How are Rich People Able to Buy Exotic Pets Like Tigers?

As you may or may not know, there are around
twice as many tigers in the United States, around 5,000-10,000, as there are in the wild
in the rest of the world, with the vast majority of those big cats belonging not to zoos, but
private owners who keep them as pets. So how are people legally able to acquire
these animals? To begin with, at the federal level, there
are no real regulations on the sale of these particular exotic animals outside of the Captive
Wild Animal Safety Act of 2003, which was put in place to try to quell the rise in popularity
of people purchasing big cats. However, this is extremely limited in scope,
mostly just banning, outside of certain exceptions, transporting them across state lines. That said, as most of these big cats are bred
locally in the U.S., and, particularly with cubs, it’s not difficult to transport them
across state lines without getting caught, this has proved a minimal hurdle in acquiring
such an animal. Further, given there is no federal registry
or the like of who has these animals, it likewise makes it relatively easy to flout the rules. On that note, there are a mishmash of laws
at the state level concerning tiger and other exotic animal ownership, but these are often
not strictly enforced, and in some cases there are no rules at all. For example, if you happen to live in Nevada,
Alabama, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and South Carolina you’ll find you can just go buy one
without telling anyone- no permit or license required, outside of the fact that North Carolina
allows counties to have their own rules here, and Wisconsin requires you get a permit if
you’re bringing the animal in from another state, which as noted is mostly illegal outside
of some exceptions. Additionally, there are at least a dozen more
states where buying an exotic pet like a lion or baboon requires simply filling out a bit
of paperwork and paying a small permit fee. On top of that, going back to states where
owning something like a tiger is illegal, there’s a loophole- a license from US Department
of Agriculture to display the animal. Specifically, most anyone can classify themselves
as an “exhibitor” under the USDA’s guidelines, which to quote them state, “Licensed exhibitors
include circuses, zoos, educational displays, petting farms/zoos, animal acts, wildlife
parks, marine mammal parks, and some sanctuaries.” The USDA offers no further clarification on
what exactly it constitutes, say an “educational display”, leaving it up to interpretation. So, for example, a person could, in theory,
obtain a license, buy a tiger and then put it in a cage with a printout of the Wikipedia
page for that breed of tiger next to it and then occasionally let friends and family see
their little educational exhibit. This would not only be perfectly legal, but
in some cases may even allow an especially enterprising individual to potentially write
the cost of the tiger off in their taxes if done right. As to the process to get that USDA license,
the fees are only $10 to apply and then around $30-$300 per year after that, varying based
how many animals and type you want to have. Beyond that, to qualify you just have to show
you have the minimum required facilities required by the USDA. Unfortunately for the tigers, this USDA minimum
is not anywhere close to the level considered needed by the Global Federation of Animal
Sanctuaries nor the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Also much to the chagrin of animal rights
activists, after you get the license, the government is notoriously lax when it comes
to regulating the facilities of licensed exhibitors, reportedly only checking in around once per
year typically, if at all. On top of that, as it is the job of the owner
of the animals to keep a record of what animals they have for the USDA to inspect when they
do come out, it’s not terribly difficult to hide the fact that you might have more animals
than you’re showing them, if you think you don’t have the minimum required facilities
for a given animal. Furthermore, even in cases where facilities
are found to fall below these standards, the more exotic animals are rarely confiscated
because, to put it simply, there’s often nowhere for them to go, with better equipped
sanctuaries and zoos already overrun thanks to many owners buying a cute little easy to
manage tiger cub, only to quickly find out they bit off more than they could chew when
the tiger potentially reaches 500-800 lbs and is up to 12 feet long from tip to tip… Naturally, once reality of taking care of
an adult tiger hits, a lot of owners place a rather desperate call to sanctuaries and
zoos to see if someone will take the animal. If unable to find a home, sadly, simply putting
the animals down isn’t uncommon. Factor in fairly minor fines and repercussions
for being caught violating the USDA’s rules here and there’s little incentive for a
person with tiger buying money to care about potentially incurring the wrath of the laws,
