Working at Disney World exposes you to everything imaginable. It’s not just castles, fairy tale characters, and insane rides you see on a daily basis, but all types of people as well. Sometimes people do strange things, but nothing prepared park employees for a woman trying to enter with her pet tiger in tow!
On April 6th, 2015, an unidentified woman tried to enter the park with her pet tiger, and was promptly stopped by park employees. The tiger had been staying with the family in their hotel room (who brings a tiger to a hotel room?!), and walked to the park on a leash. While service animals are allowed in the park, the woman could not prove that it was an “emotional support animal,” according to employees.
After a long winded argument at the parks entrance, Central Florida Zoo was called to retrieve the baby Bengal tiger until the end of the woman’s vacation. However, for the “inconvenience,” Disney gave reservations at a restaurant on site, and gave them fast passes for the rest of their trip.
This situation highlights just how easy it is to acquire an exotic animal as a “pet,” and the cavalier attitude people have towards them. Far too many animals are adopted while they are “still cute,” only to be abandoned or killed when they become too difficult to take care of. Hopefully it will become impossible for these wild creatures to be bought and traded with impunity. Thankfully, we can all pitch in to help.
As with many news stories, things are constantly changing. As it turns out, the animals was a bengal CAT, which is a semi-domesticated exotic breed of cat. However, many parts of the United States outlaw or regulate bengal cats, considering them exotic, and in the same category as an actual tiger. While there is some comfort in knowing the details, it still stirs up the questions of morality and safety of trying to “own” exotic animals and treating them as house pets.
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