Target: United States Department of Agriculture
Goal: Ban tiger swims at private Florida zoo where cubs are being forced to swim for money
The life of tiger cub Tony is stressful as he swims for safety every day of his young life at the hands of a zoo handler and paying visitors. Tony lives at the mercy of a zoo service provided by one private Florida zoo to swim in a pool with zoo customers for the high price of $200 for a half hour. Of course, Tony the 6-week old baby cub does not benefit from this high paying job, but is instead swimming for his life between pool edges hoping not to drown. In order to uphold the Animal Cruelty Act, it is extremely important that the United States Department of Agriculture tell the private Florida zoo to immediately end this service.
These zoo-bred cubs are torn from their mothers within the first days or even hours of their lives and forced to play in a swimming pool with high paying customers. Randy Stearns, the head animal trainer and president of Wild Things in Dade City Florida, said of the tiger swim service provided by the zoo, “It’s kind of a limited time that we can do it in Florida. You can only interact with the tiger until they are 40-pounds.” This should come as no surprise as tigers are in fact wild animals that belong in the wild–not a zoo that manipulates young cubs against their will for profit and entertainment.
Activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the World Wildlife Fund, Born Free and Big Cat Rescue are working hard to ban cruel cub swims. Tiger swims are not just found in this one private Florida zoo, but also at Arizona’s Out of Africa Park where full grown tigers play alongside their trainers for fans watching behind fences. The growing popularity of close human contact with wild animals must not continue to be enforced by inhumane zoo services but should instead end at all costs for the protection of innocent animals.
Ask the USDA to set Tony the cub and many other captive animals free from being held against their will. The Animal Cruelty Act must be enforced with the ban of these zoo practices to protect the wild animals from future harm and unfair treatment.
Dear United States Department of Agriculture,
It was disturbing to see the footage of a tiger cub struggling to reach the pool edges at a private Florida zoo in hopes not to drown. Tony the tiger is only 6 weeks old and being held against his will by a zoo trainer, forced to swim with high paying costumers in a swimming pool. This expensive job is unfair for Tony and many other wild animals who are torn from their mothers at an early age to perform for human entertainment and profit. In an effort to support the Animal Cruelty Act, this service at the private Florida zoo Wild Things must immediately end.
I am writing to ask that you ban all practices within zoo walls that force wild animals to participate in tasks that are cruel and stressful. Please take the necessary disciplinary action to protect these wild animals such as Tony from further harm. It is sad enough that wild animals are being held in zoo cages cut off from their natural habitats. The endorsement of human contact with wild animals at zoo’s with services such as tiger cub swims must be stopped to avoid the growing popularity of inhumane treatment towards wild animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Flickr via moocatmoocat