One of the most-watched series of the year, Tiger King, premiered on the online streaming service Netflix and was all the talk around water coolers the nation over.
However, even though the series was viewed by millions, Tiger King made even more news this week. On this past Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed a new bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
The vote was close at 272-114, and according to the website of Rep. Mike Quigley, the bill: "prohibits the private ownership of big cats like lions and tigers and curbs the exploitative industry of cub-petting."
The bill will now move to the Senate.
Carole Baskin, who appeared on Tiger King, when hearing of the bill's passing in the House, took to Facebook to express her support and her excitement: "We are thrilled that the Big Cat Public Safety Act passed the House."
She went on to say: "…we hope that the Senate will follow suit quickly to make it into law." Baskin has been active for years to convince Congress to pass the bill and often spoke on her involvement when appearing on Tiger King.
Before the news came out of the bill passing in the House, Baskin had been actively urging Rep. Ross Spano to vote for the bill. She referenced the bill's need, citing that one of her volunteers with her organization suffered an injury. Baskin stated that one of their tigers grabbed the volunteer's arm and nearly ripped it off up to the shoulder.
Baskin took to Twitter, saying: "A volunteer of ours nearly lost her arm today. After he no longer turned a profit for his owner, a captive-bred tiger discarded like thousands we and other sanctuaries have to rescue. This bill ends that."
After months of loud and explicit calls for Congress to end the private ownership of big cats, the House has made the first move in passing this significant bill. Big cats were not meant to be personal pets. They are creatures of the wild. Taking them out of their element and placing them into captivity only serves to set up for dangerous results.
With the bill passing the House, lawmakers are one step closer to ensuring that those big cats such as lions, tigers, puma will not only cease becoming pets, but those that have will now be treated humanely.
Many legislators are hoping that the bill will be brought to the Senate floor rapidly so that it may be signed into law before the end of 2020.
Is this bill the first step to the humane treatment of captive big cats?