Most Indian circuses disregard ban on using big cats

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This circus still has a tusk force

Express Features
First Published : 22 Dec 2009 07:33:58 AM IST
Last Updated : 22 Dec 2009 10:33:12 AM IST

BANGALORE: Your ‘favourite’ (or so they claim) Gemini Circus is back in the city.

And so are the elephants.

Wondering what happened to the recent notification according to which the elephants cannot be kept in zoos? Mind you, the definition of zoos includes circus also in the Wildlife Protection Act.

What about Bollywood bimbette Celina Jaitley’s sincere attempts to save these elephants in captivity? “After coming to Mumbai and visiting other parts of India, I have seen so many elephants who are kept in such bad conditions in captivity. I think PETA has taken a very good step, and I am proud to be associated with this cause,” she made a serious comment.

Obviously, it’s then surprising to see these elphants dancing to the tunes of its trainer in the city circus.

An insider, not wanting to be quoted for obvious reasons, said, “It’s only in India that this kind of tamasha happens. You go to any part of the world and will find all kinds of animals in circuses.” When asked about the legal angle to his side of the story, the man, sounding really angry, said, “They’ve taken all other animals — tigers, lions, cheetah and monkeys — we’ve still not got any official notice about the use of elephants.” “The Performing Animals Rules prohibit the use of few animals in circus. According to the rule, lions, tigers, monkey and panthers should not be used in the circus, however, elephants are not included in the rules,” Brinda Nanda, the Animal Rights Advocate.

The recent notification regarding prohibition of keeping animals in zoos did not come into force because the Centre has yet to make rules regarding proper accommodation of the elephants, added Brinda.

Till then, it’s still not such a ‘big’ issue for circus owners, as someone closely watching this circus (pun intended) from inside pointed it out: “Of course, our business will suffer if we have to give away these elephants but there’s nothing much we can do about it. We take care of these animals like no one else and deserve them more than anyone else.” What do you have to say? YOUR ‘favourite’ (or so they claim) Gemini Circus is back in the city.

And so are the elephants.

Wondering what happened to the recent notification according to which the elephants cannot be kept in zoos? Mind you, the definition of zoos includes circus also in the Wildlife Protection Act.

What about Bollywood bimbette Celina Jaitley’s sincere attempts to save these elephants in captivity? “After coming to Mumbai and visiting other parts of India, I have seen so many elephants who are kept in such bad conditions in captivity. I think PETA has taken a very good step, and I am proud to be associated with this cause,” she made a serious comment.

Obviously, it’s then surprising to see these elphants dancing to the tunes of its trainer in the city circus.

An insider, not wanting to be quoted for obvious reasons, said, “It’s only in India that this kind of tamasha happens. You go to any part of the world and will find all kinds of animals in circuses.” When asked about the legal angle to his side of the story, the man, sounding really angry, said, “They’ve taken all other animals — tigers, lions, cheetah and monkeys — we’ve still not got any official notice about the use of elephants.” “The Performing Animals Rules prohibit the use of few animals in circus. According to the rule, lions, tigers, monkey and panthers should not be used in the circus, however, elephants are not included in the rules,” Brinda Nanda, the Animal Rights Advocate.

The recent notification regarding prohibition of keeping animals in zoos did not come into force because the Centre has yet to make rules regarding proper accommodation of the elephants, added Brinda.

Till then, it’s still not such a ‘big’ issue for circus owners, as someone closely watching this circus (pun intended) from inside pointed it out: “Of course, our business will suffer if we have to give away these elephants but there’s nothing much we can do about it. We take care of these animals like no one else and deserve them more than anyone else.” What do you have to say?

PLAYING THE WILD CARD

* There are laws designed to protect animals in circuses. They include

* The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 (PCA Act)

* The Performing Animals (Registration) Rules of 2001 under the PCA Act

* The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 (WLPA) (as amended in 1991)

* The International C.I.T.E.S. (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) treaty that protects endangered animals and provisions under the Indian constitution.

* But the laws are rarely enforced. Officials look the other way when circuses come to town.

* The former union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Maneka Gandhi, banned the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, lions and panthers in circuses in October 1998.

* Still, most circuses in India disregard this law. Some circuses refuse to give up the banned animals and demand financial compensation even though they are breaking the law.

Source: www.petaindia.com

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=This+circus+still+has+a+tusk+force&artid=xumP2tQi%7CP0=&SectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&MainSectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&SEO=&SectionName=UOaHCPTTmuP3XGzZRCAUTQ==

——

Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org

Photo ops with baby tigers, leopard at Illinois mall

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Click here to learn about the reality of the cub petting business.

