Tigers, lions, and other wild animals used in film and television productions are often born into captivity and typically taken away from their mothers at birth so that they become dependent on humans for survival. Not only is using big cats for entertainment cruel, it’s also dangerous for humans and sends the message that big cats are playthings to be used for our amusement rather than living beings with their own need and desires.
Such was the case on a live TV show, during which lion handlers were interviewed next to a woman and her young daughter. The young lion, who was being restrained by only a leash and harness, lunged, grabbed onto the child’s clothes, and tried to pull her away as she screamed in fear. Luckily, the little girl was not physically hurt, but the incident could’ve been much worse.
WATCH: Terrifying moment lion attacks baby on live Mexican TV. #TenNews
Big cats are NOT cuddly kitties who can be used and abused for our entertainment—they’re wild animals, and captivity does not take away their instincts. Attacks on people by captive big cats—which occur surprisingly often—are the result of the stress, anxiety, and agitation that the animals experience every day of their lives. Just earlier this summer, a woman died and her daughter was severely injured after tigers attacked them at Beijing Badaling Safari World.
Wild-animal “performers” are almost always subjected to abusive training methods like beatings, the use of electric prods, psychological torment, and food deprivation so that they’ll perform on cue. When they reach adulthood and are no longer easily dominated, many animals are discarded at roadside zoos or other substandard facilities. Lions and tigers may even end up at “canned hunt” facilities, where they’re shot by trophy hunters, and other big cats could be killed for their skin and organs.
What you can do
When you see live animals on screen, think about what they experienced before and after their “debut.” Never buy tickets to see a film or participate in an activity that uses live animals—and encourage your friends and family to do the same.