even sometimes the state level ones. Moving away from the US for a moment, in many
other parts of the world the ownership and sale of exotic creatures is regulated a little
more strictly, in the extreme in countries like Austria where owning a tiger is outright
banned outside of zoos and sanctuaries. For most countries, however, it is still allowed,
usually requiring the purchase of a license or permit, though generally with more regulations
to actually get the license. For example, in the UK, it’s actually perfectly
legal to own a tiger, but the laws surrounding the ownership of exotic animals are a little
more strict and more heavily enforced thanks to the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976. This stipulates that people must buy an annual
license and must adhere to strict guidelines and regular inspections, as well as carry
liability insurance for the animal in case it runs amok. As an aside, we’d like to note that the
Dangerous Wild Animal Act of 1976 is quite the read for anyone who’s interested and
it notes, amongst other things, that Britons are free to keep aardwolves (a bit like a
small hyena, but fascinatingly eats bugs mostly), otters, and seals as pets without a permit. In any event, given the slightly more strict
rules and tracking, it is known that in the UK exotic pets kept legally include 300 American
bison (some of the most dangerous creatures in the world to humans statistically, which
has hindered efforts towards their mass domestication for agriculture), over 500 monkeys, 250 poisonous
snakes, 50 crocodiles, 2,000 ostriches, and approximately 150 big cats, mostly leopards. As to why leopards are so popular, apparently
these are often used to interbreed with domestic cats- the idea being to create new, smaller
and slightly more domesticated versions of the animals to sell as pets. Moving on to actually purchasing the creatures,
up until 2014 in Britain, the one stop shop for an exotic pet was Harrods’ Pet Kingdom
in London. Prior to the introduction of the Endangered
Species Act 1976 the Pet Kingdom sold nearly every kind of animal requested, and even after
had quite the variety, at its peak containing a stock on hand that rivaled that of the London
Zoo. Wealthy Britons were known to be able to walk
into Harrods’ and casually buy three scarves and a crocodile, with the store having a reputation
for inscrutable standards of service- a fact epitomised by the story, whether true or not
is hard to determine, of the time King Zog of Albania called to inquire about buying
an elephant. Rather than think this might be a prank call,
the story goes that the concierge answering the phone simply responded without missing
a beat, “African or Indian, sir?” In more modern times, as we can attest, a
quick and very basic Google search is about all you need to do to find a slew of outlets
willing to sell you a tiger or many other such exotics animals, in some places, like
certain states of the U.S., even locally. This all brings us around to the cost of acquiring
said tiger. It turns out you don’t need to be rich at
all. If you’d like an adult tiger, this can sometimes
be acquired for free from an owner trying to get rid of theirs. As for cubs, depending on exact type, you
can usually find one for in the realm of $1000 to $3000, though they can be more expensive
for some of the most prized. For example, an albino tiger cub can cost
upwards of tens of thousands of dollars each. A further thing to consider on that one is
that those albino tigers are so incredibly inbred at this point that they come with massive
health care costs. This brings us to the first of the expensive
costs of owning a tiger- healthcare. As you can imagine, there are only a small
percentage of vets willing and skilled enough to attend a tiger, and they don’t exactly
offer their services on the animals cheap, typically. Further, in some cases, finding such a vet
requires actually transporting the tiger long distances, which is a bit more of a process
than simply throwing said animal in the back of your car. In fact, even if you can train your tiger
to put up with this (and you can manage to fit it in) and not be a risk to your driving
(or just you in general if they get antsy in cars), most vets will not accept a tiger
for care uncaged. Thus, for transport, it’s generally recommended
you purchase or construct a rather large, extremely sturdy cage, which then can be placed
in the back of a truck or on a trailer to be towed. Next up we have food. A full grown tiger will need in the ballpark
of 15 lbs (7 kg) of meat per day, plus supplemental nutrients as the horse and cow meat many owners
use doesn’t provide the diverse diet the animals need. That said, some intrepid individuals have
found ways around this rather large expenditure. For example, the co-author of this piece actually
grew up near a woman in Washington State who owned a pet black panther, a lion, a tiger,
a cougar she kept in her house, and an absolutely massive wolf- the only one of her animals
guests were not allowed to pet, or even go near at all, which was completely understandable
