Online advertising has taken a shocking turn. It seems as if some of the advertisements are now promoting selling tigers and white lions along with cheetah cubs.
The majority of those ads target Australians and there are concerns among wildlife advocates after they started showing up on social media and classified websites.
Yahoo! News is reporting that one of the sellers who was offering white lion and white tiger cubs is from Istanbul, Turkey. The cubs are reportedly selling for AU $1,700 (£931) and AU $1,550 (£849) respectively.
After another seller was contacted by Yahoo! News, they claim that exotic animals could be sold and sent to Sydney or Melbourne from the Middle East. Allegedly, they can sell exotic cats to buyers without a zoo being involved.
Donalea Patman is the founder of animal welfare charity For the Love of Wildlife. According to her organization’s Facebook post, A Facebook user got in contact with them and she contacted the seller directly. She expressed her disdain at the normalization of owning exotic pets and noted that one seller even claimed that the big cat cubs could be declawed before they were sent.
According to LadBible, the seller apparently contacted Patman through WhatsApp, saying:
“We know all the importation requirements of Australia.
If you are a private zoo owner, it makes it even easier to import white lion cubs. All we need are your names and delivery address so that we can document and ship to you.”
Donalea Patman forwarded the messages to “various government departments” but did not receive a formal response. According to Yahoo! News, that’s when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) got involved and spoke out on the matter.
An ACCC spokesperson said, “The Department of Agriculture has informed Scamwatch of these ads, however to date we have not received any reports regarding these websites or scams involving similar exotic animals.”
At that point, Patman went on Facebook to deal with the scammers directly who are advertising the sale of exotic animals. She spoke about how those exotic pets are driving the desire to own the animals. Now that we are on lockdown, people are trolling the platforms and they may want to buy one for themselves.
She concluded: “Whilst we focus on wet markets in China, the biggest issue is the global LEGAL trade in endangered species.”
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