While most of us are on Tinder to find a date or a soulmate, appearing on the app isn’t fun for everyone. What might, at first swipe, look like a harmless picture actually means that someone was caged, dominated, and tied down or drugged before their photo was taken and uploaded online.
This is the reality for tigers, lions, and other big cats who are featured in an alarming number of Tinder profile photos. These animals are typically torn away from their distraught mothers when they’re just days old and then subjected to extreme stress and physical abuse. Most are housed in small concrete cages or barren enclosures with limited access to fresh water and are trained to be fearful and obedient.
A recent report by World Animal Protection documented the suffering behind the tiger-selfie tourism industry. It found that in Thailand alone, there were 830 tigers in entertainment venues.
Once the tigers have grown larger and are too dangerous to handle, they end up being locked away in cages or heavily sedated. Not only are these types of photos cruel to animals, unaware Tinderlings might also mistake them for cute, harmless pictures and be prompted to take part in this abusive industry themselves.
The problem is so great that there are entire blogs dedicated to “Tigers of Tinder” and “Tinder guys with Tigers.” With International Tiger Day upon us, NOW is the perfect time to help protect big cats by banning the most selfish selfie of all. By taking the tiger stripes out of swipes, we’ll be sending a message to the Tinder community that in modern-day matchmaking, cruelty to animals should never be on offer.
You can make sure that you never take a part in tiger cruelty by ONLY visiting legitimate sanctuaries.