It seems the use of lion and tiger cubs as tourist attractions in Mexico has been around since at least the early 2000's (if not earlier) as far as my research can tell. They're appearing in popular Mexican tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada. Passengers debarking from cruise ships have reported seeing locals with small cubs in cages or boxes with signs advertising that you can hold or pet a cub for $20 to $25. They claim the funds go to either a local zoo or a wildlife sanctuary. This is highly doubtful, as one of the lion cubs had a wound on its nose and others have appeared to not be particularly well cared for. From what I've read on various forums and heard through fellow animal rights activists, the cubs are killed when they get too large and their meat is sold in the bushmeat industry.
Please join me in protesting this horrific practice!
There are several things you can do and they're all quite easy. You can join the Facebook page that's been created to raise awareness about this issue:
You can also email major news outlets and ask them to investigate this story and bring it to the forefront of our awareness so this can be stopped. We must put pressure on Mexican officials and convince them that this practice must be stopped and laws put in place to protect animals. Both the lion and the tiger are endangered species. This is a critical time in their future, if they are to even have a future. Leading scientists believe that the wild lion will become extinct in as few as ten to fifteen years, and the tiger's future looks even more dire. We should be working diligently to save these species, not allowing them to be exploited. If we all join together, perhaps we'll be heard and this practice will be stopped.
Please --- if you travel Mexico and see people with
tiger or lion cubs --- do not give them money!!
Doing so only encourages the exploitation of these animals.
Mexico doesn't currently have laws in place to protect these animals. Let's put the pressure on them so laws are enacted to protect not only wild animals, but all animals in Mexico. Please contact the Mexican Ambassador and ask him to put laws in place. Here's his name, address and website address:
His Excellency Arturo Sarukhan
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20006
The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico is Earl Anthony "Tony" Wayne and his office email address is email@example.com.
Here's the email addresses of some of the major media outlets. It's very easy to draft one email and copy it to all of the various agencies. We have to get the word out that this is not acceptable treatment of these animals.
60 Minutes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fox News: email@example.com
Below are some images of tourists holding and petting lion cubs in Mexico. If you search on YouTube for "lion cubs Mexico," you'll find lots of videos that people have posted.
These animals belong in the wild (as shown below), not being used as a tourist attraction.