START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
Jul 30, 2007

"We're Not Supposed To Be Here"

I have been contemplating whether to write about an experience I recently had - now, looking at the pictures I took and the strong feelings that still burn deep within me, I feel that it is my obligation to do so.

From June 27th to July 1st, there was a carnival held in a nearby town. I received a flyer in the mail, and what caught my eye was an advertisement for a "Free Tiger Show." I knew that was bad news, and I thought I would just stay away from it. If just reading about it upset me, actually witnessing it would be worse.

Well, curiosity and anger got the better of me, and I went to the carnival. I walked over to the area where the "show" was to be held. There were flyers posted around the gate outside the "performance ring" that billed the show as "The Exotic Tiger and Lion Show" with the show times being 3pm, 7pm and 9pm.

Inside the ring there were pedestals, a standing pole with a hoop attached on the top, two gates, and a long platform. I had such bad vibes from this and then, I felt even worse. Behind the ring I saw the trailer that housed the cats. I saw a white tiger laying down and blankly staring out from behind the bars, and an orange tiger that just kept pacing back and forth in his cage. It was very difficult for me to see them like this. All I kept thinking was "They're not supposed to be here."

Close to showtime, music began to resonate through the speakers. A woman appeared and proceeded to tell us about herself, the handler (5th and 6th generation animal handlers - I learned their names were Georgina and Vincent Van Duke,) and "their babies." The show included a male lion, a lioness, a white tiger, a Bengal tiger, and a Siberian tiger. Each cat was introduced and the handler released them into the ring where they were directed to their pedestals. Profound sadness filled my heart as I watched these magnificent animals being reduced to sitting on their "assigned seats" and being gawked at. I not only felt sad, but I was very angry too.

We were told the white tiger is "an endangered species," but now its' numbers are increasing due to breeding here in the United States. I'm sure many watching did not realize that the white tiger is not a natural occurrence and it is severe inbreeding that produces white tiger cubs. Most are born with physical problems such as *immune deficiency, strabismus (crossed eyes), scoliosis of the spine (distorted spine), cleft palates, mental impairments and early death.* (*source:

Once again, I implore everyone to visit Big Cat Rescue's page about "The White Tiger Fraud" at:

Then it was time for the "real show" to begin. The cats walked across a long platform placed atop higher pedestals, jumped over gates, (the male lion just crawled under the gates - part of "the show") and one of the tigers jumped through a ring of fire.

After the show, each cat jumped over a barrier back into his or hers cages. As a special added attraction, a young male lion was released into the ring. He was tossed a ragged cardboard box to play with (an enrichment session??)

Even though I knew this would probably be what the so-called show was like, I was appalled to watch these majestic animals degraded and exploited.

These big, beautiful cats were not meant to be caged, and performing such inane acts. I wondered how they were cared for - if they were cared for, and what their life must be like - caged and hauled in a trailer from town to town . At times when I looked at the tigers it almost seemed they were looking right at me - right through me. I know "our eyes met." My heart was a maelstrom of emotions - sad, angry, disturbed and wishing somehow I could help them. Only those who share a deep love for these cats can understand it. If in some small way this message reaches people and makes them realize that this is not the environment for these cats to be in - I will feel I did something to help them and be their voice. That is why I decided to write this; to express my feelings and to let people know -
this is wrong.

For more information on legislation for the big cats, please visit: Big Cat Rescue's Legislative Action Center at:

Please view my accompanying video about "The Exotic Tiger & Lion Show" at either of the following:

For The Tiger & All The Big Cats

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday July 30, 2007, 5:27 pm
Tags: [add/edit tags]

Group Discussions
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:

Iain Cooke (387)
Saturday August 18, 2007, 11:52 am
thanks for posting this!

Carole Baskin (44)
Saturday December 13, 2008, 8:43 am
Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Needs YOU Today!

Please send this letter to the Iberville Parish council before 12/17/08 and, if you can, please attend their meeting on Dec. 16 at 6 PM at Iberville Parish Courthouse 2ND Floor, 58050 Meriam Street Plaquemine, LA 225-687-3257

Thank you for having the foresight to enact an ordinance that prohibits private ownership of wild, exotic, animals for exhibition. Please support the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries' decision to remove Tony the tiger from the inappropriate truck stop location so that he can be sent to an accredited sanctuary. This action will end the decades of complaints lodged by so many who have witnessed this disgraceful display.