when watching the animal watch you as you walked within its eyesight. What it had on its mind was not subtle… This woman of fairly simple means was easily
able to supply the food needed for all her animals via road kill, mostly deer, she either
collected herself or was brought to her house by road care workers. She would typically throw a deer or two in
for the animals to chow down on per week, and otherwise made sure to stay out of the
cage if it had been a few days since they’d eaten. Of course, it’s one thing to have enough food,
a whole other thing entirely to have enough space to humanely keep the animals. For reference here, a typical male tiger naturally
has a range of around 40 square miles (about 100 square kilometers), whereas the females
tend to like around 7 square miles (about 18 square kilometers). Few have that kind of land, but even a small
acreage is tricky because tigers are notoriously good at escaping from even tall fences, leading
to many just throwing them in small cages to make sure they stay put and for general
safety. It’s at this point we should note that tigers
never stop seeing humans as prey, even the humans who raise them from their earliest
life. For example, one Cindy Gamble of Minnesota
who had cared for her tigers, among many other dangerous animals, for over a decade found
her life abruptly ended when, for whatever reason, her 500 lb pet Bengal tiger decided
to go ahead and kill her in 2006. In yet another case, this one in 2003, a 10
year old boy, Clayton James Eller, was shoveling snow when he got a little too close to his
aunt and uncle’s tiger cage, which had a small opening under the chain link fence so that
their dog could go in and play with the tiger. On that note, by all accounts up to that point,
the tiger in question had always been extremely friendly to humans, including Clayton, and
animals, such as their dog. Tragically for the boy and his family, that
particular day for whatever reason the 400 pound animal decided to reach under the fence,
grab Clayton and pull him in and precede to maul him. The boy’s uncle, James, almost immediately
rushed into the cage and with all his strength tried to get the the Tiger off the boy and
to stop the attack, but was unsuccesful. He then ran and got his gun and shot the tiger
dead. Sadly, Clayton didn’t survive the ordeal. Perhaps the most famous case of such privately
owned animals running amok is the Zanesville Zoo Massacre which occurred in Ohio in 2011. In this case, one Terry Thompson decided to
set loose the majority of his little personal zoo, with the animals released comprising
two wolves, one macaque monkey, one baboon, six black bears, three mountain lions, two
grizzly bears, three cougars and a whopping 17 lions (nine male, eight female), and 18
absolutely massive Bengal tigers… When police first got a call of a then unknown
number of escaped animals at Thompson’s place and no sign of Thompson, they assumed perhaps
he’d finally been killed by one of his animals. In years leading up to the event, they’d been
trying to get the animals taken away from Thompson, particularly after he did a stint
in jail and was deemed by authorities as a bit unstable, even speculated to have been
schizophrenic. Things didn’t improve when his debts mounted
and his wife left him. However, as he was breaking no laws, they
couldn’t get the dangerous animals taken away. When the police arrived on the scene, they
found Thompson had shot himself at some point after setting his animals free, leaving them
with a very dangerous situation they were ill equipped to deal with. To get an idea of what it was like on hand,
we have an account from one of Thompson’s neighbors, Sam Kopchak, who was the first
to notice the issue when his horses started freaking out. Upon investigating, he saw a slew of animals
observing his horses. He notes, “I’m telling you, the lion is bad
enough, and the lioness is bad enough, and the wolf is bad, and the bear, but…don’t
be around the tiger. The tigers are actually bigger than the lions
if they’re fully grown. He started snarling, and went after the horses.” Unable to safely corral the dozens of dangerous
animals running wild in the concentrated area, and with no time to call in professionals
and people with tranquilizers without potentially letting some of the animals escape into the
night, the police ended up having to kill all of them outside of the few that the animals
themselves had already killed in the interim. This massacre was much to the devastation
of many called to kill the poor animals, and was considered even more tragic in the case
of the 18 Bengal tigers as there are only a few thousand of those left in the wild in
the world and an unknown number in captivity. As you might imagine, this event saw many
states, including Ohio, put in place stricter rules about owning such animals though, as
often lamented by animal rights activists, having rules and anyone actually bothering
to enforce them are two different things, let alone the loopholes that exist.

