Disturbing Big Cat Videos

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 28th, 2008

The large felid exhibition has reopened, but a cloud of “why” still floats over the death of a young man killed during a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo.

Videos such as the following are disturbing, because they give the illusion that “wild animals” are friendly. How can we teach children to enjoy zoos but realize the animals there are dangerous and still untamed with videos like these circulating?

Does the tiger attack in San Francisco make sense, at some level, in the context of a society that treats big cats as nothing more than giant pets?

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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Disturbing Big Cat Videos”

  1. pcs800 responds:

    Wow, even watching the hugs from the cats made me nervous for those guys. I agree, children should not get the impression that this behavior is common or even sincere as to what it looks like. The animals in these videos are acting as they were trained to do, they are not actually hugging the people.
    It is up to parents to teach their children what is and what is not.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    While even wild animals can form strong bonds with handlers and others who spend a lot of time with them, they are far from tame. It takes great understanding of just what you’re doing, as well as caution and patience to achieve that level of rapport with a wild creature such as a lion or a bear.

    Another one I read about last night was a zoo in another city that lets people ‘play’ with the lion using a hunk of meat on a long rope, as if it was a cat toy.

  3. Fayble responds:

    Well a moderate education should mean children wouldn’t be tempted to do that :/
    But I think its nice to show that they aren’t vicious creatures that kill when ever given the chance

  4. mystery_man responds:

    Ceroill- That reminds me of a theme park in Vietnam that has one area called “The Crocodile Kingdom”. This area consists of an area filled with over a thousand crocodiles. Yes, you read that right. Over. One. Thousand. In the middle of this huge crocodile habitat is a large platform, cheerily made up in theme park style to look like a straw roofed hut, for visitors (including children) to gather and watch the crocs, all the while being only really protected by a metal railing and a couple feet of space. It gets worse. For a fee, you can rent a bamboo pole and feed or taunt the crocodiles with dead chickens tied to lines at the end of these poles. I wish I were making this up. It is unbelievable how insanely unsafe and ill conceived that place is.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    Here is a video of the Crocodile Kingdom I mentioned showing what passes for “entertainment” there. Notice the people laughing in the background the whole time. Another disturbing video to add to the ones here to be sure.


  6. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    to me, it’s indicative of what Loren’s book calls the “copycat effect,” but in a literal sense, as well. in other words, sadly, monkey see, monkey do. or homo sapien see, homo sapien do.

    great cats are some of nature’s finest predatorary creations. they’ve survived largely intact since before our simian ancestors learned how to (understandably) defend against but then (sadly) imprison them for sport and amusement.

    recently, you may have seen another ‘copycat’ trend: shark encounters in the wild in which tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerheads and other aggressive, man-eating species are chummed, baited and attracted, and THEN humans dive WITHOUT CAGES into the waters with them for “the ultimate encounter.”

    an australian man died a few days ago in the bahamas in this very manner. it makes no sense to me, frankly. not only does it encourage the sharks to equate humans + food in the same environment (of which the great white and tiger sharks need no further encouragement), but it’s also akin to starting an elephant stampede in Africa and standing very, very still as they rush you so you can “experience the ultimate thrill.” and perhaps final one, as well.

    the only solution MAY be to create and/or allow only wide-space vista parks like the San Diego Wildlife types. this way, idiotic humans are allowed to be kept in the cages (the traveling trams) while the evidently more intelligent species are free to roam the grasslands.

    it’s probably more humane anyway… especially when human cruelty knows no bounds. anyway, a good point in our relationship to cryptoids.

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I know it is incredibly abnormal behavior…

    But I LOVE that video of the lion hugging that lady, I’m sorry! 🙂

  8. SOCALcryptid responds:

    The tigress that attacked the three teenage boys supposedly had been taunted by them. Says witnesses. The tigress jumped out over the enclosure she was in and some believe hunted the teenagers down. Ultimately she was shot and killed. The truth will come out when this goes to court. There are a lot of rumors that surround this case.

  9. squatch-toba responds:

    You find this sort of silly human action with “dangerous” animals all over the place. Remember how “neat” it was to feed the bears in parks & campgrounds. In the end, the only ones who suffer are the animals.

  10. Mnynames responds:

    The Crocodile Kingdom seems quite tame compared to some things I’ve read about Chinese zoos. From what I read, they regularly feed live goats to their big cats, even letting the little kiddies pet the goat before tossing it to be slowly taunted and ripped to shreds by big animals with blunted hunting instincts from years of captivity. And they also tie chickens to poles to feed to the big cats…except they’re still alive and fluttering when they do so.

    Worse, the zoos restaurants often offer Tiger on the menu, cultivating them almost like livestock for this purpose.

  11. kittenz responds:

    Notice the mutilated forepaws in the lion hugging the lady. That makes me SICK. Declawing cats of any size is cruel; it’s an extremely mutilating surgery in which the first joints of the “fingers” are literally cut off – cut right through the joint. Recovery is very painful and the declawed cats often develop painful arthritic conditions after they are mutilated in this way.

    Declawing big cats is even more cruel and painful due to their greater weight. Declawing is one of the sordid little hidden truths about the big cat pet trade.

  12. nytedrgn responds:

    I actually agree with kittenz on this…de-clawing is sick…and yes you do live with the consequences…I know I had a finger amputated at the first joint…so don’t tell me i don’t know lol.

    Wild animals should roam free and not be kept as pets or specimens!

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