This tiger snapped for one second and earned a full minute of endless whipping.
As True Activist has reported many times before, wild animals don’t belong in circuses, yet thousands of them find themselves being harmed everyday as they endure the cruel treatment of ‘caretakers’ for entertainment. Tigers are among those animals that are forced to work for a living and are repeatedly abused, and a recent incident shows just how readily trainers will harm the animals to force them to behave.
A trainer recently working at Pensacola’s Interstate Fair in Florida was knocked to the ground after one of the tigers began nudging at her leg to push her over. Within one second, that same tiger was on top of the trainer and began mouthing at the woman’s legs. Though it doesn’t seem as though the ‘bites’ were meant to be lethal at first, any effort on a tiger’s part to harm someone else will likely result in at least breaks in the skin.
Since the trainers knew how bad the situation can get when a wild animal is allowed too much freedom to act aggressively, they intervened immediately and began whipping him mercilessly. The tiger then grabs the trainer’s leg and drags her across the enclosure, where the other trainer follows and continues with the beating.
When the tiger finally lets go, the trainers do not ease up on the whipping until the tiger backs all the way up onto a pedestal. While an argument can be made for needing to save the human’s life, this situation would have never occurred if circuses refrained from keeping wild animals locked in small places and forcing them into domestication and entertainment. Tigers are incapable of being completely domestic, but even if they were able to do that their horrible housing and stressful lives would lead them to strike out like this particular tiger did.
What’s worse about this situation is that dozens of people watched as this incident went down, including tons of children who were visiting on a school trip. Adults and children alike stood there shocked as this poor animal was beaten into submission in front of them. If this is how they’re treated with civilians around, one can only imagine the treatment they get behind closed doors. Susan Bass, PR director for Florida’s Big Cat Rescue (BCR), said,
“It’s as simple as turning your back, and in this case the woman seems to have stumbled when messing with the tiger. And as soon as she fell, he saw her in a different way, and his instincts took over, and he thought, ‘Well, this is prey’ … or maybe he thought she was even playing with him. He’s only a cub.”
Though trainers will have you believe that their big cats are only trained through positive-reinforcement, it’s clear that their training actually consists of fear-based training. Even when the tigers aren’t being whipped or beaten, they often bear scars caused by fighting from being in such close quarters behind-the-scenes. They are never allowed to have enrichment nor are they allowed to swim or roam freely in an open space, all of which are important parts of a tiger’s life.
If you’re more concerned about the human’s life in situations like these, that’s reason enough to take action against these wild animal practices. The trainer in the video had many years of experience and exclusively works with tigers to put on shows regularly, yet she was still knocked down easily and attacked. It’s too easy for wild animals to take advantage of situations and turn on their trainers or keepers because of their instincts.
To prevent further incidents such as this, boycott all circuses or shows that involve wild animals to send a message to the entertainment industry about what you think of animal shows.
Watch the video below to see the incident unfold.
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