Thursday 30 January 2020 | 62

Behind the brambles and the brick walls, there are nine tigers


Mis à jour le 23 October 2020

For over a year now we have been investigating these tigers, held by circus trainer Mario Masson. A stone's throw away from the amusement parks of Saint Paul and Saint Léger, between the four walls of an abandoned factory in Picardy, we discovered that the nine tigers were locked up all year round in a lorry cage. They have no real protection against bad weather, with barely enough room to go around in circles. We are pressing charges against this trainer who has already been in trouble with the law.

Hr blog

For over a year our investigators have been monitoring the tigers of Mario Masson. Barricaded in the heart of a village, behind the thick protection of brambles growing over large brick walls that run along a national road. The trainer protects his tools of work from view. Behind a used car for sale business, the nine tigers that serve as his livelihood are pacing around, locked in a lorry cage, whether it is raining, windy or in temperatures where the thermometer reads 40 degrees Celsius. Sultan, Begel, Junior, Hashley, Tara, Ima, Houna, Hister and another whose name we don’t know. Very rarely are they allowed outside of their cages and when they are it’s to obey and undergo a life of stress under the threat of the whip.

Abused from birth

At the Saint Paul amusement park Mario Masson shows off his trained tigers, then offers spectators to hold a baby tiger in their arms while being photographed, all with cash subsidies. The show is accompanied by a speech that is only propaganda against those who defend wild animals that are exploited by circuses.

All these tigers were born in captivity and were then torn from their mother at an early age. They are the subject of wild genetic experiments to obtain inbred individuals with coats of white or orange with ochre stripes, deformations and with notorious genetic diseases. In addition to this the potential underlying traffic of lion cubs and tigers it allows the working season to gain access to young cubs, available at any time. Their manipulation by humans is nothing more than mistreatment. We have publicly denounced these acts - common in this environment - and attacked the park, as well as more recently the ministerial decree on captive wild life and facilitating unsupervised farming.

Locked up all year round ...

This summer these nine adult tiger products have appeared six times in public within four days during the circus festival, daily life couldn’t be less rosy. We are revealing today the reality of their daily lives: they are locked up all year round, except on the rare occasions for (shows, short films or photos in magazines) ...

The winter quarters are just a name, our investigators have seen them on the spot each time they went there. Both in the hot summer, weather in the region of Picardy is changing and, in the fall, and winter when the cages are battered by the wind and the freezing rain during those wet and cold seasons. They were photographed and filmed locked inside these caged compartments which is no more than a heavy-duty trailer for up to six days in a row. During the six days the tigers were held in confinement and were filmed, they had but two brief periods where they were allowed out, this being observed and filmed under great risk… 

Protected animals, in danger of extinction, here they are enslaved

No enrichment or stimulation is offered to these tigers to break the monotony of the passing hours. The (minimum) regulations require that they can stretch their legs daily in an exercise space, which is the approximate size of a circus ring and that they have access to a swimming pool. Once again, all this was absent. At most, they change compartments when their litter is cleaned.

Female or male, in the wild each would reign over a territory of several thousand hectares of tropical jungle ... Here, only Sultan benefits from an individual cage (but without a roof!). The others are crammed in four by four. They who enjoy independence more than anything, are more stressed than ever, enslaved and forced to live with their fellow tigers, under the eyes of their jailers. In the evening, they have to fight to get their food, water which is vital, is only distributed to them sparingly. Then, the walls of the truck are closed, this is their misfortune, the truck becomes a dark box…

For these reasons and in addition to recording such revolting images of these nine convicts locked up day and night and then made available to the public, we are pressing charges for ill-treatment committed by a professional, placement or maintenance of a captive wild animal in a habitat, environment or installation can be cause of suffering, and irregular operation of establishment. We propose to take charge of these tigers and place them into one of the sanctuaries of which we are a partner.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Circuses supply skins and corpses to a tout-Paris taxidermist. Eye opening. Poliakov trial: does France really protect wild animals?

Comments 62

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Hannibal | Thursday 06 February 2020

Ce n'est pas possible toute cette bureaucratie, le temps file pour ces pauvres bêtes. Il faut les sortir de là au plus vite, ils souffrent chaque minute, chaque heure et chaque jour qui passe.

Claudie | Thursday 06 February 2020

C'est inadmissible toute cette souffrance infligée aux animaux !

mapy | Wednesday 05 February 2020

Ces conditions de détention sont inhumaines et ces gens aiment les animaux ? Mais dans quelle société vivons-nous ? Le retrait immédiat à leur propriétaire devrait être exigé, je demande à être informée de la suite réservée à ces pauvres tigres à qui je l'espère un meilleur sort sera réservé. Merci pour votre action.

machine | Tuesday 04 February 2020

Pourquoi les lois ne sont-elles pas appliquées ? On ne voit rien, on ne sait rien et les maltraitances de toutes sortes continuent mais les responsables ne font rien pour délivrer ces pauvres animaux séquestrés, mal ou pas nourris, pas protégés et de l'eau au compte goutte alors qu'ils devraient se baigner. Quand aurons-nous des personnages qui feront enfin appliquer les lois de protection et puniront le auteurs? Espérons, mais chaque jour qui passe est un jour perdu pour ces animaux maltraités à l'heure même de leur naissance. Honteux.