WaterBear launches original series Not A Pet

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Streaming platform WaterBear Network is mobilising its members to support new laws in the US that will help protect big cats and primates from the cruel wildlife trade, in partnership with IFAW.

Live on the platform today, WaterBear’s new five-part original series ‘Not A Pet’ examines the  illegal wildlife pet trade of cheetahs, tigers, birds, apes, reptiles and amphibians. The series explores the role social media plays in the parading and trading of exotic animals online. To turn intention into action, WaterBear is asking its members to add their voices and amplify the call for the US Congress to advance new laws that will protect wildlife and ensure public safety.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act and the Primate Safety Act will help to stop these wild animals being treated as “pets” and prevent dangerous contact with the public. These restrictions should also help prevent big cats and primates from being wiped out by the global wildlife trade by setting a positive example for other countries to follow.

WaterBear is collaborating with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) who are experts on big cats and conservation. Together, they will ensure that this petition is shared with decision-makers.

Lisa Rose, Head of Impact at WaterBear, said: “The Netflix documentary series “Tiger King” drew the public’s attention to the brutality inherent in the U.S. exotic animal trade, but we still need a much greater level of awareness around the dangers of having wild animals as pets, for the sake of public safety but also to ensure these species can continue to survive in the wild. It is critical that we support new legislation that can help end the cruel trade in captive big cats and primates as well as making it socially unacceptable to keep wild animals as pets.”

Carson Barylak, Campaigns Manager at IFAW said: “The trade in captive big cats across the U.S. threatens the safety of people and animals alike, and its reach is far greater than many people realize; in fact, more tigers are held in captivity in the U.S. than remain  in the wild worldwide.”

Launched in December 2020 with the support of The Duke of Sussex, actress and activist Maisie Williams and model and activist Lily Cole, WaterBear is a groundbreaking streaming platform showcasing award-winning documentaries as well as original content inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WaterBear members are able to stream video at any time, and on any device – all for free.  Facilitating awareness, education and action.


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