G.W. Exotics is not an accredited sanctuary. Accredited sanctuaries do not allow the public to have direct contact with animals. Click here to learn more about the standards for accredited sanctuaries.

You saw what at the mall?

By Paul Newton, The Southern | Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:00 am

For the fifth consecutive holiday season, shoppers will be joined by tigers, monkeys and other exotic animals at Illinois Centre in Marion.

Joe Schreibvogel, owner of G.W. Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Wynnewood, Okla., will have a white tiger, four orange tigers, a black leopard, a red kangaroo, a spider monkey and a baboon in the Williamson County mall through Dec. 27.

Schreibvogel says that he’s hoping for a good holiday season in Marion, even though business has been rough for his company this year.

“We’ve been coming here for five years, and this has definitely been the worst year,” Schreibvogel said. “In 2009, our donations

at our park are down 80 percent and

donations on the road at shows … are down 40 percent.”

In addition to the lower monetary donations, Schreibvogel said his rough financial year has been expanded from the influx of animals he’s received. As different sanctuaries go out of business, they donate their animals to others. G.W. Exotic Animal Sanctuary has taken in more than 200 tigers in 2009.

People who wish to go to the display, which is directly outside Sears, can either get their picture taken with the animals or can go inside a cage and play with the baby tigers, black leopard or kangaroo youngsters. The cost is $25, which is tax-deductible.

paul.newton@thesouthern.com / 618-351-5083

http://thesouthern.com/news/local/article_0ae6c3aa-eacb-11de-ae8f-001cc4c03286.html

 

S.C. fair features tiger act

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The magic of the fair
Event packs in food, lots of fun for the family

By Bryce Donovan
The Post and Courier
Thursday, October 29, 2009

There’s just something magical about eating three pieces of pizza, some onion rings and a deep-fried Snickers bar and then riding a roller coaster for 20 minutes while screaming at the top of your lungs until finally, on top of the world, you … throw up all of it.

But that’s the fair. And you love it.

That’s because it’s the one time of year when kids can be kids and adults can be, well, they can be kids, too. Today marks the beginning of the 53rd annual Coastal Carolina Fair at the Exchange Park in Ladson.

For those of you scoring at home, that’s 53 years of wild animals, insane rides and crazy performers. And this year’s installment is no different, featuring everything from petting zoos to a live honey bee exhibit, live entertainment and, of course, lots of stomach-churning rides. Sixty-six of them to be exact.

So grab the kids (and Pepto Bismol) and check out all the fair has to offer. Such as …

The performers

Headlining this year’s fair are tons of time-tested and up-and-coming artists. With names such as Paul Revere & The Raiders, James Gregory, Percy Sledge, Tracy Byrd, Julianne Hough, Jake Owen and the Chairmen of the Board, there is something for everyone.

But the best part about all the music at the fair is your admission is your ticket. There is no second charge.

Some of the other performers worth noting are Kay Rosaire’s Big Cat Encounter (an eighth-generation circus performer trying to not get eaten by lots of lions and tigers), hypnotist Terrance B. (He also does corporate functions if you’d like to hypnotize your boss.), Carl Brunson and his One-Man Band and nightly fireworks displays over the lake. Some other everyday events include the duck slide and embryology exhibits.

The rides

With 66 rides to choose from, whether you are a wimp or a maniac, there’s one for you.

According to Coastal Carolina Fair spokesman Joe Bolchoz, some of the Midway rides you can expect to make you queasy are “The Extreme,” “The Fireball,” “The Swinger” (which goes up seven stories in the air while spinning you around) and a 13-story-drop tower.

As far as the kiddies go, there are 28 rides just for them (as well as faint-of-heart adults). Tried-and-true favorites such as the “Dragon Wagon” will be joined by the “Frog Leaper,” three Ferris wheels and two carousels.

The food

In between watching magic shows, listening to music, riding roller coasters, playing carnival games, getting hypnotized and praying that Miss Kay doesn’t get attacked by her tigers, be sure to check out one of the many vendors selling all sorts of delicious snacks that most certainly would make the surgeon general nervous.

From hot dogs to elephant ears and deep-fried anything, if there’s one thing the fair is best known for, besides amusement rides and sneaky clowns that appear out of thin air, it’s the food.

What you need to know

The 53rd Coastal Carolina Fair begins today and runs through Nov. 7 at the Exchange Park in Ladson. Call 572-3161 for directions.

Gate Hours

3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday

3-11 p.m. Friday

Noon-11 p.m. Saturdays

Noon-9 p.m. Sunday

Seniors 60 and over are admitted free on Nov. 4. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., special activities are planned. The Midway opens at 3 p.m.

