Tiger cub found dead in Benoni

The Administrator March 14, 2013

Picture credit: The Telegraph

I don't want to be a pet - I just want to live free

A public appeal is made for anyone with information relating to the ownership and keeping of a tiger cub, found dead in Benoni, to come forward.

This assistance is required to enable the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit and Gauteng Conservation Enforcement to trace exactly what happened to a female tiger cub, estimated to be approximately 10 weeks old, and to bring offender/s to book.

The cub was found by surprised residents lying dead on a driveway in the Petit area of Benoni on the East Rand.

A post mortem examination of the young animal revealed that she had died from blunt force trauma resulting in a partial cervical dislocation. The tiger cub’s physical condition was poor and she showed signs of dehydration and the development of underlying infectious conditions.

It is imperative that the NSPCA is able to trace the ownership and subsequent movement of this cub. It is tragic that such a young animal – not native to South Africa – could be found in an urban area in such a condition.

Whereas tigers are revered, endangered and protected world-wide, we find ourselves in a situation in South Africa whereby individuals who are unskilled in their care, are allowed to and are obtaining tigers and keeping them in unsuitable conditions as exotic “pets”.

This incident is a further example of why the SPCA as a national animal welfare movement opposes the keeping of exotic animals as pets. There are ethical as well as welfare issues. It is simply not possible to fulfil the needs of a wild animal in captivity as “welfare” goes beyond the basics of health and nutrition and includes the animal’s ability to express natural behaviour and to socialise with others of the same specie.

Wild animals belong in the wild.

Investigations into this latest incident continue and the NSPCA is working and liaising with other relevant authorities on the issue. Information may be forwarded (anonymously if preferred) to wild3@nspca.co.za or by fax to 011-907-4013.

For the sake of the animals, the NSPCA issues a plea not to support any trade in wild animals or exotic pets and to report anything untoward.

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