Animal Adventure Park (AAP), Harpursville, NY, has obtained two tiger cubs to exploit for publicity and profit.
The cubs are brothers, named Bao and Ming, that were taken from their mother to be imprinted on by humans.
AAP announced the new cubs on July 15 and said the cubs would be available for viewing in person or on their "Tiger Cub Cam" the following day.
The facility does not have a tiger enclosure for their cubs. AAP said they’re building an enclosure for the tigers which they plan to have completed by the end of the summer.
Yesterday, AAP posted a photo of owner Jordan Patch holding one of the endangered cubs; a photo which some say sends the message that tigers are pets rather than wild animals.
It is unclear where Bao and Ming's parents are. AAP owner Jordan Patch has declined requests to reveal the name of the facility where the cubs were born. When a Roadside Zoo News representative asked AAP where the cubs came from, the facility blocked us on social media.
In the past, AAP has obtained animals from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), including the Milwaukee Zoo, WI, and from unaccredited roadside zoos such as the now-closed Special Memories Zoo, WI.
The AZA is an independent accrediting organization "for the best zoos and the best aquariums in America and the world," according to their website. The organization requires high standards of animal care and animal welfare at AZA accredited facilities. AAP is not AZA accredited.
Roadside Zoo News reached out to the AZA for comment on the relationship between the organization and the New York roadside zoo, but we have not yet received a response.
Both AZA accredited zoos and roadside zoos like AAP are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Animal law professor and featured contributor in the award-winning documentary The Conservation Game, Carney Anne Nasser, said holding a USDA license is the bare minimum requirement to exhibit animals to the public.
She said the USDA inspects licensed facilities about once per year. License holders are only required to provide the minimal standards for animal survival such as food, water, and enough room to stand up, turn around and lie down.
"Moreover, the USDA’s own internal auditors have repeatedly criticized the agency for failing to enforce those bare minimum standards," Nasser said.
In May, AAP announced on Facebook that they received a "flawless" USDA inspection.
Nasser said to "always be dubious of any unaccredited facility that only touts its licensure by the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
She took to Facebook to question where AAP's new tiger cubs had came from.
"The AZA deserves to know who else AAP is doing business with," she said.
Roadside Zoo News has reached out to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to determine where AAP obtained Bao and Ming from.