Monday, 01 April 2013 20:04

Statement: IFAW Calls Foul on Detroit Tigers Photo Op Featured

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(Washington, DC – April 1, 2013) – This past Friday, the Detroit Tigers organization posted photos on its Facebook page of its star players handling a tiger cub at a spring training camp.


Tracy Coppola, Campaigns Officer, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW;, issued the following statement regarding the event:


“Undoubtedly, the Detroit Tigers, like so many other animal enthusiasts in the U.S., did not realize the photo op presented some fairly significant public safety and animal welfare issues.


Handling a wild big cat is not a game and treating them like a ‘pet’ poses extreme risks. In the past two decades, U.S. incidents involving captive big cats—tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and other species—have resulted in the deaths of 22 humans and nearly 300 human injuries.


Additionally, dozens of U.S. traveling zoos and roadside exhibitors—like the Dade City's Wild Things Zoo, which was responsible for providing the cub for the photo op—profit from charging the public a fee to pet and pose with tiger cubs and other large big cats. After the cubs grow too big and dangerous for handling, all too often they could be kept in someone's backyard; bred incessantly to further fuel the cub handling trade, or even be killed.


This is why passing the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act—a nationwide ban on private big cat ownership and breeding that will soon be reintroduced in Congress—is so important.


As opening day kicks off, millions of fans from all over the nation will flock to stadiums to cheer on their favorite baseball heroes. Many of these fans are children who look up to the athletes as role models and emulate their behaviors.  The Detroit Tigers now have an opportunity to use their mascot and national voice to educate people about the dangers of big cat ownership and pledge that they will, in the future, choose not to pose with tiger cubs because they would never knowingly want to support an industry that thrives off the exploitation of this species.”


About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever... | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.