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100 Responses

  1. Today I Found Out says:

    Thanks Vincero for sponsoring this episode. Get 15% off a fantastic Vincero watch: Use the code "brainfood" @

  2. Obi wan Kanabis says:

    So sad…stupid people

  3. KaletheQuick says:

    Land of the FREE! WOOOOOOOO!

  4. altareggo says:

    Advertising is over at 1:55…. thank me with likes!!

  5. JoeKing MoreOn says:

    I've got a question. Why is chili called chili when you eat it hot?

  6. voidremoved says:

    it has always bothered me how people refer to pickled cucumbers as "pickles" but pickled eggs for example refer to as "pickled eggs". Today I was staring at a jar of dill pickles and hated that it was full of cucumbers and not full of dill… then I ate the pickled cucumbers but not the dill…

  7. Christian Schulz says:

    too much advertisement

  8. Farmer Frank says:

    Yeah, I run a private cat/animal Rescue and I'm certain the first generation rescues of stray cats might have beendesended from cat/Bob Cat mix as they looked like domestic cats but were 3x-4x bigger then the kind of cats they look of…….which was good as the Norse roof rats here get up to the size of small of medium dogs

    In fact I fed the neighborhood cats when the rat population would wane to keep them from attacking and eating the small and medium dogs in the Neighborhood…. but occasionally a dog/new dog wouldn't realize the neighborhood cats had noear of them and get thrown 20 feet if they were lucky….looked odd to see the dogs running for their lives from cats that were hungry or pissed off at them

    Some of them were more tolerant and my Nigel who was a kitten at the time would play chase and play fight with the neighbors 6 month old Bull Dog that was only a little bigger then him at same age (he would also body slam Dead or mostly dead Norse roof Rats that re same size as him..3 feet ish as a kitten)

    Because the cats I take care of have spontaneously tried to rip off a finger or toe or started attacking my calf or foot or hand aggressively in sudden rough play I'm gonna assume a Tiger or Lion deciding it wants to play with you or set off by your movements is what turned deadly

    Just as my toes or my hands or calf twitching/moving set off a pounce/attack instinct in my cats no doubt the boy shoveling set off the Tiger and whatever motion the Lady was doing to close to the animal set off its predator pounce instinct

    Seingfried and Roy mid interview rapped a Tiger on the nose cause they saw sign it was about to get aggressive during the interview to dominate it back into submission

    I likewise have had to preemptively pin down a few of my pseudo bobcats and stare down their challenge till they go from a growl back to a submissive mew to keep "Alfa" relationship with them… (the thumb/toe/calf/hand pounce turned into a pull off and pin/stare down)

  9. idleEverything says:


  10. Chris Thomas says:

    Just wondering, are the writers socialists? Most of these videos seem to want more laws and more government intervention.

  11. StuntpilootStef says:

    So the reason is a two tier justice system. What a surprise.

  12. over00lord Unknown says:

    I want either a pure Wolf, or a 1/4 Wolf Dog mix.

  13. WillTell says:

    funny windows decided to show a cute big tiger on my login screen today.

  14. WillTell says:

    You take 10 minutes to explain, I can do it in a few lines:
    Rich people have money, and money talks, loudly and convincingly, so when someone tries to stop rich people from doing something, they get a talking to and get convinced to not stop the rich, sometimes even enough convincing to help them. Slapping people with wads of money is a very effective way of getting things done.

  15. J J says:

    Now I'm afraid my neighbor has a secret tiger and it's going to escape.

  16. Charles Jones says:

    Wait, interbreeding leopards with domestic cats? How is that even possible?

  17. NOO NOPE says:

    same way that rich and poor people alike buy drugs………

  18. NOO NOPE says:

    i feel if you cage an animal you should also be caged.

  19. LaikaLycanthrope says:

    Traffic in wild animals rivals that of the drug trade (and the two are often linked – drugs sewn inside or fed to wildlife, for instance). First and foremost, the fur trade needs to be banned, globally and totally. Second of all, stop defending the destruction of wildlife because of "human culture". Humans can change their culture, no matter their damn skin culture … right? NO ONE needs to eat wildlife since livestock exists.

    As for the wolf, the reason no one would be allowed near it, is because it was raised in isolation, and so is probably insane from it. Wolves need their own, just like the domestic race needs humans.

  20. Jennifer Reeves says:

    12:55 you listed both "cougars" and "mountain lions"; these are the same animal.

  21. chas sisom says:

    Let me clarify this video. If you do enough paperwork and pay enough fees everything will be legal everywhere.

  22. Paul Drake says:

    How do rich people get away with ANYTHING? Simple… they write the laws.

  23. Kristin FROST Lazerbeams says:

    The gun doesn't kill the person, the person or the big ass predator kills the person. 😜

  24. Joel McCunty says:

    Woah woah….i think we needa deeper dive on the last section about that guy setting his petting zoo free. Could be grrrrreat.