Ticket Prices

Through Wednesday, advance tickets are available at the fairgrounds, the Naval Weapons Station, the Air Force Base and all Piggly Wiggly locations.

Advance gate tickets are $4 or three Greenbax books for children 6 to 12 and $6 or four Greenbax books for adults. (Children 5 and under are admitted free.)

Advance hand stamp tickets and coupon books are $17 or 11 1/4 Greenbax books (available only at Piggly Wiggly locations).

Starting Thursday, regular-price tickets are available at the fair and at Piggly Wiggly.

Regular price tickets are $5 for ages 6 to 12 and $8 for adults or four books of Greenbax for children and five for adults.

Handstamps and coupon books are $20 or 13 1/4 Greenbax books (only at Piggly Wiggly).

If you go

WHAT: 53rd annual Coastal Carolina Fair.

WHERE: Exchange Park, Ladson.

WHEN: Today-Nov. 7.

HOURS: 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon- 9 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 4, seniors only, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.).

TICKETS: Adults, $8; children ages 6-12, $5; children ages 5 and younger, free. Ride tickets are $20 for a book of 20 or $20 for a hand stamp to ride all day.

Coastal Carolina Fair schedule

TODAY

Gate hours: 3-9 p.m.
4 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
4 & 6:30 P.M.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
4:30 p.m.: Stratford High School Chorus, Parkway
5 p.m.: CCF Championship Horse Show, Arena
5 p.m.: Leonard School of Music Jazz One and Jazz Two, Parkway
5 & 7:30 P.M.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
6 p.m.: 4H Pizza Pizzazz Contest, Creative Arts Bldg.
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 p.m.: Stall High School Prime Time and Ellusion, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway

7:30 p.m.: Paul Revere & the Raiders, Lakefront
8 p.m.: Turn Signals, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks

FRIDAY

Gate Hours: 3-11 p.m.
3:30 p.m.: Team Martial Arts, Parkway
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
4:30 p.m. : Only Imagine Dance Studio, Parkway
5 p.m.: The Planet Dancers Dance Team, Parkway
5:30 p.m.: Knightsville Elementary Dancers, Parkway
6 p.m.: 4H Egg Contest, Creative Arts Bldg.
6 p.m.: Step 2 It Performance Center, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 & 9 p.m.: Beginners Riding Clinic, Arena
7 p.m.: Charleston Martial Arts, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: All That Jazz, Parkway
8 p.m.: College Park Middle School Chorus, Parkway
9 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
9 p.m.: James Gregory, Lakefront
9:30 p.m.: The Explorers Club Band, Parkway
10 p.m.: Fireworks

SATURDAY

Gate Hours: Noon-11 p.m.
All Day: 4H Open Horse Show, Arena
1 p.m.: Princess Pageant, Parkway
1 p.m.: 4H Kooky Cookie Cook-Off (Junior), Creative Arts Bldg.
1:45 p.m.: 4H Pumpkin Activities, Creative Arts Bldg.
2 p.m.: C-3 All-Star Cheerleaders, Parkway
2, 4:30, 7:30 P.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
2:30 p.m.: Happy Feet, Parkway
3 p.m.: The German Connection Band, Parkway
3, 6, 8:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
3:15 p.m.: Pumpkin Decorating, ages 9-11
4 p.m.: Sweetwater Cloggers, Parkway
4:30 p.m.: Leonard School of Music Group Ensemble, Parkway
5:30 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
5:30 p.m.: 4H Rice-N-Easy Contest, Creative Arts Bldg.
6 p.m.: Charleston Kennel Club, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 p.m.: Sarabeth Cunningham, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
8 p.m.: Lady Antebellum, Lakefront
8:30 p.m.: In Loving Arms Band, Parkway
10 p.m.: Fireworks

SUNDAY

Gate hours: Noon-9 p.m.
1 p.m.: Team Roping Competition, Arena
1:30, 4, 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
2:30, 5, 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
3 p.m.: Preschooler Pageant 0-2 years, Parkway
4 p.m.: Preschooler Pageant: Girls ages 2 and 3, Parkway
5 p.m.: Percy Sledge, Lakefront
5 p.m.: Preschooler Pageant: Girls ages 4 and 5, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: Tri-County Cheerleaders, Parkway
8 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
8:30 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks

NOV. 2

Gate Hours: 3-9 p.m.
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
5 p.m.: Gillian Webb: Parkway
5:30 p.m.: Revolution All Stars, Parkway
6 p.m.: Calypso Rising Belly Dancers, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 p.m.: Professional Rodeo Bull Riding, Arena
7:30 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
8 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks
9 p.m.: Tracy Byrd, Lakefront