Big Cat Rescue, the world's largest accredited sanctuary devoted entirely to big cats, stands ready with an enormous enclosure that is shaded by trees, full of grass, tree trunks, two caves, one set in a hill, and a pool with constant circulation of spring water. This overlooks a lake, skirted by cattails and frequented by Mallard ducks and swans. Tony will have all of this to himself and you can rest easy knowing that you upheld the law. If exceptions are made to the rules, then rules don't mean much, do they?

Thursday February 5, 2009, 7:39 pm
Thanks we need people like YOU!


Dee D.
female , single, 2 children
Palisades Park, NJ, USA
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nUpdates From The Animal Legal Defense Fund  May 7, 2012: In today’ hearing in Baton Rouge, District Judge Janice Clark agreed that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to the lawsuit filed b...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nTigers are in crisis and need you to help persuade the New Jersey Legislature to pass Senate Bill 945/Assembly Bill 2200, the most important state bill package existing for them today. S945 passed the Senate unanimously last month and we now need ...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nApril 5th, 2012After Baton Rouge Court’ Ruling Revoking Invalid Permit, ALDF Files Lawsuit Demanding Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Put an End to Owner’ Illegal Possession of the Big Cat For immediate relea...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\n\nNikita in her enclosure in Ohio. Link to video at the end of this article.Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:37pmDana Thayer and photojournalist Adam Jagunich, FOX 21 NewsSANDSTONE - After 28 hours and 800 miles on the road, this trailor has a few more feet to go ...

(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\nNew connection between stacked solar cells can handle energy of 70,000 sunsFri, 09/06/2013 - 8:57am\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\ \n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\nTh e discovery means solar cell manufacturers can create stacked solar cells that can handle high-intensity solar energie...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\nS EPTEMBER 4, 2013 BY CHRIS F\\n\\r\\nJersey Shore Events on the Weekend of September 6-8, 2013\\r\\n\\r\\ nThe summer season is officially over, but real summer keeps going at the Jersey Shore. Now it’s the time for lots o...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nUS DOE Loan Program Financed $16 Billion in Renewables and More Coming\\r\\n\\r\\n\\nChri s Meehan August 28, 2013  |  \\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n& nbsp;Print\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r \\n\\n\\r\\n\\nThe Department of Energy\\\'s Loan Programs Office (LPO) loaned $16...
(1 comments  |  discussions )
\\nSummer Solar Powered Chandelier\\r\\n\\n\\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\ \r\\nA few years ago I saw several blogs showing how they took an old, ugly chandelier, and turned it into beautiful lighting for their laundry room.I immediately started to look for one and th...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nSolar Wind Energy Tower Receives Patent For Atmospheric Energy Extraction Device\\r\\nby Staff WritersAnnapolis MD (SPX) May 28, 2013\\r\\nFile image.\\r\\n\\r\\nSolar Wind Energy Tower has been awarded an allowance of Patent Application Number 13/098,476, ...

Mar 31
Blog: How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers by Kayleigh L.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nHow to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers \\r\\n \\r\\nCorlis Engine Review\\r\\nEvery user desires to prolong the life of a unit. TRIAD assists their clients in achieving this important objective by informing them of ways they can avoid problems... more
Feb 27
Blog: Dr Oz Weight Loss - The 100% Natural And Very Efficient Diet Pill by Debra S.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nYes, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia Extract (HCA) the Holy Grail of Weight Loss. He went on to say, “Anytime I see a scientist get this excited about something like Garcinia Cambogia Extract and when I looked through some of this research and... more
Blog: My Favorite Websites by krysta I.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nIFAW:\\r\\nOCEANA\\r\\nPETA:\\r\\nEARTH 911:\\r\\nANI MALs ASIA:\\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\n more
Feb 21
Blog: testing one two three by Geoff M.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — hello world more
Blog: Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 by Dany M.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions ) — \\nGarcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20\\r\\nGarcinia Cambogia System The Dr. Oz Lose Weight Quick Process Without Having Side Effects\\r\\nHe went on to say, “At any time I see a researcher... more
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.