visit where young are kept with their mothers as long as possible and housed reasonably well given the unnatural surroundings.

 

The Pzazz exhibit was little more than P.T. Barnum-style sideshow hucksterism. Drawing children and their parents to pet caged cubs at a venue that just happens to be adjacent to a casino is but a marketing ploy.

 

The magic show, “anti-bullying and anti-drunk driving” talk that accompanies the exhibit is gimmickry designed to put a good face on a cruel act.

 

Breeding big cats and confining them to traveling side shows is not new. It has always been and continues to be done solely for profit, not compassion for the animals.

Only man, it seems, in pursuit of a buck has the capacity to defy God’s will in such a way.

 

DAVE HELMAN

Salem

http://www.thehawkeye.com/story/Dave-Helman-041811

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