NOV. 3

Gate Hours: 3-9 p.m.
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
5:30 p.m.: Magnolia Dance Studio, Parkway
6 p.m.: C-3 Pearls Dance Team, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 p.m.: Professional Rodeo Bull Riding Finals, Arena
7:30 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
8 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks
9 p.m.: Neal McCoy, Lakefront

NOV. 4

Gate Hours: 3-9 p.m.
(Only ages 60+ admitted 11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
11 a.m., 12:30, 1, 2:30 p.m.: Bingo Games, Food Court
11 a.m.: Berkeley Squares and Friends, Parkway
11:30 a.m.: Come Dance With Me, Parkway
12:15 p.m.: Best Legs Contest, Parkway
12:30 p.m.: Senior Fashion Show, Parkway
1 p.m.: Pet Therapy Show, Parkway
1:30 p.m.: Prize Announcements, Parkway
1:45 p.m.: Gene Brownlee Karaoke, Parkway
2:30 p.m.: Come Dance With Me, Parkway
3 p.m.: Midway opens
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
5:30 p.m.: Sarabeth Cunningham, Parkway
6 p.m.: Sigma Gamma Rho Step Team, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 & 9 p.m.: Middleton Stables Jumping Clinic, Arena
7:30 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: The Lettermen, Lakefront
8 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks

NOV. 5

Gate Hours: 3-9 p.m.
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
4:30 p.m.: Shine Choir, Parkway
5 p.m.: Do You Enrichment Praise Dancers, Parkway
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
5:30 p.m.: College Park Middle School String
Orchestra, Parkway
6 p.m.: Susan G. Boykin Charter School, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
7 & 8 p.m.: No Feet, No Horse, Arena
7:30 p.m.: Julianne Hough, Lakefront
8 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
8:45 p.m.: Fireworks

NOV. 6

Gate Hours: 3-11 p.m.
3:30 p.m.: Team Martial Arts, Parkway
4 p.m.: Holly Hill Roberts Middle School Chorus, Parkway
4 & 6:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
4:30 p.m.: Elloree Elementary School Chorus, Parkway
5 p.m.: Sweetwater Cloggers, Parkway
5 & 7:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
5:30 p.m.: Maestro Club, Parkway
6 p.m.: CD Models and Talent, Parkway
6 & 8:15 p.m.: 4H Pizza Pizzazz Contest (Juniors), Creative Arts Bldg.
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7 & 9 p.m.: Barrel Racing Clinic, Arena
7:30 p.m.: The Original Loafers, Parkway
8 p.m.: Talent Search, Parkway
9 p.m.: Jake Owen, Lakefront
10 p.m.: Fireworks

NOV. 7

Gate Hours: Noon-11 p.m.
All day: CCF Gymkhana Open Horse Show, Arena
Noon: Rabbit Show, Barn
1 p.m.: Low Country Power Brass, Parkway
1 p.m.: 4H Muffin Mania Contest (Junior), Creative Arts Bldg.
2 p.m.: King Arthur Flour Baking Contest, Creative Arts Bldg.
2 p.m.: A Class Act, Parkway
2, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m.: Big Cat Encounter, Gazebo Lawn
3, 6 & 8:30 p.m.: Terrance B’s Hypnotist Show, Gazebo
3 p.m.: Sweetwater Cloggers, Parkway
3:30 p.m.: Palmetto Extreme, Parkway
4:30 p.m.: Sertoma Azalea of Summerville, Parkway
4:45 p.m.: 4H Chili Cook-Off (Junior & Senior), Creative Arts Bldg.
5 p.m.: Stratford High School Orchestra, Parkway
5:30 p.m.: Westview Middle School Orchestra, Parkway
6 p.m.: Wranglers Rock’n Country, Parkway
6:30 p.m.: Carolina Dancers, Parkway
7:30 p.m.: Charleston Dance Center, Parkway
8 p.m.: Finals for the Talent Search, Parkway
8 p.m.: Chairman of the Board, Lakefront
10 p.m.: Fireworks

MORE INFO/DIRECTIONS: Call 572-3161 or visit www.coastalcarolinafair.org.

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2009/oct/29/29go_cover/

———–

Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org

N.Y. sub shop displays 2 caged tigers

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Getzville sub shop will display two caged Siberian tigers
Updated: 06/09/09 11:01 PM

Siberian tigers—in Getzville? Two tigers, in cages, on exhibit, sponsored by a not-for-profit wild animal sanctuary in Chautauqua County. Volunteers from JNK’s Call of the Wild Sanctuary said they will display two of their tigers Friday through Sunday outside the John&Mary’s submarine shop, 2363 Millersport Highway, Getzville.

