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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 05-30-2018, 06:12 AM by peter )

BEWARE OF THE TIGER 

This is the title of one episode of a Louis Theroux series on issues that made headlines. In the US, captive big cats did and still do. Time for a visit, Theroux concluded.

One of the facilities he visited (JW, Oklahoma?) had over 160 captive tigers (...). The director, a former police officer, had invested everything he had in the facility. In spite of that, financial problems were close. One way to get the bills paid is experiments. When the director explained Louis about an experiment in which a male lion and a tigress with a remarkable background feature, the male lion, protecting his girl, told them to move on. Now.

Louis was impressed and so was the director. According to the director, the lion, when offered the opportunity, wouldn't kill him right away. Captive male lions play with their human victims. As long as possible. There's no salvation. A male lion confronted by armed keepers will cover his human victim with his body. The only way to get to the victim as fast as possible is to shoot the aggressor. As this is not easy, the director said he had instructed his staff to shoot him when a male lion would get hold of him.

In line with the ideas of the trainers, keepers and directors I interviewed. They knew about captive male lions and my guess is the director of JW also knows. I'm not saying he witnessed an accident, but he was a bit too sure about captive male lions and humans.         

Just before Louis said goodbye, he was informed about another experiment. This time, the aim is to recreate a Pleistocene big cat.

I visited a number of facilities in the northwestern part of Europe. I also saw a few documentaries and read a number of books. In my opinion, most directors of private facilities are very close in a number of ways. When they start, they have the money needed. The problem is a lack of overview and, in quite a few cases, a lack of knowledge. Sooner or later, financial problems emerge. In order to solve them, the owner often has no option but to do a few things he would have avoided when he would have had a choice.

Not a few of us are quite tough when private facilities are discussed. My advice is to refrain from judgement. All owners I know are interested in animals. Always were and always will be. They know about the plight of wild animals in general and big cats in particular. They want to help in some way or another. The difference with others is they act when the opportunity offers itself. The problem is they often do not realize that a facility is not very different from any other business. As they often do not generate enough money to pay the bills, problems never are far away. When they realize that there's no way out, limits can evaporate. 

The Varty's of this world often struggle as a result of the reasons explained. I don't mind you raising your finger, as long as you remember they care. Going down as a result of a lack of overview and quality is different from going down as a result of bad intentions.

Do the cats know? It depends. In the facilities I visited, most did. How do I know? I saw many, and I mean many, situations that could have ended in a tragic way. They never did, because the cats seemed to be able to distinguish between stress, clumsyness and something else.

I said 'most did', meaning not all. Meaning adult male lions are different from other big cats. Those who know about wild lions often talk with respect about them. There are plenty of examples of lions returning that respect. The know about the difference between different species of primates. For this reason, apart from a few regions, attacks on humans are few. Captive male lions, on the other hand, never had the opportunity to learn about that. They learned about the world of the lion. All other species are prey. When they see humans, they seem uninterested at best. When they're forced to work with them, I see a mix of fear, anger and something that seems to be close to disrespect. All captive big cats fear humans, but in male lions anger and disrespect seem as important, if not more so. 

Captive lions can't know about the African plains and nights, prides and the freedom to be a lion no matter what, can they? And yet they do. They also seem to sense we are involved in some way. The question is where the lack of respect started.
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United States paul cooper Offline
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This is the most bizarre thing i have ever seen from Clyde Beatty. Punishes a lion? This guy is kinda nuts..

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