Tiger Hugger

Tiger Hugger
Thanks to the media propaganda regarding exotic animal ownership in the USA, if you were an English speaking Alien who just landed on planet Earth, you would likely be expecting to see a pet tiger in every yard, especially in Texas.

Hysterical headlines regarding private ownership of exotics, referring to tigers as the next homeless pet, seem to be popping out everywhere.

Crazy animal rights activists are practicing medicine without a license, by diagnosing exotic animal ownership as a mental illness, and calling us hoarders. We are being called crazy for having pets that could supposedly kill us.

When I met my fiancée and REXANO co-founder Scott almost 6 years ago, I asked him if he would like to see the pictures of me and big cats. Scott assumed I was going to show him some pictures from a zoo. Well, Scott is from Texas, how come he never saw pet tigers in the bed of a pickup truck, which seems to be the pet tiger owner stereotype.

So what is the truth, are exotic animal owner’s really suicidal lunatics? Who are we, and why are we choosing to have pets with a potential to kill us?

There are many more ways to die, and exotic animals are not at the top off the list.

Looking at the US facts and statistics since 1990, on average captive big cat kills one person per year, captive venomous snake 0.8, captive non venomous snake 0.5, non human primates 0, and captive elephant 0.7 people per year. Majority of these fatalities are owners, family members, friends, and
trainers voluntarily on the property where the animals were kept; meaning, it was voluntarily accepted hobby/occupational hazard, not a public safety issue. Dogs kill over 30 people per year and toys about 20.

At the same time in 2005, 344 people in the USA died by drowning and submersion while in or falling into bath-tub. Drowning and submersion while in or falling into swimming-pool caused 607 human deaths, while drowning and submersion while in or falling into natural water killed 1,603. Murder and
non-negligent manslaughter killed 16,692 humans. No exotic animals can match that!

Rexano.org - Education

Traffic accidents kill between 120-130 people per day in the USA!

Zuzana Kukol and Elvis her handsome and obviously very healthy white tiger

I have been exotic animal owner for over 20 years. I started with reptiles and then added big cats over 15 years ago. People often ask me WHY do I have pet tigers or African lion?

I often wonder if exotic animal owners are born or made?

Question why have big cats as pets is hard to answer, just the same way it is hard to answer why some people don't want the kids, or why some like rainy weather, or why are you are in love with this particular person. I just accept my love for these animals. If we all were the same, and all had same
pets and houses and cars, the world would be a very boring place indeed.

Unfortunately, the more I am trying to escape the politics and spend more time with my pets, the harder it is. Animal rights activist are winning the war and are pushing for exotic animal bans under the guise of public safety. Our legislators blindly believe this propaganda, instead of looking at the

The newest twist (or excuse) in asking for more regulation on private tiger ownership is to supposedly stop American tigers to be sold for parts on international markets. We already have laws against smuggling. Furthermore, there is not even one incident of American tigers being smuggled out of the
USA. All tigers in America are captive breed, and these tigers are a self sustaining captive population NOT being used in Oriental medicines. Chinese don't need American tigers, their captive tiger population is just as numerous or even bigger than American tiger population.

It is getting tiring to be always on the defense, guilty until proven innocent. We, exotic animal owners, have to constantly keep proving that we love our pets and don't want to sell them for body parts.

Exotic pets are not for everybody, but those of us who chose to share our life with them shouldn't be ridiculed as outcasts and mentally ill. In fact, most exotics are smaller than most domesticated animals.

I support anybody's right to be free to choose what kind of pet to own and love. However, it is very important with any animal domestic or exotic, to get educated about the animal's need before you get it.

The irresponsible owners give all of us a bad name, and unfortunately, nowadays, exotic owners are faced with impossible standards: unless we are 100% accident free, we are labeled danger to society. Nothing in life is 100% safe, that is an unreasonable standard we can never live up to, unless the exotic animals get banned, which is what our enemies, the extreme AR, animal rights activists, really want. By blowing very rare exotic animal attacks out of proportion, the AR groups are winning the PR war against us.

Maybe one day I can spend more time being a tiger hugger and less time defending my right to what I truly love and what makes me happy, my animals.

By Zuzana Kukol Guest Author, of Rexano.org

Check out the story by Zuzana Kukol The Story of "Shady Lady" Wolfdogs magazine 2009.

You can see Zuzana Kukol in the documentary film Elephant in the Living Room hitting film festivals right now.

You will find Zuzana Kukol in the soon to be released Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets (Hardcover). This book expected out in April and from my standpoint looks hot. It can be pre-ordered now, I know it will be on my bookshelf.

Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets

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