Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tiger Being Abused For Money

Saturday May 22, 2010
Uproar over abused tiger claim

MALACCA: A 500ha resort in Alor Gajah, with its own safari, has attracted the attention of animal lovers and authorities here over a video clip on the Internet allegedly showing the abuse of a drugged tiger during a photography session.

The two-minute clip first appeared on YouTube in February with the title “Tiger Being Abused For Money.”

It shows what seems to be a heavily sedated tiger on a raised platform and occasionally being propped up by its handler.

The recording also includes an audio recording of an unknown person questioning, in Cantonese, the alleged mistreatment of the tiger.

The person also mentions that she was told that patrons had to fork out RM15 to pose for photographs with the tiger.

When contacted, Malacca Society Against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) president Vincent Low said he was not shocked by such allegations as they had received complaints about the resort previously.

“It is a wild animal and should not be subjected to such treatment. Not only is it inhumane to treat the tiger in such a manner, it is also dangerous for patrons,” he said.

A Famosa Resort general manager Allan Chee denied the abuse allegation.

“There is no evidence that the tiger was drugged or abused by its handler,” he said, adding that he was aware of the video clip and had received numerous inquiries from the public.

Chee said the animal was a captive-bred tiger and was considered very tame and comfortable around humans.

“Tigers are nocturnal and those here are very well fed and become very lazy and lethargic during the mid-morning. So, it is natural that the handlers had to use extra coaxing to move the heavy tiger into position,” he said.

He also denied the resort charged RM15 for patrons to take photographs with the tiger.

“We only charge patrons if they ask us to photograph them with our instant camera,” he said.

A check revealed the resort had removed all negative comments from its Facebook fan page.

It is learnt that WWF Malaysia had also received numerous complaints over the video and had advised those concerned to take it up with the Wildlife and National Parks Department.

It is learnt that SPCA had submitted its recommendation to the department to ensure that animals at the resort were not abused.

Video posted here

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