The United States Has More Captive Tigers Than There Are In The Wild

The world really got an eye-opener when the Tiger King was added to Netflix. Suddenly, people realized that there was a hidden world going on behind-the-scenes, and it all revolved around tigers and how they were being mistreated.

Although most people might not be aware of the numbers, there may be as many as 5000 tigers in captivity in the United States alone, and those numbers are only estimates!

There are some that are kept at legitimate zoos and facilities with the proper accreditation, but according to Traffic, that accounts for only about 6% of those animals. The rest are living in sometimes deplorable conditions.

Photo: flickr/Wolfrage

Although there may be 5000 tigers in the United States in captivity, there are fewer than 4000 in the wild elsewhere in the world. In 1900, that number was thought to be 100,000, but now it is down to 3900.

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Tiger King exposed us to Joe Exotic and how many of these beautiful animals were being mistreated. There is now a new series called Not a Pet that can be viewed on WaterBear, a free environmental and wildlife streaming service.

Photo: Pixabay

A petition is also available to try to get the United States Congress on board to protect both the tigers and the public.

According to WorldScreen, a representative for WaterBear, Lisa Rose, said that the public’s attention became focused on the brutality associated with the US exotic animal trade, thanks to Tiger King. She would still like to see more in the way of public awareness and legislation to help bring an end to the cruel trade of big cats and primates.


Even Mike Tyson, who had owned exotic pets, changed his mind on the subject after watching the show. He shared a photo on Instagram, dubbing himself the “original Tiger King,” but later revealed that he was foolish to keep tigers as pets.

Photo: Instagram/miketyson

Hopefully the new series will help to prompt changes because more people will become aware of what is taking place.

According to the petition they want members of the U.S. Congress to act, and it reads:

“As Americans and citizens from around the world who are concerned about the welfare and conservation of wild animals, we urge you to take action against the inhumane trade in tigers, lions, chimpanzees, and other captive species across the US by enacting the Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) and the Captive Primate Safety Act.

These bills, if enacted, will protect both wildlife and communities in the US and set a positive example for wildlife managers around the world.”

It isn’t just a matter of helping those big cats that may be in captivity, the animals that are left in the wild are under threat because of poaching and loss of habitat.

Anything that supports the black market can stimulate demand and add more risk to the population of big cats that are already struggling.

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