  25. Kennykyun says:

    Mr (soon SIr) Whister, will you participate in #teamtrees ? :3

  26. Drew Rapposelli says:

    Another great Karl Smallwood article

  27. Bryce Schroeder says:

    Exotic pets can be very rewarding but ONLY IF you know what you are getting into ahead of time and are willing to give them what they need. It's very sad when there are no protections in place for them, but we have to consider too that there ARE people willing and able to care for exotic pets. Having an exotic pet, you also have to remember at all times that they are wild animals and if they bite or hurt you, it's not their "fault." Personally, I got my exotic pet (a parrot) as an adult from someone who needed to find a new home for her. In general, I wonder if some kind of bond system might work, where if, e.g. you want to buy a new exotic pet (as opposed to taking in an adult), you put up a bond that will pay for its removal to a sanctuary and its care if you can no longer look after it.

  28. Supreme Leader says:

    Dumb guys who become rich because of the stupid pop culture r responsible

  29. Marc Trepanier says:

    Hi Simon! I asked a question about the way a reward is offer in case of a missing person and im just wondering if you're gonna do a video about it?! Thanks

  30. Kev Bee says:

    When you know the price of everything but the value of nothing…

  31. andy stokes says:

    Money is not everything. Having said that, if you have enough of it you can buy everything.

  32. Eric Taylor says:

    It's not good when you bite off more than you can chew, when that thing can chew you.

  33. GildedBear says:

    I own cats. I like owning cats. I like them as companions. I DON'T WANT cats that are close to my size. I see the killer instincts in my cats. I see the thought go through their heads, "if I was bigger… I would attack you, it would be fun". I'm not mean to my cats. It's just that cats are predators and enjoy attacking and killing things. House cats are "safe" because they are small enough that they, for the most part, can't /actually/ threaten our lives. (along with a level of domestication to reduce just how aggressive they are)

    The tiger that mauled the boy? Yeah, he was probably just bored and wanted to play and the boy looked like fun.

  34. PARADOXICLES says:

    here in Colorado, we have a, mostly, big cat sanctuary, called
    "The Wild Animal Sanctuary" ( look it up)
    Where they rescue animals, mostly large cats, from various private owners, circuses, and zoos, all over the world. They have large open areas, for them to roam, fences like 2 stories tall, maybe 3, and a walk way suspended above it all for viewing. Sure its not the wild, but its far better than the zoo, or some ones private cage. If you need lions and tigers and cougars in your life, spend your money supporting this place, and places like it, you and the animals will both get alot more for your money, and less problem that if you tried to buy your own.

  35. Suthin Scientist says:

    If you have enough money, you can bribe the government into allowing you to have an exotic pet.

  36. Ghost Noodle says:

    I'll save you the 15 minutes: They're rich, they do what they want

  37. Bungman Agforty says:

    The U.K. : Where handguns are banned but….fuck it…you can have a Tiger. That's fine.

  38. DragonFae16 says:

    With Zanesville, the owner had made it impossible for the police to cage the animals by cutting large holes in the cages. The police wanted to at least lock those animals that hadn't left their cages in, but after finding the holes they knew there was no other choice and so were force to euthanize all but a handful whose cages were still intact and locked.

  39. F Huber says:

    They are unfortunately legal in Texas.

  40. Shiboline M'Ress says:

    Can leopards really breed with domestic cats? Or did you mean the Asian leopard cat?

  41. Osmium says:

    12:40 "Perhaps the most famous case…"
    Me: Is he getting to Siegfried and Roy?
    mentions a huge thing in Ohio I'd never heard of
    Holy crap.

  42. Jossie Ayame says:

    Awesome video as always! I have a question – why do South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania's national anthems all have the same tune? Who stole it from who?

  43. Robin de Roos says:

    I wish all tigers would kill their rich owners as revenge for their impending extinction… That goes for all predetors by the way

  44. Languid says:

    There are plenty of great domesticated animals to own and love. Why would you want a tiger when you could have a cat, which has a much lower lethality level? If you want something "exotic", just get a ferret or something.

