Cute animal pictures and videos often make me feel sad.
I know, cute kittens and puppies are what keep Facebook, America’s Funniest Home Videos and Instagram going. So my position isn’t a popular one.
It’s the goal of any good blogger or videographer to have his/her animal video go viral, such as this recent video of a dog licking a lion’s teeth at a “zoo” in Oklahoma.
But I don’t find that video at all cute.
This is not a relationship found in nature, though to be sure, such friendships do occur.
I look past the lion to the enclosure, and realize the lion is in a large cage with a concrete floor. That’s not healthy for the lion.
At the clip’s end, we learn the pup was 4 weeks old when introduced to the lion. Really? As a potential friend, or as a meal?
What you may not know is that this lion and dog don’t live at a reputable zoo, but at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Oklahoma. This park has been in trouble several times before for alleged animal abuse. The park breeds animals, especially tigers, to make money through their “pay to pet” tiger cub business (learn more about “pay to pet” here).
This 2011 Inside Edition segment tells more about the park’s “pay to pet” business.
It’s easy to get lulled by the cute animals that fill the Internet these days. Don’t be fooled by what’s on the surface. Look deeper, and ask yourself if it’s truly cute, or another example of animals being exploited by humans for entertainment and personal gain.