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Orangutan Babysits Tiger Cubs: A Deeper Look

Orangutan Babysits Tiger Cubs

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an unexpected friendship blossomed. An orangutan has taken on a surprising new role: babysitter to a few tiger cubs. But how did this even happen?

Unlikely Friends

“Orangutan Babysits Tiger Cubs,” Source: YouTube, Uploaded:

Size and species differences aside, the vast jungles of Asia are home to both these creatures; however, their paths seldom cross in the wild. Yet, in this unique setting, they have become inseparable. The orangutan, who watched his caregivers tending to the tiger cubs, felt an intrinsic desire to step in and help. It’s as if he thought, “Why can’t I do that too?”

The Darker Side of the Story

tiger cub
Tiger cub. Image via Depositphotos

While the video of the orangutan and tiger cubs has garnered millions of views and is described as a “cuteness overload,” a more somber perspective must be addressed. At first glance, the video seems to depict a heartwarming interaction, but upon closer inspection, it raises concerns about animal exploitation. Watchdog group Eyes On Apes has criticized Myrtle Beach Safari for using the “unlikely animal friendships” narrative to exploit endangered species and misrepresent the proper care of these animals.

Questionable Practices

Doc Antle
Doc Antle. You may recognize him from Netflix’s “Tiger King.” ZooFriend, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Myrtle Beach Safari offers a “preservation station photo encounter” where participants can have hands-on experiences with a baby tiger and a young ape, with prices starting at $100 per person. One particularly concerning practice is the “training” of the tiger cubs by the apes to enjoy the bottle. This is not for the benefit of the animals but rather so that tourists can switch places with the ape for photo opportunities. While the organization claims to support wildlife conservation through its charity, Rare Species Fund, its activities have been scrutinized. Critics, including Big Cat Rescue, have reported instances where Myrtle Beach Safari donated tigers to subpar zoos under the guise of conservation.

A Plea for Awareness

Orangutan in the wild. Image via Depositphotos

Animal lovers and the general public need to be discerning consumers of online content. Not everything that appears heartwarming on the surface is free from underlying issues. Eyes On Apes urges individuals to investigate the living conditions of animals featured in viral content and to educate others about the actual circumstances behind such videos.

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Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Sick of Stories that promote Big Cat Rescue, or Carol Baskins. She/they are the worst at using their animals to gain financially. Sick of it already.

Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Okay but what happens when they get bigger?

H. Brinker

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Any organization that allows public photo shoots with baby animals is doing a terrible disservice to the animal by exploiting them and should be shut down. Since they need a constant supply of baby tigers to make money, uncontrolled breeding takes place. When the tigers are too large to be around people, they have to be disposed of. Since they are not properly bred (mixed species)or are inbred, legitimate rehab facilities won’t take them. Please don’t ever support this type of abuse. The animals will thank you.

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