Big Cat Attacks

Big Cat Attacks

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These big cat attack stories are from 1919-2015.  There are so many that they won’t all fit on one page.

Big Cat Killings, Maulings & Escapes 2010 & Before

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-before-2000/

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2000-2005/

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2006-2010/

 

For an Excel sheet of incidents by state, by year, by species and by country go HERE

 

 

Click to see the killings, maulings and escapes by big cats by total for each state  for  less detail, but numbers updated through 2014 

See a list of all of the known tigers in USDA facilities in America. Note that no one knows how many are in backyards and basements of private owners who are not required to be licensed by USDA.  See an interactive online map of tiger owners.

Tigers In America Map 2014

 

Big Cat Attacks

The following is a partial listing (757) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990.  The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 24 humans, 17 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 259 more adults and children, 274 escapes, the killing of 146 big cats, and 133 confiscations. There have also been 292 big cat incidents outside the U.S. that have resulted in the deaths of 97 humans and the mauling of 154 humans by captive big cats.  These figures only represent the headlines that Big Cat Rescue has been able to track.  Because there is no reporting agency that keeps such records the actual numbers are certainly much higher.   http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks

The Journal of Internal Medicine in 2006 estimated that 50 million people worldwide have been infected with zoonotic diseases in the past 6 years and as many as 78,000 have died. Read more about zoonotic diseases here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/2007/zoonotic-disease-discussion-on-national-geographic/

Mauled by a Privately Owned Exotic Pet Who Escaped

Mauled by a Privately Owned Exotic Pet Who Escaped

 

To see the number of exotic cats abandoned each year check out that section of our most recent Annual Report.

The U.S. represents less than 5% of the entire global population, but up through 2006 79% of ALL captive cat incidents occurred in the U.S.  (Now that the US is clamping down on the exotic pet trade, the reports in 2007 show a decline in U.S. incidents compared to the rest of the world)  Likewise, Florida represents less than 6% of the U.S. population while 12% of all U.S. incidents occur in Florida.  Florida boasts the most comprehensive sets of regulations allowing private ownership of exotic cats while ranking #1 in the highest numbers of big cat killings, maulings and escapes. To view photos of fatal injuries from cases reported in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine click http://bigcatrescue.org/laws/AMJForensicFeline.pdf

 

For more images of people who have been mauled by cougars open this Word Document It appears that many attacks on humans by “wild” mountain lions are really just escaped or released pets.

 

Yearly Maulings Killings and Escapes by Big Cats

2016

May 21, 2016 Chile:  Two lions were killed after a man jumped into the lion enclosure at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo in Chile, local police said. They say the man climbed over the fence and removed his clothes before he approached the lions inside the enclosure, and zoo staff shot the lions to protect him. The incident has provoked outrage on social media, while the zoo is defending its actions.

Apr 21, 2016 TX:  The Conroe Police Department began receiving phone calls reporting a small tiger on the loose. Given that tigers are not native to the Houston, Texas suburb, this probably seemed pretty strange. Conroe police are not pleased with the young tigress’ presence.  Dorcy McGinnis of the Conroe Police Department told KHOU, “[The tiger] is a very strong animal. It definitely would not be appropriate here in the City of Conroe.”  Although tigers can be legally kept as pets in the state of Texas, Conroe’s city ordinances prohibit owning or harboring a “dangerous animal” in the city. A day later and no owner has come forward.

Apr 15, 2016 Palm Beach, FL:  A woman has died after a tiger injured her inside the tiger’s night house at the Palm Beach Zoo.  The victim was said to be “very knowledgeable about the tigers and loved them dearly”.  She was flown by Trauma Hawk to St. Mary’s for treatment, according to Naki Carter, a zoo spokesperson. Police said the tiger was tranquilized. Authorities had to wait until the drugs took effect on the tiger before rescue crews could get to the victim. Yes, that’s two people killed by captive tigers on the same day.  A new record.

