Back at work today, and within mere hours of returning to my desk I was greeted with a new e-mail, forwarded by Napoleana! It was the “Mother of the Year” forward, showing a tiger allowing pigs wrapped in tiger skins to suckle, along with the following text:
In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth. The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother’s cubs, perhaps she would improve. After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veter inarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only orphans” that could be found quickly, were a litter of weaner pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger Would they become cubs or pork chops??????? ?????? Take a look…….. you won’t believe your eyes!!!!
I immediately knew what the real deal was, since I’ve seen this forward before. It’s kind of sad, really — the Sriracha zoo in Thailand makes money by training the cats to do completely ridiculous things, like the above. The exhibits of animals are more like circus acts than any kind of educational feature, showing tigers jumping through burning hoops or elephants walking tightropes. In addition, according to the Animal Welfare Institute, the animals are not taken care of and the zoo may be illegally breeding and exporting wildlife.
I sent Napoleana an e-mail asking if she wanted to know the real story. “No!” she shouted from her desk. Later she e-mailed:
Even if there is another story u donâ€™t know for sure if its real or not =)
Well, I do because the story can be verifiedâ€¦
By the internet =)
No, you can call the Thailand zoo where the photos were taken if youâ€™d like!
How do u know everything
I donâ€™t know everything, just the few things Iâ€™ve been interested enough to read about. Common e-mail forwards interest me because I always like finding out what the real story is and why it got changed as it passed along. Like a game of â€œTelephone.â€
She didn’t respond. What I wanted to reply was, “I don’t know everything, I just have a trait called “intellectual curiosity,” which I find sadly lacking in many others.”
She never even asked what the real story was. I didn’t tell her, because I knew she’d get upset that I had replaced what was an endearing story about cuddly animals with one that betrays the cruelty of humanity. The people who claim to love animals and nature can continue to coo over the pretty myth, while the Thai zoo can continue its cruelty unabated.
Ignorance is bliss — for the ignorant.