Native to much of Asia, wild tigers once roamed territories as large as 39 square miles, but due to poaching and loss of habitat, the wild tiger population has dwindled from around 100,000 to around 3,000 worldwide. Captive tigers suffer from neglect and abuse in private menageries, roadside zoos and circuses.
The myth that tiger parts can cure various ailments fuels poaching and black-market trade across the predator’s native Asia. Private menageries and roadside zoos subject tigers to cramped, barren housing, inadequate diets and little stimulation or enrichment. Circuses and tourist traps that offer big cat cubs as photo props often whip, beat or drug the cats to force compliance.
Tigers enjoy bathing and will often take a dip in ponds, lakes and rivers.
A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would ensure that only qualified, professionally-run facilities could own big cats.