Valerie Niblack Protests White Tiger Discovery at Wichita River Festival

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By Dave RobertsKWCH 12 Eyewitness NewsValerie Niblack Protests White Tiger Discovery at Wichita River Festival


(WICHITA, Kan.)—

A popular exhibit at Riverfest is causing some people to protest. White tigers are on display, and some people feel the exhibit is inhumane. A protest will be held Saturday afternoon against it.

“It’s just inhumane, I just think it’s wrong and they should do something about it,” said Valerie Niblack who’s organizing the protest.

  • Click here for photos from the River Festival

“All the white tigers in the United States are severely inbred, many of them have severe birth defects, and many of them are actually still born.”

Riverfest says the organizers of the exhibit are fully licensed by the Federal government.

“We trust that if they’re licensed through the Federal government that they have the proper training and procedures in place that their animals are being taken cared of,” says Brett Foltz of the Riverfest.

  • Click here for photos of the white tigers

“There’s no way they could have adequate space for the cats. If you’re traveling with large cats you can’t have enough room for them to roam which is their natural behavior,” Niblack responded. She admits, though, she has not seen the exhibit firsthand.

“I have not visited this exhibit, you have to pay to get in and I’m not willing to do that.”

The River Festival says its had no issues with the tiger exhibit.

8:38 p.m. CDT, June 8, 2012,0,4996978.story


What the Wichita River Fest spokesperson failed to mention is the hundreds of letters like the one below that they received well in advance of the show.  They should have known better and canceled the act.


Message sent to the following recipients:
Janet Wright
Linda Davidson
Lisa Hansen
Kathryn Ewing
Brett Foltz
Celia Cayless
General Info

I am contacting you today to express my concern and outrage that the
Wichita River Festival is hosting a white tiger exhibit. It is deplorable
that your organization would allow the exploitation of white tigers for
money at your festival!

White tigers ONLY exist in captivity by continual inbreeding, such as
father to daughter or brother to sister; generation after generation after
generation. The severe inbreeding that produces the mutation of a white
coat also causes a number of profound defects in these big cats, such as
crossed eyes, deformed spines, cleft palates and immune deficiencies.

The white coat is a double recessive gene so most of the cubs born through
this inbreeding have normal golden coloring, but they too suffer the same
defects and are referred to in the trade as ‘throw away tigers.’ As such,
they are sometimes killed at birth because only the white tigers are the
big money makers. And because none of these cats are purebred (they are
all crosses between Bengal tigers and Siberian tigers), they serve no
conservation purpose.

The American Zoological Association (AZA) recognizes that these cats
should not be bred and the leader of the tiger Species Survival Plan
states that the only reason white tigers are bred is because people will
pay to see white tigers. Obviously this is true since your festival is
charging the public an additional fee for an ‘all day entrance pass for
the tigers.’

Please do not allow this white tiger exhibit or any exhibit of exotic cats
or cubs at your festival again!


Name Withheld


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