Massillon Washington High School in Ohio has been purchasing a tiger cub every year for the past 40 years. The cub is exploited as the football team’s mascot and forced to endure parades, football games and being carted around for show.
The tradition of buying a new cub every year and naming him “Obie” has become a staple in the Ohio town. While many residents believe the cubs are well taken care of, California activist Amanda Whelan recently started a petition to end this practice. The petition is directed to the US Department of Agriculture and states “This barbaric yearly cub purchase is not about “school pride”; it is a cruel practice and must be stopped.” We at Big Cat Allies could not agree more. The cubs are not only subjected to being exploited at a very young age, but once these cubs get too big to be handled safely, they are “retired” as the mascot and shipped off to some other place to live. Unfortunately, where they end up could sentence them to a life of deplorable and inhumane conditions. Read more about why breeding cubs for commercial use is wrong and the welfare issues big cats are often forced to endure. Educate yourself and share with others as to why it’s so important to end the demand for tiger cubs.
By exploiting a tiger cub year after year, Massillon Washington High School is sending the message to its residents, to the country, and most importantly to the children of its town, that it’s acceptable to exploit young tiger cubs. They are projecting the image that tiger cubs can be domesticated and encouraging the idea that tigers and other big cats could be a pet. Many big cat cubs are bred for pets in the United States, but most of the time those tigers are given up or abandoned because they are simply too dangerous and too expensive to properly care for once they get too big. In order to educate and change the world, it’s important to start with the children and unfortunately the children in this town are being taught that it’s acceptable to exploit endangered animals and it’s acceptable to domesticate a very dangerous, wild animal. Check out why tigers make bad pets to eliminate any fantasy that they could make a fine pet.
Tigers are one of the rarest animals on earth. Over the past century, the wild population has plummeted from 100,000 to little more than 3,000. By purchasing a cub each year, Massillon Washington High School is only adding demand to the exotic pet trade. Ultimately, the exotic pet trade is largely responsible for the decline of tiger populations in the past century. As long as there is a demand for tigers and tiger parts, poaching will not stop.
What this whole situation should bring attention to is the fact that the United States does not have any federal law that bans private ownership or breeding of tigers and other big cats. The Big Cats and Public Safety Act proposes to do just that and you can help by supporting this bill.
The petition to end the Ohio School’s tradition needs 20,000 signatures, so you can do your part in helping end this horrible tradition by taking one minute to sign it! The tiger cubs greatly appreciate you speaking up for them!