Waconia, MINNESOTA—On Aug. 10, the Humane Society of the United States attended the Carver County Fair Tiger Encounter exhibit to witness firsthand how the animals were being treated in a show that claims to raise awareness about the plight of tigers in the wild and their rapid rate to extinction. Instead, this show and others like it only just perpetuate the cruel treatment of captive wild animals.

Zack Eichten, Minnesota state director for the Humane Society of the United States, released the following statement about the “appalling display” he witnessed:

”The heartbreaking cruelty, fear of punishment, confinement and blatant danger on display at the Carver County Fair’s Tiger Encounter is a recipe for disaster. No wild animal should ever be forced to entertain the public and to experience the treatment I witnessed.

The animals were visibly stressed, forced to perform, going from one small platform to another, surrounded by loud music, large noisy crowds at every turn in an extremely confined space made of a temporary fence with a flimsy mesh roof. They were pacing, looking for a way out, confused, and the trainer used the threat of a whip manipulate them. Fairgoers could then pay $5 to feed them after the performance.

These are wild animals and this is downright cruel. Their health and well-being are obviously not a consideration here, or at the other shows just like it all around the country. The public was just a few feet away from tigers who remain dangerous wild animals and who could escape, injure someone, or worse. 

The Carver County Fair Board must do the right thing and stop supporting the abuse of animals by promoting traveling animal acts and stop putting the community in danger.” 

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