Posted by Championship_Vinyl at l1.wpalaw.org on October 09, 2003 at 13:29:59:
In Reply to: No need to appologize. You just wrote down what posted by Krazy Kat on October 09, 2003 at 13:19:57:
There was actually an alert that a killer cat was on the loose and specifically that it would harm children? Holy shit. That sure would make ME stay inside.
A true story in response: a close friend of mine has worked with the Snow Leopards at the Pittsburgh Zoo for almost four years now. She quickly grew to know and love them, but also realized extreme caution must be exercised when in the company of 120-pound cats armed with three-inch fangs and claws. The extent of the physical contact she’s had with the leopards in four years consists of an occasional tail stroke through the fence as they pass, and an annual petting session while they’re anesthetized for teeth cleaning and shots. They live a fairly content life of captivity, free from danger or wants, and have gotten relatively used to humans being nearby.
At the same time, my friend also tells me that when she approaches their cage before sunrise or at twilight, the leopards sometimes drop into the shadows and begin to stalk her. She tells me that she can sometimes "feel" them eyeing her up as she approaches, dropping their heads and tensing their muscles in anticipation of pouncing at a moment’s notice. No matter how cute and cuddly they may seem, they’ll always possess a dangerous, visceral predator’s instinct brewing just under the surface.
Obviously if her and one of the leopards ever met face-to-face in the open, her comparatively frail human frame wouldn’t stand a chance if the animal chose to attack. Yet the species is widely considered to be among the weakest and most timid of all the 'great cats.'
Now multiply that animal’s temperament by ten, add another 400-some-odd pounds of muscle, and there’s the animal that Roy’s been "hitting on the head with a microphone" for the last couple of decades and beating the odds by getting away with it.
Bottom line, animals such as tigers are most certainly not pets and they never will be. Nature selected them to be one of Her most efficient predators, and that instinct simply cannot be erased.
Like you said, I can’t imagine a single logical reason why someone would ever even dream of training them to jump through hoops or walk on their hind legs. They’re animals of awesome power, grace and cunning, and worthy of more respect than that.
And again, I'm guilty of rambling.
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