Controversy Surrounds Siberian Lynx In Kingsville
(WJZ) KINGSVILLE, Md. An 11-year-old Siberian lynx named "Puddy" is at the center of controversy tonight.
The Baltimore County Health Department says the animal, which lives on a ranch in Kingsville, can grow to be dangerous and should not be allowed to remain on the property.
Puddy’s owner, Dan Vitilio, has 214 at his Eagle’s Nest ranch. Many of them are regularly visited by school and church groups. In a January ruling, Vitilio was ordered to remove the lynx from the ranch.
"Someone at Animal Control told me if I had him de-clawed and neutered, it would help his case," Vitilio tells .
There will be an appeal hearing Thursday. If Vitilio loses he will have to find another home for Puddy.
"There’s also no guarantee that the rabies vaccination given to the lynx will be effective," says Baltimore County health official Dr. Pierre Vigilance.
I was dismayed to read that your station would promote the keeping of wild animals as props for “education.” Even though there has been a lot about these sort of abusive activities there are apparently some people who don’t know what happens to the animals when they can no longer be used. For the most part, only babies can be used and while the animal may look like an adult, they are still infantile in their dependence on the person who ripped them from their mother to use them for such entertainment. If they don’t die from the poor care they often get, they will eventually grow up to be what nature intended and in the case of predators, that is an animal that cannot be safely handled. They are then killed, sold at auction (usually for their parts) or bred to create more unfortunate animals who will live out their lives in barren, small cages.
The Siberian Lynx is designed to roam miles, not square feet and life in a cage is abusive situation from the very beginning. When the cat is grown, it will be 90 pounds of hissing, snarling, spraying menace to its keeper and often dumped in favor of the latest and greatest exotic pet.
As an editor you have the ability to do some real educating by speaking out for the voiceless animals and by refusing to promote those who would make their living at the expense of the freedom these animals should have had as their birthright.
For more info on these issues:
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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