Yesterday, an Ontario man was killed by a tiger that he kept on his property. The Canadian Press ran with this headline:
which unfortunately has picked up by several other outlets. Now, I’ve written lots of crappy headlines; it happens. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that I don’t think it’s possible for a tiger to be defined as a ‘pet’. Pets are domesticated animals, whereas wild animals are wild. It remains to be seen what the fate of the tiger will be, whether it be put down for acting all tiger-like or sent someplace where tigers can be tigers. Given that tigers are endangered species, one hopes the latter.
And here’s Chris Rock, saying it much better:
I’ve already stated that exotic animals, such as tigers, make really, really awful items of ownership. The late Mr. Buwalda was president of the Canadian Exotic Animal Owner’s Association, so he obviously disagreed. My opposition is based mostly because the exotic pet trade is driving numerous species towards extinction; the danger of such pets to their owners is another factor, though it’s really none of my concern.