Astonishing that a white tiger cub was abandoned in a rubbish bin next to a Greek zoo

NEWS AND VIEWS-ATTICA ZOOLOGICAL PARK, ATHENS GREECE: This is an astonishing variation on the classic cat dumping story. We know that not uncommonly people abandon their unwanted pet cats by dumping them outside cat rescue centres or sometimes, far more callously, in a rubbish dump somewhere, anywhere.

In this instance, ABC News report that medics are fighting to save the life of a 3-month-old female white tiger cub after she was found in an appalling state in a rubbish bin outside the Attica Zoological Park by a cleaner on February 28, 2023. The rubbish bin is in a parking lot.

White tiger cub abandoned outside Greek zoo in Athens
White tiger cub abandoned outside Greek zoo in Athens. Image: Attica Zoological Park.

The zoo's founder is dumbfounded. Jean-Jacques Leseur said: "It is the first time ever we had such an animal dumped outside our zoo. I mean, we had a number of cases of animals dumped, but usually these are abandoned pets; puppies, kittens, tortoises but a tiger? Never."

Law enforcement is trying to identify the person who dumped the tiger through their vehicle license plate number. It seems that security cameras caught the actual dumping of the tiger in the rubbish bin.

The cub was found severely dehydrated and in a serious health condition. The zoo veterinarian said: "When I first saw the cub, I couldn't believe what I was seeing in front of me, I honestly couldn't believe that an animal was in such a state. She was probably fed an improper diet, and she is severely deficient in vitamins and minerals, and this makes her bones extremely fragile."

An x-ray revealed that she had a metal pin in one of her back legs. The cub might not survive but if she does, she will be relocated to a sanctuary. There is clearly no question of her being returned to the wild. She was probably born in captivity anyway. She appears to have been a 'pet' belonging to the anonymous person who abandoned her and who couldn't cope with her proper caregiving.

White tiger cub abandoned outside Greek zoo in Athens
White tiger cub abandoned outside Greek zoo in Athens. Coming out of a scanner. Cute. Cared for at last. Image credit as above.

International wildlife and animal welfare organisations have contacted the zoo to help. One of the great difficulties with having a tiger as a pet is ensuring that their diet is adequate. I think you will find that Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue in the USA, would agree with that sentiment. A lot of the tigers that she rescued has suffered through terrible diets because they were kept in private zoos by owners who had insufficient knowledge.

Despite CITES, an international treaty on preventing international wildlife trade of live animals and body parts, it is a massive multibillion dollar business and a terrible one because it harms conservation unimaginably. Humankind is still bent on exploiting animals in any shape or form for financial gain.

All white tigers come from one single male tiger whose mother was shot by a sport hunter many years ago. This is why all white tigers in all the zoo that you see in the world are heavily inbred and many (we don't know the percentage) are born with anatomical defects which makes them unsuitable for exhibiting in zoos. What happens to these cats? They are probably culled at birth or shortly thereafter. That is my assessment.


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