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Tigers are wild and shouldn’t be in circus shows

I am submitting this regarding the tiger story and the helpless, defenseless creatures caught in the exploitation for human entertainment in the Ohio circus. My name is Rachel Cohen McDermott. I am a member of the group Coalition of Animal Rights Enthusiasts and a financial professional of Wise Financial based in Saratoga Springs.

Judit Nerger, the woman who owns the tigers, told the Akron Beacon Journal that the stick is used “to get them up — it’s not hurting them. It’s just a little pressure under the belly.”

In documented film footage of circus animals, various animals, lions, elephants, bears and tigers have been seen to be hit with sticks and prodded maliciously with electric prods, and they experience pain and fear at the hands of these prods, during and throughout their early years and present training days. Nerger’s statement is simply untrue. The stick is an electric prod, or looks like the electric prod, that is used to train the tigers to act unnaturally by inflicting pain through electric shocks, forcing them to perform unnatural acts. These creatures are in continuous fear of physical pain and intimidated through beatings and physical and emotional aggression from their early training days to present.

“These guys are our family members,” Nerger also told the newspaper. “Even though they are outside and in cages, we treat them like pets — it’s not just a job (running the tiger show). It’s more than that.”

I would submit that tigers are wild creatures, and forever wild creatures, that can never be viewed, treated and expected to act like pets or domesticated animals. They are untrainable and act out of fear. They harbor anger and intent to kill, but are deterred because of fear or, even worse, aversion to beatings they experienced as young tiger cubs resisting trainings, as the trainers attempted to force them to perform unnatural acts since their early captivity. All the growling during performances is evidence of how angry they truly are at being forced to perform silly circus acts since cubhood and throughout their captivity. Tigers have been documented, by videos orchestrated by PETA, killing circus workers.

“This is entertainment,” Essex County Fair Board of Directors member Bridget Brown said. “People are always going to find something (to be upset about).”

Animal activists do not look for something to complain or be upset about randomly, like circuses. They do seek to protest and bring an end to inhumane treatment and exploitation of animals at the hands of people, and which involves animals being maltreated with emotional and physical abuse.

“Brown said the tigers will be kept in a humane environment,” the Enterprise article said. “To be able to host the act, the fair had to ensure the proper equipment was in place to facilitate a refrigerated area for the animals.”

“They’re not stuck out in the heat. They’re very well taken care of,” she said.

My summary is tigers are wild creatures resenting their captivity and treatment to perform circus acts merely for the entertainment of humans. Their containment is cruel, their treatment inhumane and their natural inclinations, and deserved freedom, should be respected and honored. They are under extreme duress. It has been observed circus animals are under extremely stressful conditions, and that is why lions and tigers pace their cages, and elephants rock back and forth. They are better off respecting their undomesticated nature and leaving them be.

My sources are documented video of trainings of circus animals on YouTube by undercover animal activists from PETA. PETA has written about it extensively also. Check out PETA.org.

Please share your thoughts.

Rachel C. McDermott lives in Saratoga Springs.

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