Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers

Part 10 of 10 in the series Nanny State of the Week

By Eric Boehm |

You’d think natural selection would take care of this problem.

But in New York, the state Legislature has approved a bill to ban the practice of taking photos with tigers and posting them online. Apparently, that’s a thing the kids are doing these days — and by “the kids,” we mean 20-to-30-something guys who seem to have reached the conclusion that a photo with a big, scary cat will help their online dating prospects.

BECAUSE THE INTERNET IS AMAZING: Things like this exist – except taking a photo like this will soon be illegal in New York.

Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But there’s actually a whole social media account set up to track the bros who are taking “tiger selfies.”

State Rep. Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, who sponsored the bill, pointed to New York’s history of tiger attacks — seven over the past 15 years, according to her office — as evidence the ban is really in selfie-taking-bros’ best interest.

“There is no safe or humane result when direct contact with wild animals is allowed,” she wrote in a memo that accompanied the legislation.

Specifically, the bill prohibits “hugging, patting, or otherwise touching” tigers at fairs or circuses. Getting caught doing so will cost you $500 – which is still probably less than the hospital bill you could incur from trying to snuggle with a 500-pound jungle cat.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which actually spent time investigating this phenomena, guys who use the online dating site Tinder have a particular affinity for tiger selfies. According to the Journal, some users of the site estimated that one in every 10 guys on the site had a tiger picture.

What is a single guy in New York to do?

Rosenthal offered some alternative suggestions.

“They can still pose with bears and monkeys,” she told the New York Post. “They just have to take big cats off their list.”

Rosenthal has a long history of animal-themed legislation. This year she is also pitching a bill to ban tattooing and piercing zoo animals and pets.

It’s just further proof that government big enough to give you everything is also big enough to take away your right to a tiger selfie — or to give your dog a sweet nose ring.

For her efforts to ruin the online dating prospects of her own constituents, Rosenthal is this week’s winner. Her prize is a Siberian Tiger that we definitely did not release, “Hangover”-style, into her Upper West Side home.

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