  45. Matthew Caylor says:

    Wow, a tiger cub costs about as much as my last dental crown…

  46. SilverLight21 says:

    Just as a fun fact but there are actually Snakes that are considered poisonous and venomous at the same time. The Tiger Keelback is one of these species that is native to Asia and derives it’s poison from the toxins produced from the frogs and toads they eat. Keelback also produces it’s own venom that is used almost exclusively for killing prey while the poison is used defensively. Their fangs make it almost impossible for them to optimally use the venom for defense because the fangs are placed so far back in their mouth. However, I am pretty sure in this case of the script he meant venomous snakes not poisonous.

  47. Daroth_Arsona says:

    i actually got one of those watches. i reccomend it. they're quite nice.

  48. snowystar2 says:

    Can't people just stop being stupid and stop buying 'wild animals' as a type of 'status!'
    Hello! wild animals will always have a chance to eat them!

    Not shocked when they get killed by their own 'wild animal/status animal'

  49. Maphisto86 says:

    We humans have an arrogant belief that we can control all other species on Earth. No matter how dangerous they are. If we can we make animals like tigers into trophies. If we cannot, we hunt them for sport or kill them outright when domesticated ones become a danger.

  50. Blaise Payne says:

    In Australia we are shocked by the Americans ability to buy and own so many different animals as pets including a lot of our native animals that are illegal to own in our own country. Most of us find it absolutely disgusting that people overseas keeping our native animals as pets as the only way they could get these pets would have to be smuggled out of the country even those who are born overseas the original animal would of been smuggled out. I'm guessing this is happening to many other countries for there native animals like big cats.

  51. Dominic Pryor says:

    I'm glad you mentioned the guy in ohio. I remember when that happened. My neighbor had all of his horses killed and when he called fish and game to come out they told him it had been a leopard. I did not go hiking in my woods for weeks after that.

  52. Shane Semler says:

    Not a single comment about the ethics (or lack of) of keeping these poor animals. Don't buy exotic pets. Don't support the exotic pet trade.

  53. Barbara Day says:

    Nooooo!!!!! Snakes are mostly venomous not poisonous!!!!

  54. Redvines69 says:

    The video is great but the commercial midway thru trying to make mechanics look like thieves was annoying. They loosened the gas cap and took the car to the mechanic, and yeah the mechanic didn't get the right answer, but he did get one of the 4 answers that would have come up for the code that shows up when the gas cap is loose or missing.

  55. Ginny Jolly says:

    "Animals running amok"
    The animals were doing what they were born to do! It was the "owners" who ran amok!

    Seriously: what cat "owner" doesn't understand the cat owns them?

  56. I write Checks at the grocery store. So? says:

    I don’t like big flashy chunky watches. Nice classic low profile and functional is good enough for me.

    *cue rustic music and Sam Elliot voice over: an unstated but hard working watch, the kind of watch more at home with friends and beers them walking the red carpet. The kind of watch that’ll shake your hand and look you in the eye. Simple watches.

  57. Justin Letchford says:

    I wonder when that English pet store closed, hopefully not before someone had the opportunity to call up and go "What is the price of a fully laden swallow?"

  58. Aaron Ellis says:

    I'm 666 comment

  59. Rossouw Lambrechts says:

    Venomous snakes If it bites you and you die, it's venomous. if you bite it and you die, it's poisonous. Thanks for the vid!

  60. Gustavo Tepoz says:

    Bought a Vincero watch…. wrecked my wallet. Couldn't get my fix of ramen thanks to vincero

  61. Robbert Gelderen says:

    Because rich people are ridiculous!

  62. Jonathan Mendiola says:

    Yeah I do remember hearing the news when I was a kid about an exotic animals escape in the wild in Ohio. It’s a good thing I lived in Columbus, OH.

  63. Roger Dottin says:

    Sadly I dont have tiger money. Still working on rare parrot money.

  64. Roger Dottin says:

    Kind of sad ending to this one.

  65. canadianperspective says:

    The fancy penis extension when guns just dont do it anymore.

  66. boulderbash19700209 says:

    Invasive species.

  67. Laurens Peek says:

    Simon tbh I think a shorter sponsored segment is more effective. I am now just skipping the first two minutes of your videos. 30 seconds I'd watch but 2 minutes is too long.

