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Guide The Dark Side of the Tiger

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Tigers were particularly highly priced in royal and aristocratic menageries as dangerous predators were seen to embody the political and physical prowess of their owners. Wild cats were also exhibited for popular audiences in circuses and other traveling shows. The intensive traffic in wildlife was largely facilitated by colonial expansion. That is why European port cities, as the centers for colonial commerce, were the first to open public zoos.

In the aftermath of decolonization and the introduction of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in , the lucrative business of capturing and trading exotic animals came to an end. Faced with the termination of a supply of specimens caught in the wild, zoological parks resorted to captive breeding. Source: Wikimedia Commons. They did so, on the one hand to ensure they retained rare species in their collections and, on the other hand, to redirect their mission: from entertainment towards conservation. But even after this period, research, education and conservation did not always drive captive breeding in zoos.

Even non-commercial breeding does not always prioritize animal welfare. Many zoos, for example, are still devoted to breeding white tigers. This rare variation of the Bengal tiger has distinctive white fur coloring with pale chocolate stripes and mesmerizing blue eyes. The extraordinary coating results from a genetic mutation, which as a recessive trait is expressed only if both parents carry the mutation.

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This inclined the zoos to practice inbreeding, often pairing off siblings in hope for a white-furred offspring. All white tigers in captivity today are related , having a common ancestor captured in —the wild-caught cub named Mohan that was the pride of Maharaja of Rewa, an Indian royalty who was determined to breed these rare wild cats.

Captive Tigers

After several failed attempts, in the first white cubs were born in India from the union of Mohan and his daughter Radha. Captive tigers in the Czech Republic. Today she would be worth eight times more. While the royal ancestry of this exotic feline vividly stimulated the imagination of American zoogoers, her main task at the National Zoo was to produce more offspring of her kind.

The demand for these extremely rare animals often justifies pairing off closely related tigers, even though inbred animals are prone to acquiring crippling defects including shortened legs, kidney problems and crossed eyes, as well as psychological issues. The tigers slaughtered in the Czech Republic were not bred in zoos but in a private facility, yet their story should put captive breeding in general into question. Today, tigers are bred outside of their natural habitats for a variety of reasons: for zoos, exhibitions, circuses performances, or as pets.

Tiger cubs are often displayed in petting zoos and subjected to the cruel practice of declawing. Adult tigers are drugged to pose in photos. People still see these extremely dangerous carnivores as proxies for luxury and sexiness. But hopefully attitudes are changing. But more attention should be paid to the plight of the enormous captive population of tigers across the world. This article was updated on November 26 to correct the stated number of captive tigers in the US. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Search and Keywords. Life Sciences. Natural Philosophy. Many zoos, for example, are still devoted to breeding white tigers. This rare variation of the Bengal tiger has distinctive white fur colouring with pale chocolate stripes and mesmerising blue eyes. The extraordinary coating results from a genetic mutation, which as a recessive trait is expressed only if both parents carry the mutation. This inclined the zoos to practice inbreeding, often pairing off siblings in hope for a white-furred offspring. All white tigers in captivity today are related , having a common ancestor captured in — the wild-caught cub named Mohan that was the pride of Maharaja of Rewa, an Indian royalty who was determined to breed these rare wild cats.

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After several failed attempts, in the first white cubs were born in India from the union of Mohan and his daughter Radha. Today she would be worth eight times more. While the royal ancestry of this exotic feline vividly stimulated the imagination of American zoogoers, her main task at the National Zoo was to produce more offspring of her kind. The demand for these extremely rare animals often justifies pairing off closely related tigers, even though inbred animals are prone to acquiring crippling defects including shortened legs, kidney problems and crossed eyes, as well as psychological issues.

The tigers slaughtered in the Czech Republic were not bred in zoos but in a private facility, yet their story should put captive breeding in general into question. Today, tigers are bred outside of their natural habitats for a variety of reasons: for zoos, exhibitions, circuses performances or as pets. Tiger cubs are often displayed in petting zoos and subjected to the cruel practice of declawing.

Adult tigers are drugged to pose in photos. People still see these extremely dangerous carnivores as proxies for luxury and sexiness. But hopefully attitudes are changing. And most recently, due to public pressure, China was forced to reinstate a newly lifted ban on using tiger bone and rhino horn in medicine.


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But more attention should be paid to the plight of the enormous captive population of tigers across the world. This article was updated on November 26 to correct the stated number of captive tigers in the US. A contemporary Robinsonade — York, York. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom.

THE HUNTER (amba) - PHmuseum

Handout Czech Customs Authority. A bath in the house raided by Czech authorities. Handout Czech Customs Authority Captive tigers With only 3, left in the wild, the tiger family Panthera tigris is the only big cat listed as endangered , with two subspecies critically endangered.


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Bones discovered by Czech authorities. Handout Czech Customs Authority Regal wildcats The idea of protecting endangered species through captive breeding in zoos is relatively new, but has a much longer and darker history.

THE HUNTER (amba)

Wikimedia Commons They did so, on the one hand to ensure they retained rare species in their collections and, on the other hand, to redirect their mission: from entertainment towards conservation. White tigers Many zoos, for example, are still devoted to breeding white tigers. Captive tigers in the Czech Republic.