So, we binged Tiger King on @netflix the other night…
Its one of the the most mind boggling series I’ve ever watched.
Tiger King is an docuseries about the 3 largest big cat keepers in the US. It dives into the lifestyle of these cat keepers, their love life’s, business relationships and relationships with their big cats.
The series follows the story of Joe Exotic the self proclaimed Tiger King and his hate for a woman named Carole who runs and operates Big Cat Rescue. They claim to be a rescue for Big Cats that come from these exotic animal zoos and abandoned house pets etc.
Throughout the series I couldn’t help but constantly ask myself, how is this rescue better than these exotic zoos?
The animals were in cages a lot smaller than the ones at the zoos they were fed used from and made a lot cheaper. They still charged an admission price for people to gawk at these big cats in cages the only difference was they didn’t allow humans to touch the animals.
Big Cat Rescue just has an extremely good marketing tactic. By replacing “Zoo” with “Rescue” the general population just assumes it’s a safe place for these animals and it’s a better way of life than being in a zoo. When in all reality it’s pretty obvious their life isnt that much better.
This reminded me of when I was doing my research on what elephant sanctuary to visit in Thailand. There was so much of this. So many places claiming to be a saving grace for these animals when in actuality it’s the very opposite.
This obviously does not ring true for all animal rescues/sanctuaries. Because these big cats have been bred in the US they wouldn’t be able to go into the wild unprepared. But providing the resources to help teach these animals to survive or giving them an open space to roam free rather than be in a 10×10 cage.
In a time where we’re all feeling “caged in”, stuck & have a sense of lack of freedom I want to ask everyone to think about animals that live their entire lives in a cage. The difference for them—there’s no reason other than our own entertainment. Could you imagine going through everything we’re going through just so someone/something else is entertained?
*edited to add we watched it the first night it was on Netflix