Tinder Just Told Its Users To Take Down Their Tiger Selfies
This trend is finally over.
Tinder, the popular dating and hook-up app, just took a stand to help some of the faces that occasionally grace its platform.
Some users post photos of themselves posing with tiger cubs. These seemingly sweet snapshots actually cause quite a bit of harm to these endangered animals. The cubs are often bred in a cage, taken from their mothers at a very young age and drugged to keep them calm and tame. When they get too big for tourists to handle, they can end up in some dismal facility with nothing to do but pace their small cages. Some are even killed to be sold for their body parts.
Because of this kind of industry, there are more captive tigers in American zoos, roadside attractions and backyards (an estimated 5,000) than there are left in the wild (an estimated 3,200).
So Tinder decided to say something about it.
"It’s time for the tiger selfies to go," the company wrote last week, just before International Tiger Day. "More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment. Wild animals deserve to live in the wild ... We are looking to you, as part of our Tinder community, to make a change."
Tinder, prompted by PETA, incentivized people to take down their tiger selfies: "We will make it worth your while by donating $10,000 to Project Cat in honor of International Tiger Day," the company said, and urged users to join the conversation with #NoTigerSelfies and tag friends. The company also suggested replacing a tiger selfie with a picture that actually exhibits a love for animals and the environment, like planting a tree, walking to work instead of driving or volunteering at an animal shelter.
Susan Bass, PR director for the Florida-based Big Cat Rescue (BCR), a sanctuary for big cats saved from abusive facilities like cub-petting schemes, thought Tinder's statement was wonderful. "BCR is thrilled that Tinder is taking proactive steps to end tiger selfies," Bass told The Dodo. "Tigers are majestic wild animals that should be respected and treated with dignity. They are not photo props."
This isn't the first time Tinder has spoken up for animals in need. Earlier this year, the company helped with a campaign to raise funds and awareness for Sudan, the last male northern white rhino left on Earth because of rampant poaching for rhino horn.
You may or may not find a good connection on Tinder — but finding a way to help animals is always a perfect match.