Most people think it would be foolish to poke a tiger in the face. Others just consider it part of the job.
That's what happened at The Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm near the beach resort of Pattaya in Thailand. A video
of a park employee poking a chained and helpless tiger in the face with a red hot poker has garnered more than four million views and sparked fury.
The park responded by saying the employee had been removed from the park. Unfortunately, the tiger is still there. In Thailand, it is not uncommon for parks like these to use tigers and other wild animals as photo props.
Tourists, unaware or unconcerned about the creature's poor treatment of the pay big bhat — the Thai currency — to take pictures with these captive — often poorly treated — wild animals.
In order to get the perfect picture, animal "trainers" often poke, prod and hit the animal so it will do the trainer's bidding.
Last year a whole host of organizations came out against the troubling trend of animal selfies and the dark secrets behind the smiling faces. Tinder went so far as to warn their users not to use wild animals selfies in their profile pics. Late last year, Instagram launched an animal abuse alert system and news organizations including the Guardian wrote exposés denouncing the practice. The bottom line tigers and other animals shouldn't be used as photo props. They should be out in the wild living a free and full life. Help send a message to the Million Years Stone Park. Sign the petition and tell them to stop using animals for selfies and ask them to release their tigers to a sanctuary.