Apr 15, 2016 San Salvadore:  A white tiger being kept in a private zoo in El Salvador fatally attacked its keeper and escaped but was recaptured hours later. “It looks like the keeper wasn’t following safety protocols as he fed the white tiger and it attacked him, causing serious injuries that caused his death.” The big cat was being kept in an animal park run by a group called the Wildlife Refuge Foundation on the outskirts of Jayaque, a town just west of the capital San Salvador.

Apr 2, 2016 Malta:  The hunters’ international fair, organised by the Hunters’ Federation, attracted thousands of visitors to Montekristo Estates for a weekend of guns, ammunition and hunting paraphernalia. It also attracted visitors to the animal park that had been closed last Nov after the mauling of another child by a tiger on the loose.  While the zoo was inexplicably open, a second child, this time a young boy, suffered scratches to his neck and back from another animal, a juvenile lioness.

Mar 7, 2016 Russia:  A toddler has been mauled by a lion cub after it was left to run loose in a Russian park in Vladimir, east of Moscow.  A traveling “zoo” owner was showing off the lion cub in the park.  Within seconds the young animal’s attention is diverted to a small child sitting nearby and the cub races to the boy and begins to maul his neck.  His mother can be heard screaming in Russian “get him” as the helpless child cries out “mummy.”  The handler quickly pulls the lion off the toddler and proceeds to beat it.

Feb 28, 2016 Canada:  The owner of Papanack’s Exotic Animals shot and killed a five-year-old male lion named Zeus that had escaped from its enclosure.  Officers from Hawkesbury OPP rushed to the scene and found the African lion walking near the entrance of Papanack Park Zoo, an unfenced area. There was no way to contain the animal, police say, and the zoo owner was forced to shoot it.  Kerri Bayford posted on behalf of the park “At approximately 5:19 p.m. our male lion breached its primary perimeter fence. Police were called immediately and within minutes our staff, with police present, made the decision to euthanize the lion on our property,” Bayford wrote. “The risk to the public of trying to sedate the lion was simply too high as the sedative takes too long to kick in and this would have put everyone at risk.”

Jan 21, 2016 Australia:  A 12 year old tiger has attacked a keeper at an Australian zoo founded by the late Steve Irwin.  The incident, which took place Thursday morning at the Sunshine Coast’s Australia Zoo, left 41-year-old Che Woolcott with “significant puncture wounds” to his head and forearm, according to local media reports. He was treated at the scene before being transferred to the hospital.


2015

Dec 18, 2015  Canada, BC: Creston RCMP say a cheetah was spotted along Highway 3a in the Crawford Bay and Kootenay Bay areas. The cheetah was seen at the side of the road near Kootenay Bay by a motorist who took some pictures of the cat wearing an orange cloth collar and called the RCMP.

Dec 17 2015 Durban South Africa: A tiger that had escaped from its enclosure at the Natal Zoological Gardens and Lion Park in Cato Ridge on Tuesday has been shot dead. The circus tiger, owned by Brian Boswell had originally survived the shot gun blast and walked off into the nearby bushes. It was not clear if the tiger was shot a second time or if it died from its wounds later.

Nov 29 Malta: Ħal-Farrug zoo was closed by its owners after a tiger severely injures a 3 year old boy.  A spokesman for the zoo said the incident happened when the two handlers were walking the “friendly” tiger, which they had raised, outside its cage since it had been slightly unwell. The tiger was lying on the floor when the incident happened. Upon seeing the animal, the boy ran towards it, prompting the tiger to raise its paws, lashing the child in the face in the process, the spokesman said.

Nov 16 Yemen:  Other than rebels, Saudi troops also have to deal with other elements while fighting in Yemen.  In this case, they had to deal with a lion! The lion attacked the Saudi soldiers but the trained soldiers managed to control him. They eventually tied him to a tank with a rope.

Nov 1 2015 Mexico:  Police in Mexico are on the lookout for two tigers that escaped from a ranch in the western state of Michoacán. Such incidents are a regular occurrence in Mexico, where ownership of big cats is not uncommon. Just two days earlier, another tiger escaped from a hotel where it was kept as an attraction in the neighboring state of Guerrero. In September 2015, authorities in Jalisco state captured yet another tiger that had escaped from a gated community in the city of Guadalajara.

