On 25th January 2024, Susan Hargreaves, founder of Animal Hero Kids, sent a letter to a Martin County Commissioner asking them to rethink their decision to book a tiger act for the Martin County Fairgrounds in Stuart, Florida, US. The event, “Tiger Encounter”, initially scheduled for the 6th to the 9th of February, features circus-style white tigers forced to stand on their hind legs and do similar tricks, while living a miserable life in captivity — like all animals in circuses. The event was eventually cancelled to the relief of animal rights advocates, although the reasons given were the possibility of someone getting hurt (and the consequent higher insurance cost).

The publicity of the event states “The Tiger Encounter is an educational show that aims to promote understanding and love between humans and tigers.”, but we know it is not possible to properly educate people about tigers by keeping them in captivity and forcing them to do circus tricks. 

In an Instagram post on 9th February 2024, Animal Hero Kids said, “Note to captive wildlife wardens who profit off the back of miserable animals. Find another living, the writing is on the wall. Wild animals belong in the wild! And people really are aware of the beauty of freedom when they watch Discovery channel etc.”

In 2017, another tiger performance at the same fair ended in an incident in which a tiger got spooked during last night’s performance by Nerger’s Splendid Tigers. 

The Martin County Fair & Youth Livestock Show is the largest single event held annually in Martin County for over 60 years of the county’s history, attracting over 43,000 people from across the Treasure Coast and neighbouring regions. Unfortunately, as the name suggests, other animals will be used during the event, not just tigers. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.