Tinder realized it had a tiger problem in the summer of 2017. Too many of its users were featuring photos of themselves crouched next to big cats like tigers and lions, animals that, had a random Tinder user approached them under normal circumstances, would probably try to eat them.
That is what tigers and lions do when they are living in the wild and going about their business. But the tigers “posing” with Tinder users weren’t roaming free; their handlers at zoos and entertainment venues had made them available for pics through sedation or other harmful practices. Over the course of the 2010s, taking a selfie cuddling a tiger became easier and cheaper than ever.
“Posing next to a king of the jungle doesn’t make you one,” began a blog post on Tinder’s corporate site on July 28, 2017. “It’s time for the tiger selfies to go. More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment. Wild animals deserve to live in the wild.”