I’ve always wanted to see a tiger. Big cats in general are a fascination for me but tigers in particular hold a little piece of my heart.
When I say I’ve always wanted to see a big cat, I mean in the wild. Where they belong, where they are meant to be. Where they were intended to be.
Yet countless circuses are still allowed to parade these animals to the public, teach them tricks, cage them. It isn’t of course just the big cats, there are the elephants, the zebras and many more.
Last year, after the massive publicity regarding Anne the elephant, a lot of the public finally woke up and joined the cry, that many of us have had as long as we have had intelligent thought, that these animals do not belong in circuses.
The Government claim that they will impose this ban. Some time before 2015. The MPs voted in the Commons last year for the ban of wild animals in circuses, yet now we hear “Oh but we have to change the licensing, then hopefully implement the ban”. This does not placate me.
What the Government should have been doing, and continue to be doing with regard to the ban is find out exactly what animals are where, find alternative places for them, work effectively with DEFRA and bring the ban into force.
Let’s be realistic, these animals can never be re-introduced into the wild, it is far too late for that and whilst I do have a problem with zoos, there are some of them that have integrity, are sanctuaries and do work with getting wild animals back to where they should be, in the wild.
Future generations of these circus animals could end up back in the wild, that gives me hope. An animal in a cage, on display for the public does not.
Numbers of the big cats have been in decline for as long as I can remember. Deforestation, hunters, poachers, everyone in the world is an enemy to the big cat. Would you like to live in a world where there are none of these beautiful creatures left in the wild but instead, behind bars? Because I wouldn’t.
Which would you prefer. This?