of this phenomena is that breeders are producing great cats
in record numbers to fill a growing demand. Lion or tiger
cubs can be bought for as little as $300 from the back of
pickup trucks, at flea markets, in bar parking lots, etc.;
anywhere a quick impulse buy from a naive consumer might occur.
The result is that today in the United States, it is estimated
that there are more tigers (for example) owned as pets, housed
in trailers, backyards, basements, etc., than are left alive
in the wild. The number of tigers alone is projected at over
ten thousand, which does not account for lions, cougars, or
is great cats were never intended to be pets. Very few people
have the time, space, finances, and commitment it takes to
own one. Consider that the cute ball of fur most people acquire,
in the case of a tiger for example, at 12 months old will
be a 100 pound animal capable of inflicting serious damage
in play. It will most like weigh over 300 lbs. within another
twelve months, requiring a covered enclosure that should be
20 feet by 40 by 10 feet tall, not to mention that it will
eat eight to ten lbs. of meat a day. Turn your back on this
animal and it may be the last thing you ever do; not because
it would want to harm you, but because as it jumped on your
back in play (which is its natural instinct), chances for
your survival are not good. Sometime in its third year, the
cub will become an adolescent and its personality will permanently
change as it becomes what it was born to be; an animal that
get want it wants on impulse. Then it will need a safe place
to stay for the remainder of its lifespan which is somewhere
around 20 to 25 years in captivity.
when that cute little cub that liked to suck your finger like
a pacifier becomes 400 lbs. and eats 10 lbs. a meat a day.
That is the main problem. Most people who acquire a big cat
don't think this far ahead. For most, it was an impulsive
decision or a following through of a half-baked dream. The
result either way is one more crisis with which the sanctuaries
who are set us to help these animals have to deal or the poor
animal ends up spending the rest of its life in a small cage
hidden away in someone's back lot or basement.
side of this coin, is this type of demand also draws some
people into this industry who only want to make money. Unfortunately,
we read all too regularly about the incredible abuse some
animals have undergone, living in cramped, squalid conditions
due to unscrupulous breeders only out to make a buck.
naive purchaser who creates the demand is ultimately responsible
for the problem, so it is very important to educate people
as to the pitfalls of exotic cat ownership.
this growing trend is one of the goals of PrideRock.
If there was never another animal in crisis that needed
placement, that would be our dream come true. You can
help us educate as many people as possible by talking
about this problem with your friends and by getting
them to visit our web site. We sincerely appreciate
your interest and support.
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