August 5, 2008 Richmond Township, IL: Larry Dean said he was practicing a circus act at the Hawthorn Corporation farm near Richmond when the tiger suddenly became aggressive and grabbed him with its mouth. "He had numerous scratch marks and bite marks," said Richmond Township Fire Chief Rick Gallas. "I would say that was a mauling… he was pretty bloody." Gallas said workers told paramedics they had to beat the tiger with baseball bats to get it to release Dean. Gallas said Dean told paramedics it was the second time a tiger had attacked him at the farm, but Dean declined to comment when asked about that on Thursday and Hawthorn's owner, John Cuneo says Dean should not have been near the tigers. Hawthorn owns about 50 tigers but only about 30 of the animals are at the farm, Cuneo said. Others are performing at circuses around the world, Cuneo said. In 2003 the U.S. Department of Agriculture accused Hawthorn of failing to care for its elephants properly. But in 2004 he agreed to give away his elephants in exchange for keeping his circus tigers. Cuneo has tried to get rid of his tigers when they won't perform by asking Big Cat Rescue to take them, but Big Cat Rescue does not enable bad behaviour. Cuneo's Sarasota neighbors are concerned that he plans to move his tigers to their neighborhood as he has purchased 5 acres of beach front there and asked for permits to install n 8 foot high wall. FL law requires 5 ac and an 8' fence for people to keep tigers in their back yard.
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
Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:
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