Return Tigers to the Wild

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Return US tiger population to its natural habitat.

Much of the world’s tiger population lives in backyards or captivity in the United States, rather than in the wild or in zoos. According to news reports, all but six percent of these animals live in breeding facilities, backyards, or apartments; in some states it is even easier to buy a pet tiger than it is to adopt a rescue dog.

This is not good for the tigers or the humans who keep them captive. According to conservationists, the captivity of tigers makes it harder to keep track of their numbers, as well as fueling the illegal trade of tiger parts that is still a major problem in certain parts of the world. Additionally, dozens of children have suffered brutal injuries from tigers kept as pets or found living in backyards; four even lost their lives, and authorities were forced to kill the tigers responsible.

The planet’s tiger population has been in dire straits for years now, with the species dangerously close to extinction at certain points. We need to aid the return of tigers to the wild or to the zoos where they can be kept safe. Sign this petition to remove tigers from captivity immediately.


Dear Director Kurth,

The United States has seen more tigers living in backyards or in captivity within the past year, causing problems for conservationists aiming to keep track of their numbers as well as leading to children in homes containing the animals being attacked or even killed. Four children lost their lives to tiger attacks, leading the authorities to put the animals down, and the captivity of the animals in general helps fuel the illegal tiger parts trade in certain parts of the world.

You must return these tigers to either the wild or to the zoos where they can be properly cared for. Apartments and backyards are no place for wild animals, especially ones that have been on the endangered list for years as tigers have been. Part of keeping the population safe is ensuring proper habitat. You must outlaw keeping tigers in captivity, and aid in the return of the surviving animals to their proper habitats.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: William Warby

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  1. Derinda Nilsson says:

    This is so not fair to the tigers, either way they get the blame for doing what is natural for them. Leave them alone in the wild were they belong. I don’t believe a Zoo is the answer. They don’t belong in cages. Adopt a cat, it is safer for everyone as well as the tigers.

  2. Wild animals belong in the wild! Not zoos, not circuses! Definitely not cages! Stupid humans want to play with fire, they will get burned!

  3. First of all, you CAN’T “return” a captive-born wild animal to the wild. They lack the hunting skills necessary for survival–it would be an death sentence for them. Second, zoos are nothing more than animal prisons that operate for profit. Most over-breed surplus animals that end up getting killed. Zoos do very little for actual conservation.

    These backyard “pets” need to go to accredited sanctuaries, NOT zoos, and we need to be pushing for legislation that bans all future private ownership of dangerous wild animals. Rather than sign this ineffective (and possibly deadly) petition, I urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to support H.R. 181, the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

    • Sorry, it’s H.R. 1818, not 181.

    • Agree 100% but this has to happen worldwide. However, I would also insist that these sanctuaries are not reserves where the animals are supposed to be safe (think S Africa and trophy hunters), they are proper sanctuaries where NO ONE like the Chinese can buy their way into them and use them for other means.

      • Robin Riley says:

        There are very good refuges. The questions to ask are, do they allow breeding? Do they keep the animal for like? Do they allow touching of any kind? Do they ask the animals to preform tricks. A true refuge does NOT breed, keeps the animal for life and NEVER EVER allows anyone to touch the animal except for medical needs and NEVER has them do tricks.

        • Ditto, Holly M.! Even the accredited sanctuaries, like Big Cat Rescue, are getting stretched to the limit by the preponderance of exploited wild cats these days. It’s updated laws AND their strict enforcement that will go further in slowing down and then stopping these crimes against wild cats. Accordingly, I’m not signing either, just commenting.

  4. Sorry, it’s H.R 1818, not 181.

  5. I don’t trust ANYONE in this administration to do the right thing. Maybe if one of them gets eaten by one of these exotic animals, something will get done. We can only hope!

    • I say this every day, about all sorts of animal issues. Only when it personally affects the bozos in authority… Even then, they would likely do the WRONG things, in retaliation, vs. rubbing 2 brain cells together and LEARNING something of real use.

  6. Jacqui Skill says:

    FWS do your animals for a change instead of always hurting and killing them!

  7. Robin Riley says:

    Animals born in captivity lack the skills to survive in the wild plus many of these animals have been declawed or defanged. No one should own a big cat as a pet! These animals should go to a refuge such as Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. There are others, this happens to be my favorite. The cats live in very large grassy enclosures. There is a vet clinic on site. There is no breeding and absolutely no touching. The animals are allowed to live as close as possible to their life in the wild. The stories of animals that come from private zoos and homes as well as circuses will break your heart. Please contact your Representative and ask them to support HR1818 and your Senators to support S2990 the Big Cat Public Safety Act. 4 states have NO ban on private ownership. 10 states only require a permit and 13 states have a partial ban on private ownership. This is ridiculous.


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