Thankfully, the tiger was able to be relocated to a Texas sanctuary to live out the rest of its life. While this story is certainly bizarre, it is not uncommon to find tigers living as pets in the US. In , a Congressional report estimated that there are as many as 11, tigers living in private homes in the US. Other estimates put the US captive tiger population at 5, It is difficult to calculate an exact number of pet tigers as there is no universal database for these pets.
Either way, it is believed that there are now more tigers living in captivity in the US than in the wild throughout the world. The tiger is currently listed as Endangered and its population is estimated to be less than 4, The import, export and sale of pet tigers are regulated by US and international laws when they occur across country and state borders, but the sale of pet tigers can occur within state lines and in the illegal wildlife market. State laws also vary on the private ownership of big cats with some states outright banning it and other states having no laws on the subject.
The private ownership of tigers is a cause for concern for a variety of reasons including public safety risks. Tigers are inherently wild animals, and strong ones at that. They are highly territorial and use their body weight to knock their prey down and bite their neck to kill them. Private owners are unlikely to be able to properly control a pet tiger in the case of an attack.
Even police departments are often ill-prepared to handle pet tigers. In , police officers killed a loose tiger that was roaming around Atlanta, Georgia. Rick Hanestad goes for a walk in the woods near his house left and enjoys a meal in the family kitchen right.
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Domestic bliss: Wiley plays outside the family home left and curls up on a chair in the family living room right. The great outdoors: Wiley seen in a large outdoor pen with its own underground den. Cute: Hailey aged five with a young Wiley as a pup in the family home left and the friendly animal plays with Rick's hand right.
Sofa so good: Wiley and Hailey relax at the family home left and Wiley enjoys a trip into Eau Claire right. Bath time: Wiley is given a wash in the family tub, but doesn't look entirely happy about it. Man's best friend: Wiley the coyote, the family pet who likes to sit by the fire, goes for walks on his leash and plays fetch with a tennis ball Wiley lives with the Hanestad family near Eau Claire, Wisconsin The coyote was rescued three years ago and is now part of the family By Ted Thornhill Published: BST, 14 January Updated: BST, 14 January e-mail View comments.
Share this article Share. Share or comment on this article: The eight-year-old Wisconsin girl who has a pet coyote called Wiley e-mail.
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But perhaps her most humanizing characteristic has been the love and affection she has demonstrated toward her pet cats. Koko was first allowed a pet cat in after she requested one for her birthday. She was even allowed to choose a kitten from a litter; a gray male Manx that she named "All Ball. Tragically, later that same year All Ball was struck by a car and killed while exploring the world outside of Koko's enclosure. Koko's mourning process after being told of the cat's death showed just how deep her emotional bond to the cat was.
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The following year, Koko was given two kittens. She named them "Lipstick" and "Smokey.
When pets are family, the benefits extend into society
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has been home to one of nature's most unexpected odd couples: Tarra the elephant and her pet dog, Bella. The two first bonded several years ago when a stray dog wandered onto the sanctuary's property. Rather than scare off the intruder, one elephant in particular, Tarra, immediately welcomed the stray with open arms. Before long, the two became inseparable.
In fact, Tarra seemed to spend more time with Bella than she did with other elephants. The bond became especially apparent when Bella suffered a spinal cord injury and lost the use of her legs. Caretakers took her indoors to receive medical assistance. For three weeks Bella was bed-bound, and for the entire three weeks Tarra stood just outside the building holding vigil, refusing to leave Bella's side.