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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: I didn’t know about tiger abuse until now

August 16, 2019
By ANNOEL KRIDER ( , Lake Placid News

I opened up my Facebook page the other day to find a posting from a friend that displayed a big photo of a tiger along with her comment, "I can't believe this is happening in my county."

After reading what was going on, I wanted to change the word "county" to "country" because once I dove into the research behind this event, I was surprised and horrified. It's painfully clear there are so many inhumane organizations in our country that initially present themselves as legitimate, but at the end of the day there exists underlying systems that behind the scenes are callous and brutal.

My friend's post displayed the headline that the Essex County Fair is having a tiger show this year presented by, according to their schedule of events, Nerger's Tigers. My initial reaction was "Why would an Adirondack county fair have a tiger show?" But then I immediately segued into "Who in the world is trekking around tigers to these county fairs? It can't be good."

Article Photos

Tiger artwork by Judy Scammell

For the record, I attempted phoning the Essex County Fair office multiple times and left a message to return my call, but there was no response by deadline. In the meantime, I thought I would give everyone the benefit of the doubt, so I did a little research.

However, when I googled Nerger's Tigers, the first website listed was Need I say more?

This same friend sent me a website called, and I was sadly enlightened to the deplorable life that tigers face in this country. I didn't know that this country bred tigers in environments similar to puppy mills. Like puppies, they breed them to sell. There are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than there exists in the rest of the world. A female tiger in its natural habitat will have up to 3 litters in her lifetime, amounting to about 10 to 12 cubs. In a tiger mill, they are bred to have 10 to 12 cubs a year and essentially are bred to death. The cubs, at two days old and still blind, are pulled away from their mothers. They are bottle fed until between 2 and 4 weeks when they are sold to groups for petting tours and various other dubious organizations.

Of course, it's not long before they become too large and dangerous for little children to pet, so they are then sold to roadside sanctuaries under the auspices of a wildlife-caring sanctuary, but in fact a majority of these facilities are just another form of entertainment for the public and animal abuse.

The Tigers in American website shows one of those sanctuaries. Hiding in between the viewing area and sanctuary tours, there is the tiger habitat and breeding area with unclean cages, dirty water and in the wood chips provided for their bedding were found nails and other metal remnants. Out of the 75 tigers they had at this facility, one-third of them had severe medical conditions. Some of these animals would eventually be sold for body parts. There are now so many tigers in this country that they no longer serve a purpose, and zoos don't want them so their destiny is premature death.

There does exist respectable and humane tiger sanctuaries in the U.S. and the Tigers in America website lists them along with the reasons why they are legitimate. A couple of those reasons listed are no public interaction with the tigers and no transporting tigers off the sanctuary to sites for the purpose of amusement.

We can be pardoned for being misinformed but not for ignoring our instincts, which usually tell us all we need to know. I didn't know that there are 7,000 tigers in captivity in this country and 50 tiger mills. Nevertheless, what I did know, instinctually, was that having a tiger show at a fair or anywhere is not only a bad idea but cruel and inhumane.



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