Tigers are wild animals, plain and simple. It doesn't matter if a tiger is wild-caught or captive-born, juvenile or adult, male or female, tethered, or drugged; contact with a wild animal poses an inherent safety risk. Taking a picture with a tiger is like playing Russian Roulette. Captive animal entertainment is inherently unnatural at its best, and cruel-or dangerous-at its worst.
Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z are in a unique position for cultural impact. As role models, they should set a humane example-not an exploitative one-as their potential for influence is massive. Every unwitting child who chooses to pose with a tiger as a result of seeing celebrities do so is at risk. Imagine if Beyoncé and Jay-Z decided to expose tigers to the world by supporting their conservation in the wild, instead. Maybe a donation to the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Programme?
We at Born Free believe that wild animals should remain in the wild, free to live out their lives as nature intends. An animal should not be captured from her natural range, ripped from her family, and forced to entertain human beings. An animal should not be raised in captivity for her entire life, isolated from others of her kind, and confined to the bounds of an enclosure. A wild animal is not suited for life in captivity, let alone as a forced performer. And, of course, abuse is synonymous with the prop photo industry.