The New York State Assembly passed legislation today to prevent people in New York from taking pictures with tigers.
Hugging, patting, or otherwise touching” the big cats while at state fairs and travelling circuses is now prohibited in New York — and violating the law could cost you up to $US500 in fines.
The trend of men posing with tigers for pictures for their Tinder or OKCupid profiles — tiger selfies, if you will — was brought to the public’s attention in a Wall Street Journal article last month. The big cats are popular on dating sites, especially location-based Tinder, where “users estimate they encounter tigers in one out of every 10 profiles they view.”
Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced the legislation because she saw the trend (immortalised on the Tumblr blog Tinder Guys With Tigers) as dangerous. She said the legislation was necessary, citing seven instances in 15 years New Yorkers were hurt by tigers.
So far, tigers are the only animal that New Yorkers won’t legally be allowed to touch while taking a picture. “They can still pose with bears and monkeys,” Rosenthal said, in regard to the men posing with tigers. “They just have to take big cats off their list.”
Men seem to be the primary group of people taking tiger selfies. Women, on the other hand, are already sick of the trend.
The bill has yet to be signed by New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but a spokesperson for Cuomo said it was under review, reports the New York Post.