N.Y. Lawmaker Finds It ‘Hard to Believe’ It Was Ever Legal to Take Pics with Big Cats

by Katherine Timpf

New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday that bans fairs and circuses from letting people take pictures with tigers, lions, or any other big cats.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D., Manhattan), who introduced the measure, said she can’t believe the law didn’t already exist.

“It is hard to believe it is not already illegal,” she said, according to an article in the New York Daily News.

Rosenthal said the law is necessary not only for public safety but also to keep the animals from being exploited.

“I guess some young men in New York will have to find another game, because big cat selfies, along with direct contact with big cats, is now prohibited,” she said, according to an article in Syracuse.com.

The law takes effect in 180 days. The penalty is $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second.