  68. Alexandru Ianu says:

    There are a number of factual issues with this episode, way more than the average:
    1. The number of privately owned tigers in the US is smaller than usually mentioned, and most are either in sanctuaries and zoos, whether privately owned or municipal, small or large. The real figure is probably under 2000 (maybe even 1000) for genuine personal ownership, and a few thousand in other forms of private ownership, including zoos and breeders.
    2. Most of them are not spayed and serve a valuable function in maintaining a healthy diverse genetic population in captivity.
    3. White tigers are NOT albino, and they are not significantly more inbred than regular morphs. That used to be the case many decades ago, but breeding practices have significantly improved thanks to the practical application of science. Nobody wants sickly animals.
    4. Large cat ownership in various places in the US is significantly more restrictive than the global average. Most jurisdictions around the world don't distinguish practices between types of wild animal (other than importation based on endangered status) – in many places, as long as the origin is a breeder selling the animal as a pet, it's a pet with no requirement to set up zoo type caging.
    5. Most big cat pets are significantly better off than they would be in a zoo or sanctuary, due to the fact that they are generally owned singly or in small numbers.
    6. Instances of "I didn't realize they would grow that big / need that much care" are rare. They exist, but compared to smaller animals or even domestics, they are proportionally rare.
    7. There has only been an average of one fatality every 2 years with all big cats. Most of them have been from tigers. All of them owners/keepers/immediate family. Most also involve zoos or large collections. All of them caged (so somewhat separated). There have been no instances of free roaming (in house/yard) felids (not just pantherines) killing anyone in over a century in the US.
    8. Big cat incidents tend to get over-reported vs other animal types. Some are even fake. A good example is Big Cat Rescue that toured some animals with fake sob stories, even if they were actually bought or loaned from a breeder. Avoid them, they're a private collection that make a pile of money in donations, but actually keep sub standard conditions, while bashing anything that isn't a 'sanctuary' so they can get in good with "animal rights".
    9. "Animal rights" activists and organization are a very bad source for factual information. Animal welfare organizations are much much better, but on this subject they have fallen for the hype.
    10. Recent state and municipal level legislation was aimed at reducing exotic ownership in general, not bettering conditions. This has led to a number of animals (of all types) being put down or put into facilities that have inferior conditions, moved away from their 'family'. It has also led to a reduction in captive population numbers in various places, which is very bad for conservation.

  69. Caleb Cruseturner says:

    Just live in Texas

  70. Phantom Warrior says:

    when in university i found out i could easily buy a tiger cub for $5k. But after reading the horror stories of owners and the hassle required for care.

  71. Scorched Earth says:

    Tigers eat people? Say it ain't so. FFS, there's a reason we call them wild animals. The clue is in the name. Big cats will never be just a big kitty, no matter how many people wish it so. We domesticated dogs thousands of years ago, but there are still times when dogs attack. What does that say about our chances with a tiger?

  72. bcumike says:

    Thanks for the 2 minute watch commercial. If you hadn't noticed, your phone will actually show you the time. Mine even keeps itself udated, and I don't have to worry about setting it.

  73. Mari Bel says:

    Absolutely disgusting. I had no idea there were so many captive tigers and other exotic pets. Thanks for bringing awareness

  74. Dom Butler says:

    He set loose 3 mountain lions and 3 cougars. So he he released 6 Pumas/Mountain Lions/Cougars then?

  75. Flacons says:

    i like bears better anyways lol

  76. tys k says:

    how ?
    with money duh

  77. DragonflyDust says:

    And that is just tigers and lions! Venomous snakes are even EASIER to obtain~! Just now after a quick google search, I found Indian Cobras for $300, Timber Rattlesnakes for $225, Gaboon Vipers for $200, and Western Cottonmouths for $45 (This last price was NOT a typo)

  78. MuhRoads says:

    wait you can interbreed leopards with regular house cats? that is by far the most surprising aspect here.

  79. GIboy1990 says:

    In Pennsylvania you can own any exotic animal you want. The only stipulation is you need a permit, with 2 years experience with the particular species you want.

  80. lee heyes says:

    Theres a lot more VENOMOUS NOT POISONUS snakes in private collections in the UK I know of at least 1000 in private hands, not to mention the crocodilians I know of about 250.

  81. Edge Razors says:

    Video starts at 1:55

  82. terry waller says:

    You don't have to be rich to buy a tiger or lion in the US. It is estimated there are about 5000 in private hands. People keep them in basements, bedrooms etc. Many states ban then, but there are many crossbreeds that don't fit the definition of the law. You can buy a baby lion or tiger for under $2,000 on the internet.

