What’s wrong with this picture?
Five points if you said my mullet! Ten if you said the lion cub in my lap.
As a teenager in the 80s, I thought nothing of this. I was in the mall with my brother, a makeshift studio was set up in a corner of an open area, and I got to pick which baby animal I wanted to pose with.
I never thought to question the obvious: Where is this cub’s mother? Why is he being carted around from mall to mall for photos instead of being in his natural environment? Is there a danger to humans? What will happen to him when he’s too big and unruly to be cuddly?
Sadly, animals like this are still being exploited in malls, fairs, and at roadside zoos. When these babies are too big, they end up at shoddy roadside zoos, in the pet trade, in canned hunts, or killed for their meat.
The best thing you can do is never pay for a picture with a wild animal. The Humane Society has a campaign against primates, tigers, lions, and bears being used in photo sessions. These sessions with the public fuel the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, and endangers the public.
Please sign it and learn from my mistake. Wild animals are not stuffed toys. Whether at home or abroad, vote with your dollars and say no to animal exploitation.