Cincinnati, OH — The Cincinnati Zoo today changed the color of its tigers in an attempt to distance the animals from the antics of the Cincinnati Bengals football team. The Bengals were narrowly defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 18-16, in last Saturday’s NFL playoff contest, a loss due largely to crucial penalties against Bengals Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones during the final minutes. The defeat marked the 217th consecutive time that the Bengals have lost in the first round of the playoffs under head coach Marvin Lewis.
“We feel that the conduct of the Bengals players does not reflect the character of our tigers,” explained head zookeeper Jack McSwiggin. “Therefore, we took steps to distance our animals from the football program.”
The tigers’ normally golden orange fur was dyed white and the black stripes carefully repainted by expendable interns. In addition, the big cats will no longer be referred to as “Bengal tigers,” but rather, “Non-football-playing felines of Indian descent.”
“We had to do something,” tiger keeper Valerie Bushman told reporters. “People were saying horrible things about Bengal tigers on social media — things they normally say about coyotes, or skunks, or Garfield.”
Apparently, the tigers could sense the public’s displeasure. “They wouldn’t come out of their cages yesterday,” Bushman said, “not even when I offered them Graeter’s ice cream. They haven’t been that depressed since they watched The Jungle Book.”
On a positive note, the “white” tigers have been a big hit with zoo visitors. “We’re toying with the idea of getting a few more tigers and dyeing them, too,” McSwiggin said. “And how tough could it be to spray paint an elephant?”