Solutions for Protecting Big Cats from Roadside Zoos and the Abusive “Pet” Trade

Alicia Prygoski
The trade in big cats is an expansive, nationwide problem that flourishes due to the lack of federal laws and regulations.

The trade in big cats is an expansive, nationwide problem that flourishes due to the lack of federal laws and regulations.

Moreiso via GettyImages

At this very moment, there are currently more tigers living in captivity in the United States than there are in the wild. The Netflix docuseries, Tiger King, has captivated the nation. Unfortunately, the series focused more on the eccentric roadside zoo owners, big cat breeders, and the drama between them than it did on the abuse and neglect of big cats at roadside zoos. Protecting big cats from the abuse and neglect they face in private hands and at roadside zoos requires a multifaceted, complex solution. Stronger laws and regulations at all levels of government, more stringent enforcement of existing laws, and effective lawsuits can help protect big cats from cruelty and curb the private big cat trade’s proliferation.

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