The Pros and Cons of Keeping Tigers In Captivity Essay

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“The tiger is the biggest of the big cats, reaching an extraordinary 4 meters in length and 350 kilograms in weight-as heavy as 100 domestic cats!” (“Tiger Facts” 1). That is one big cat! You might think that such a large predator would thrive, but tigers are an endangered species, and have been for years. “Intelligent and agile, big cats are ideally designed to hunt, with sharp teeth and claws, strong jaws, powerful bodies, excellent eyesight, acute hearing and a good sense of smell” (“Tiger Facts” 1). They are also very beautiful; these are some of the reasons why tigers are used in circuses, displayed in zoos, seen at fairs, and even kept as personal pets. Keeping tigers captive can be good or bad taking into account the feeding and…show more content…
When driven by hunger, it is known to eat almost anything from frogs, fish, and birds, to other predators like leopards or bears. Its preferred food, however, is deer and wild boar” (Sinha 40-41). Watching any cat, domestic or wild, will provide insight on how a tiger hunts for its prey. When the tiger spots something they crouch low and wait for the perfect moment to pounce, and considering that the prey is generally smaller than them, they are successful in the catch. However, other times they may miss the target and have to go hungry for a day or two. In captivity tigers are limited in their food choices; they are fully dependant upon their keeper for food, water, and all their necessities. This means the keepers need to be responsible and knowledgeable in this area. Unfortunately there are many tigers that are underfed or not given the proper mix of nutrients. Shannon is a keeper at the Natural Science Center. In an interview she stated that their tigers “…eat the Nebraska Brand Feline Diet; the main ingredient is horsemeat. Once a week we give them only beef knuckles because they need to fast occasionally” (Rives). Tigers need protein and vitamins just like any human in order to keep them strong and healthy. The portions for each tiger vary based on their size. “The female eats 1 and 3 quarters of a roll, and the male
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