The big cats—named Sebastian and Shantal—will be displayed each day from 11 a. m. to 8 p. m. Volunteers will answer questions about the tigers and the sanctuary operation.

http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/easternsuburbs/story/696396.html

———

Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org

Argentina zoo lets visitors sit on lions, pet tigers

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The bizarre zoo where the ‘mane’ event for visitors is getting sit on a fully grown male lion’s back

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:51 PM on 31st March 2009

A controversial zoo in Argentina allows tourists to have extremely close encounters with some of the most dangerous predators in the world.

Here at the Lujan Zoo near Buenos Aires visitors can ride lions, cuddle bears, stroke tigers and feed cheetahs.

The animals appear to be very sedate and tame and keepers casually supervise the animals that aren’t chained when they are out of their cages.

Visitors can even pick up the smaller animals and manhandle them at risk to themselves and the creatures.

Shockingly there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of safety regulations to protect either humans or animals and Internet blogs are littered with pictures of tourists with the animals.

‘Only Brad was brave enough to enter this tiger’s cage,’ writes one blogger next to a picture of a man (presumably Brad) stroking the rump of a giant sleeping tiger.

Another blogger describes how she and her travel companion were supposedly allowed to play with the animals even more closely after the zoo had closed.

She wrote: ‘I love Argentina. People aren’t hung up on safety. They don’t have as many fears as the rest of the world.

‘The guys who worked at the zoo let us take goofy pictures with the animals. I sat on a lions back. ha ha.’

Even children are allowed to enter the lion’s cage and fondle a range of animals that have the potential to kill or maim them.

Interaction between zookeepers and animals is also very intimate and it’s not unusual to see keepers ‘playing’ in rough and tumble games with the predators.

Lujan Zoo is about 50 miles from from Buenos Aires, has an entrance fee of just £5.

It claims to be dedicated to the conservation of endangered species.

Animal protection charity, The Born Free Foundation, has condemned the zoo and issued a statement to urge tourists not to visit it.

Will Travers, CEO of The Born Free Foundation said: ‘Based on what I have seen displayed on the Lujan Zoo website, I am fearful that a terrible accident is going to happen.

‘The zoo is, in my view, placing the lives of its visitors at great risk by encouraging them to have ‘close encounters’ with dangerous, potentially lethal, wild animals.

‘Anyone who has any knowledge of big cats will understand that they are wild animals and, as such, as unpredictable.’

Travers went on to point out cite that even high profile animal trainers have been unable to predict how animals will behave.

‘The fatal mauling of the young man by a tiger in the San Francisco zoo a year ago and the severe injuries inflicted on Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy fame) by one of their magic show tigers in Las Vegas, illustrate the point,’ he said.

‘I also note that the zoo makes claims to educate and conserve. Well if they think teaching people that it’s OK to stroke tigers and pet primates is educational they are just plain wrong.

‘Born Free is calling on the authorities to launch an immediate investigation into these practices and I would urge the public to stay away from a zoo that seems to place such a low value on their personal safety.’

But the zoo’s general manager, Claudio Nieva, claimed the park was an ecological foundation that receives unwanted animals that would otherwise perish.

Well fed: The predators are always given lunch before mixing with visitors, according to zoo officials

‘After a while at home, the animals become a mess and people don’t want them anymore, so they end up here undernourished and sick. We receive, cure and feed them.’

Nieva insisted the Zoo takes stringent precautions to prevent accidents.

‘We feed all the animals, especially the predators, so they won’t feel hungry when a human is inside their cage. And there are always two or more specially trained keepers inside their cage.

‘The tigers and lions have been with the keepers since birth and we also get them used to being around domestic dogs which, just by playing around teach them boundaries.’

He added: ‘It is not a coincidence, that anyone in all this years hasn’t been injured.’

In response to accusations that the animals are drugged or sedated, Nieva said: ‘It would be impossible to sedate this animals over and over because they would end up sick and finally dead.’

One of the keepers added: ‘We don’t force the animals to be with people.

‘If the lions feel like sleeping, we let them and just allow people to be in the cage and pet them. If he gets up and the person wants to go on top, we allow them, if they want to.

‘We love our animals and we do everything we can to take good care of them.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1166062/Pictured-The-bizarre-zoo-mane-event-visitors-getting-sit-fully-grown-male-lions-back.html

———

Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org