White tigers not endangered

White tigers not endangered

Published: 7:56AM Saturday May 30, 2009
Source: Newstalk ZB

For Information About White Tigers Visit: http://www.bigcatrescue.or/cats/wild/white_tigers.htm

Zion Wildlife Gardens says the tiger shot this week is not endangered.

Keeper Dalu Mncabe was mauled to death on Wednesday by a male white tiger at the Whangarei wildlife park.

Director Glen Holland says white tigers are a mutation and not a naturally occurring cat. He says they have been bred to satisfy people’s need to see an unusual animal and are not endangered.

Holland says white tigers in captivity have little to do with conservation of tigers in the wild. He says white tigers would never be released into the wild.

MAF says Zion Wildlife Gardens will remain closed until it is satisfied about animal and staff welfare issues. The ministry has enacted powers under the Biosecurity Act to temporarily shut down the park in Whangarei after this week’s fatal mauling keeper Dalu Mncabe.

One of the notices requires interim safety measures to protect staff when it is not possible to separate them from the animals as they work.

The future of some 40 big cats is up in the air, although MAF says there is no intention to euthanase any of the animals and the zoo’s managers are co-operating.

And the SPCA believes the best place for Zion’s big cats is at the park.

Chief executive Robyn Kippenberger says while she doesn’t agree with large numbers of animals being kept in zoos, Zion has been purpose-built and it is definitely the best place for the cats.

Kippenberger says in a country where there is no option to release big cats into the wild, it is risky to breed so many that may now have an uncertain future.



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