Tigers Don’t Belong in Our Backyards

(Photo:© Harimau Kayu/Getty Images)

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WWF's mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Their vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.

About the Petition

Shockingly, there are about 5,000 captive tigers in the U.S.—many more than in the wild. Almost all of the captive tigers are owned privately as pets—not by zoos or accredited institutions.

Why does this matter? For two main reasons:

  1. These tigers could become victims of wildlife crime. Without strict regulations on the private ownership of tigers, we cannot prevent them, or their bones and skins, from finding a way into the lucrative illegal international black market.
  2. It’s a matter of public safety. It’s entirely possible that your neighbor has a tiger on his property and has never reported it to local officials or informed you. In some places, it’s easier to buy a tiger as a pet than to adopt a dog from a shelter.

We need your help to remind President Obama that our government’s inaction to close loopholes on captive tigers leaves wild tigers—and people—vulnerable.

To: President Barack Obama

I respectfully urge you to strictly regulate the private ownership of tigers by individuals in the U.S. There are as many as 5,000 captive tigers in America, and the majority of these animals are subject to little or no government oversight. There is no accurate record or system to determine the actual number of tigers in the country, where they are, or what happens to them after they die.

Not only can captive tigers help to fuel wildlife trafficking and the illegal trade in tiger parts, but they also pose a risk to public safety in the United States—as was tragically demonstrated in Zanesville, Ohio, in October 2011.

I commend your historic leadership in combating wildlife trafficking, including Executive Order 13648, which recognizes that it is in our national interest to prevent trafficking in protected wildlife species, including tigers.

To ensure that captive tigers in the U.S. are in no way helping to fuel the illegal trade in tigers and tiger parts and to promote public safety, I urge you to take the following actions:

  • Direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require that any person or facility licensed to exhibit, breed or deal in tigers must report annually on the number of tigers held as well as any births, deaths, transfers, or sales. These statistics should be made publicly available.
  • Direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the exemption for “generic” tigers under the Captive-Bred Wildlife registration system.


[Your name here] 

Action Updates

  • 05 October 2015

    Petition Delivery!

    On March 31st, WWF submitted the full list of signers through a letter to President Obama. In total, WWF submitted 263,206 names, 41,030 of which came from TakePart.

  • 17 February 2016

    We did it!

    Thank you for helping us reach 60,000 supporters! We've now upped our goal to 90,000 signatures! Let's keep the momentum going to close loop-holes that allow tiger captivity.

  • 05 April 2016

    Action Update

    Today, the US government announced new regulations around captive tigers. That's thanks to you and the other supporters who joined you in taking action to protect tigers. These new regulations are a step forward in improving all of that—and in ensuring that US captive tigers cannot fuel the illegal trade that drives poaching of tigers in the wild. Thank you!


  • 60909
    Marina Cano
    1 month ago
  • 60908
    Rob Babson
    Portland, ME
    1 month ago
  • 60907
    Ingrid Oscarsson
    New York, NY
    2 months ago
  • 60906
    Jarrett Cloud
    Madison, NJ
    2 months ago
  • 60905
    Courtney Wall
    Fort Worth, TX
    2 months ago
  • 60904
    Carla Muller
    2 months ago
  • 60903
    Sylwia Zielinska
    2 months ago
  • 60902
    Madria Everson
    Southfield, MI
    2 months ago
  • 60901
    Lasha Wells
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    2 months ago
  • 60900
    Caitlin Potter
    Painesville, OH
    2 months ago
  • 60899
    Patience Doeing
    Painesville, OH
    2 months ago
  • 60898
    Kayla Sharpe
    Painesville, OH
    2 months ago
  • 60897
    Vanessa Yowell
    Painesville, OH
    2 months ago
  • 60896
    Stacey Rohrbaugh
    Willits, CA
    3 months ago

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