Nigel the Puma

A victim of the media industry

Nigel has spent his life being exploited for entertainment. He has never been free, a wild animal trapped behind wire fences.

As a youngster Nigel was kept captive by animal trainers ‘Amazing Animals’, who supply animals for use in the TV and media industry. They exploit majestic animals like pumas, lions and other animals to perform unnatural behaviours for our amusement in films or to sell products in TV adverts.

We investigated this company and filmed lions and tigers being made to perform in circus-style shows. Degraded and belittled to mere performing objects, these animals were made to stand on podiums, stand on their back legs and roar for the crowds.

Animals used in the media are often described as ‘actors’ as though this is a life they chose to lead. But animals like Nigel would never choose this sorry existence, they are forced into it by an industry that makes money out of animal exploitation.

Amazing Animals eventually gave Nigel to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park. He is slowly going blind and the zoo states this is why he was given to them. A blind animal is no use to a company that needs animals to perform.

In some way, this disorder has saved him from a long life of performance in front of the camera but sadly he still spends his days on display, entertaining crowds at the zoo.

If Nigel had been a free-roaming animal his range would be the greatest of any large terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America. Yet this puma will never roam free. He will always be someone's property.

We shine a light on Nigel.

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