Siberian Tigers In Backyard Zoos―Yikes!
Male Siberian, or Amur tigers can weigh over 600 pounds and stand four feet tall at the withers and can be over eleven feet in length, from the nose to tip of the tail. As someone once said they are a cat the size of a cow―but with the obvious difference being that an Amur tiger is a perfect killing machine. It is therefore quite alarming that 3,500 tigers, including Siberian tigers, are currently being kept in unregulated private backyard cages and unaccredited zoos in the United States alone. Efforts are being made at the federal level to outlaw the private ownership of tigers and to regulate all zoos, but the legislation is currently stalled in the Congress.
What makes this all the more poignant is that the Amur tiger is a critically endangered species and there are only about 500 of these magnificent big cats left in the wild. They live primarily in the birch forests of far Eastern Russia where, despite the efforts of the Russian Government to protect them, they are under constant threat from poachers who sell their body parts for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.