  83. Big Daddy 247 says:

    I came here for tigers not a watch

  84. fireofdestruction77 says:

    crazy ive been looking up owning a cougar/jaguar and this pops up in my recommended….

  85. Jean~Luc Picard says:

    Is it with money? I bet it's money…

  86. Joe Doty says:

    way to sell out to Vincero

  87. Miss Lotus says:

    He probably got a free watch lol

  88. ZebraWyvern says:

    Makes me frustrated that people really think it's possible to keep wild animals as pets. And I hate that it is legal in most places to keep these wild animals.

  89. Ka P says:

    Be a douche bag with too much money and not a drop of compassion or common sense.

  90. Brendan Johnson says:

    To see a tiger at a zoo is cool to see one in the wild is even cooler see one on a safari truck is also cool but one in the house….no thanks I like big cats but not that much I like my flesh a lot more

  91. Iago Silva says:

    By "massacre", I'd surmised that "many people died"; oh wait – several man-eating big cats were shot dead by police struggling to keep people safe; move over, Holocaust, you've met your match…

  92. Lorax Dave Walters says:

    What would Simon get engraved? "and as always, thanks for watching"

  93. Jules Marten says:

    Wait, Karl grew up near a panther? I honestly didn't realize you had so many deer in the UK still that road kill alone could feed the big cats

  94. every8hours says:

    So THAT'S how Nicholas Cage got his Cobras! LOL.

  95. Daniel Wilson says:

    3 mountain lions, and 3 cougars? Were there any pumas as well? What about catamounts?

  96. MarvAlice says:

    Wait, you can breed leopards with house cats? how! lions and tigers can just barely breed and they are way closer related

  97. MarvAlice says:

    Lots of people saying "with money!"
    That's not an answer. That is like saying we got to the moon "with money". It is how you apply the money that is the interesting thing

  98. Carter Alansky says:

    I love cats, I love wild cats, but I also like being alive. I don't understand why some people can't figure out that having a large dangerous animal and dying an early death is usually not a coincidence.

  99. RyTrapp0 says:

    I've lived in Newark Ohio for a few decades now, Zanesville being right outside the back door, and the Zanesville incident was absolutely INSANE. Everyone had their eyes peeled for weeks when you were driving around, especially around some of the highways where there were some public sightings.
    There was always the story of the "crazy dude with a private zoo", I heard it most of my life living out here, but I don't think anyone was expecting that kind of crazy up until this had quickly risen into a concern.

    It was really interesting living so close to this too because of how quickly local news can spread, there wasn't much delay before reports of sightings came out – but the initial story was that all of the animals had escaped and the owner was killed in the process. Obviously there are some logically questionable holes in such a story("…sooo, the monkeys let everything else out of their cages like the movies…???"); but, when you're driving to work at 6am half asleep down a highway where 1 of 17 lions or 18 tigers has been spotted, there tends to be other details on your mind.
    Needless to say, this soon got "corrected" into the owner being murdered and someone letting everything lose, to the final story of the owner intentionally releasing everything before blowing his brains out.
    Not that it mattered for the amount of time that this was a serious concern. Awesome story now, but, when you and your family live and work in more rural areas that are well within the range of these top of the food chain animals, you're still left asking months later "…are you guys really SURE that was all of the lions & tigers…? There isn't a mountain lion just waiting for my dog to go out at night?"

    Anyone, I'm pretty damn critical of law enforcement in the US at this point, but they seriously didn't get a fair shake in this. They were criticized immediately for not responding appropriately – but they're literally town police & highway patrol and these are literally lions and tigers, I mean… They were then criticized for grossly overreacting, bringing in some firepower when it was deemed unrealistic to just dart & capture everything. I can certainly agree that it could've been handled "better" with fewer dead animals – but I also understand that they're just police and these are LIONS and TIGERS, and they'll do everything from absolutely devastate livestock to killing people. One thing is for sure – I didn't see any of the journalists stepping up to handle the situation "better", and they're no less qualified for such a task than the police are.
    An absolute 'no win' situation for everyone that had to clean this mess up, the media just slaughtered everyone – when, as far as I'm aware, there's NEVER been anything quite like this before, NO ONE has resources prepared for something like this. It was everything despicable about the current state of politico-news media.

    […they may not be deserving of severe critique for this incident, but sure would be nice if they stopped killing so many people though…]

  100. perakole says:

    One more thing showing that Americans are insane.

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