To all the New Yorkers trying to look cool on the Internet with their “tiger selfies”: YOU’RE DONE. Tiger selfies are now banned in New York.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but in case the phrase “tiger selfie” has you scratching your head, it’s just that: a photo taken with a tiger or other large cat. This has become a wildly popular thing on Internet dating sites, where users think it ups their cool points to pose with large cats who would rather live in the wild than pose next to some sorry human’s mug.
The law that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed this week prohibits direct contact between the human public and large cats in traveling animal shows and fairs. (And really, aren’t the animals in traveling shows and fairs suffering enough already without being Instagrammed?)
Reasons for the ban go far beyond the ridiculousness of these selfies.
“They breed the cubs, use them for photo-ops, and then when they can’t use them they breed more,” said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a Tampa, Florida sanctuary that has more than 100 big cats. “Taking the cub away is a misery to the cub and the mother, and the cubs aren’t fed properly. They don’t sell tiger milk at the pet store.”
If you want to make yourself look good on your Internet dating profiles or elsewhere on social media, pose with your rescued (domestic) kitten. Instagram a fancy vegan meal you cooked. Pose in an animal rights T-shirt. Any of the above are way sexier than posing with confined and mistreated animals.
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