Nov. 1, 2015  OMAHA, NB: A 33-year-old woman is recovering from a severe hand injury after police say she broke into the Omaha Zoo to pet a tiger. Officer James Shade says the woman acted aggressively and appeared to be intoxicated. Police determined that the woman snuck into the zoo to try to pet a tiger. She was bitten when she reached into the animal’s cage. The woman was ticketed on suspicion of trespassing while she was being treated at the hospital.

Oct 3, 2015  Bahalwpur Zoo: A zookeeper identified as Fayyaz was badly injured when two lions attacked him after he entered the lion enclosure.  The incident happened when the zookeeper  reportedly entered the enclosure to shift the cubs to another room.

Sept 19, 2015 New Zealand:  The woman killed by a male tiger named Oz at Hamilton Zoo today was senior staff member, Samantha Kudeweh, age 43 who held the job title of Zoo Curator.  She had over 20 years experience in the field. Before joining the team in Hamilton, she had spent eight years at Auckland Zoo and two years at Melbourne and Werribee Zoo’s. Before working in zoo, she completed a BSc at Auckland University.

Sept 16, 2015 Warsaw, Poland: A police spokesman says a tiger has fatally wounded a keeper at a zoo in Wroclaw, southwestern Poland.  Rynkiewicz said the rare Sumatran tiger attacked the man during routine cleaning of the animal’s run. Prosecutors are investigating the accident.  TVN24 said the man had 20 years of experience in taking care of predators at the zoo.

Sept 8, 2015 Suzhuo, China:  A lioness was hit by a car and then shot 20 times by police after escaping a local circus.

Sept 6, 2015 Indianapolis, IN:  The Indianapolis Zoo issued a Code Red after a cheetah escaped from its enclosure.  The cheetah somehow got onto the “beaver bridge” and managed to escape its enclosure.  Zoo officials said the cheetah was one of two new brothers that came to the zoo from San Diego a week ago.

Sept 4, 2015 Hemet, CA:  A 3 month old tiger was found wandering the streets of Hemet, CA before being turned in to the Ramona Humane Society for care.  The 25-pound cub was found declawed and will need surgery to remove a hernia from his abdomen.  It has been illegal to declaw big cats in the U.S. since 2006.  He has been sent to Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine, CA.

Aug 17, 2015 Detroit, MI:  Animals of Montana brought an adult tiger, bobcats and wolves to the abandoned Packard Plant for a photo shoot.  When the tiger escaped handlers instructed the film crew to chase it downstairs using a weedwhacker and a tarp. City officials claimed they had no idea that wild animals would be brought to the site, much less set free.

Aug 14, 2015 Morganton, NC:  Tyra, a Serval, went missing in the White Street/Valdese Avenue area of Morganton. Owner Jon Freed is afraid someone will mistake his 45-pound cat for a cheetah.  Freed recently moved from Fort Mill, South Carolina, to Morganton, NC. Tyra escaped from Freed’s screened-in porch.  This is yet one more reason why we need a federal ban on exotic cat possession.

Jun 14, 2015 Georgia Russia:  Tigers, lions, a hippopotamus and other animals escaped from the zoo in Georgia’s capital after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents in Tbilisi to say inside Sunday. At least 12 people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers.  One lost his arm to a tiger last month.

Jun 1, 2015 Johannesburg, SA: Katherine Chappell, 29, a visual effects artist for Game of Thrones, was killed and her tour guide seriously injured in an attack by a lioness at the Lion Park near Lanseria. The two people were travelling in the car with their windows open.  It’s understood a lioness jumped through the open window, biting the woman who was in the passenger seat.  The driver, a tour guide, was badly injured while attempting to free the woman from the animal’s grasp.  The park’s Scott Simpson said, “There was a car driving to the lion camp and the lioness came through the window and it bit the tourist. The ambulance arrived quite soon but the lady has passed away.”  Three months ago an Australian tourist was bitten in the thigh while driving though the park, also with his window down.

