Ross Kemp explores Britain’s Tiger Kings in a brand new ITV series (Picture: ITV)
Britain’s Tiger Kings – On Trial With Ross Kemp kicks off tonight, delving deep into people who keep dangerous wild animals right here in the UK.
The new two-part series sees the former EastEnders actor go on a journey to discover why anyone would want to keep a 250kg feline, and asking whether it is in the best interests of the animal to do so.
It’s understood there are about 4,000 animals including lions, tigers, bears, crocodiles, and giant snakes in private hands in the country.
Where are the zoos in Britain’s Tiger Kings?
In the first episode of Britain’s Tiger Kings, Ross meets former circus trainer Jim Clubb who trains animals for television programmes, films and adverts, and keeps tigers among his menagerie at Amazing Animals, which is part of Heythrop Zoological Garden in Oxfordshire.
Amazing Animals provides animals for major feature films, commercials, television dramas, music videos, and more at Heythrop, which is the largest private collection of exotic animals in the UK
Ross gets up close and personal with a Bengal tiger at Heythrop Zoological Garden in Oxfordshire (Picture: ITV)
Sadly, Heythrop Zoo, which is home to lion and tigers, as well as wolves, sloths and penguins, is a private animal training centre and is not open to the general public.
The only times its premises are viewed by large groups of people are within the context of private educational visits by schools and colleges. However, in September, the zoo makes an exception and opens its gates to the general public for only four days.
These events allow visitors access to areas only usually available to clients in the media industry.
Heythrop Zoo’s mission is to educate on animal welfare and behaviour, advance animal training standards worldwide and inspire the next generation to be the guardians of the wonderful animals and nature on our planet.
It is not open to the general public on a day-to-day basis, but can offer ‘exclusive and unforgettable animal experiences’ by appointment only.
How to help big cats in the UK?
Donate to help save the tigers (Picture: Big Cat Rescue)
There are a number of charities in the UK which aim to help big cats.
The Big Cat Sanctuary, located in Kent, is home to a variety of different wild cat species.
The charity, which aims to assist in the conservation of the world’s endangered wild cats and to preserve breeding integrity, relies on donations and fundraising to help drive its welfare, breeding, education and conservation programmes.
Meanwhile, Four Paws is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.
Their vision is a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.
Donations made to Four Paws will help them save more animals and provide them with the care they need.
Britain’s Tiger Kings – On the Trail with Ross Kemp airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.