More tigers live in private captivity in Texas than in the wild, where conservationists estimate that around 3,000 of the endangered animals remain. No one knows for sure how many big cats — including tigers, lions, panthers, cheetahs, leopards and others — are kept today in backyards and apartments across the United States, but estimates run as high as 20,000. (The Endangered Species Act does not prohibit domestic trade in captive-bred wildlife.)
A call to push for Legislation that would bolster regulations on big cat ownership in the United States.
Currently, only 28 states fully ban big cat possession, seven states do not address the issue at all. The remaining states fall somewhere in between.