Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo And Gardens is a small zoo located in Hilo, Hawaii. It is operated by the Hawaii county and receives its funding from the county and from private donations.
Recently the zoo’s director Pam Mizuno has requested a permit to buy two Bengal tigers from CJ’s Great Cats World Park in Oregon to exhibit in the zoo’s one acres tiger enclosure. There are two problems that arise from this. Firstly the breeder they are purchasing the tigers off has a bit of a bad reputation. In 1993, park owner Craig Wagner was given a suspended sentence for beating a tiger with a 4X4. In 2006, his partner Cynthia Gamble was mauled to death by a tiger authorities believed was starving. In June 2007, he pleaded guilty to purchasing an ocelot for $3,000, he was fined $10,000. He had to move from Minnesota to Oregan because his reputation was so bad.
The second reason is down to the previous tiger named Namaste’ (named after the traditional namaste greeting). He was to be purchased from Dirk Arthur, a magician at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in 1999 but later reports said he was donated. In 2012, Namaste broke his right rear leg and a recent report from Inga Gibson, the director of Humane Society of the U.S (HSUS) have said: “Our position is that they did not provide adequate care for Namaste and they should not pursue any more of these complex, potentially dangerous species.” U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector Dr Gwynn Hallberg reported Namaste had not been receiving the proper diet which led to a calcium deficiency and this could have attributed to why his leg did not heal proper, eventually leading to his death. Namaste dies in 2014 aged 15 years.
Either way, white tigers should never be shown in a proper zoo. All white tiger on earth today are all inbred and suffer from a varied amount of medical issues from inbreeding. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Aza) has banned all their zoo members from displaying white tigers.