Jun 2, 2015 Alor Gajah, Malaysia: The body of the 38-year-old animal keeper named Herman who was mauled to death by a tiger at a popular resort has been sent back to his country of origin. District police chief Superintendent Muhammad Ismail Muhammad Yusof said “In classifying the case as sudden death we have closed the case and the victim, who was single, has been sent back to Indonesia.” He went on to say, “It could be that the caretaker had taken his relationship with the tiger for granted since he had been handling the tiger for the past eight years, including bathing and feeding it.”

May 27, 2015 Russia:   Doctors had to amputate one arm on a woman who was attacked by a tiger in Tbilisi Zoo.  The victim, Guliko Chitadze, is a 25 year veteran of the zoo.  She was in the caretaker area at the time of the incident, while the tiger was inside the cage. She was taken to the hospital and according to the doctors she is in a serious condition, and her legs may have to be amputated.  Tbilisi Zoo was opened in 1927 and currently holds 300 species of animals, including white tiger, white lion, African wild dogs, elephants and penguins. There are also fishes and reptiles.  (The very fact that they are exhibiting white tigers and white lions would seem to indicate they are just a roadside zoo.

May 24, 2015 Tiger Temple, Thailand:  The abbot of the province’s renowned “Tiger Temple” is in hospital after he was mauled by one of the scores of tigers that have made the monastery world famous. The monk said he was walking Hern Fa, a male Bengal tiger aged about seven or eight, on the temple’s ground. The abbot had raised the tiger from a young age and loved it very much.   Suddenly  Hern Fa attacked the 64 year old monk. It mauled his face and shoulder. The Department of  National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) first announced the seizure of 10 tigers kept at the temple about a decade ago because the temple had no permit to keep them.  However, officials then asked the temple to help take care of the animals instead of taking them back.  Department chief Nipon Chotiban said he did not know why the authorities wanted the temple to take care of the tigers. The number of tigers has since increased from 10 to 146. The department recently wanted the temple to hand them over, saying it had no permits to keep them. But Luangta Chan and his disciples are fiercely opposed to the removal of the tigers and other wildlife from the temple.  The 146 tigers and their future offspring are state property and could remain at the temple on the condition that it must seek a legal permit to operate a zoo. The temple must not exploit the tigers and use legal ways to generate income to feed the animals.

May 17, 2015 China:  A lion was shot dead after it killed one of its keepers and escaped at the Taian Tiger Mountain Park in Shandong.  Authorities said the 65-year-old keeper was cleaning the enclosure when the lion bit him on his shoulders and neck. He died later from his injuries.  The lion was on the loose in the zoo for more than an hour before it was shot dead by police.  The spokesman said they cornered the lion by a wall within the zoo grounds, and shot it dead to “ensure the safety of park visitors”.

Apr 30, 2015 OKC, OK:  A 4-year-old Sumatran tiger named Lola got out of her enclosure at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  Officials said they issued a “Code Red,” alerting zoo staff to the situation. In a statement, they said:  “In keeping with the Zoo’s safety protocol, the public was ushered out of the Cat Forest area and Zoo-wide announcements were made to inform guests of the situation. The veterinary team immobilized the animal at approximately 2:02 p.m. to extricate her from the space between the exhibits and transport her to the tiger holding building. The veterinary staff is monitoring her condition and she continues to recover well from the immobilization. The emergency alert was cleared by 2:25 p.m. and the Zoo resumed normal operations.”  Visitors to the zoo told CBS “We ran, we were weren’t really thinking about anything, we were just going, we were just running out. It was just pretty – pretty intense,” said Dean Smith.

Apr 29, 2015 London, England:  A man was mauled to death by lions after jumping into the lions’ enclosure at the East London zoo.  Buffalo City Metro spokesman Thandy Matebese said “According to the CCTV footage‚ the man entered the zoo this morning at around 9am. He paid the entrance fee and proceeded into the zoo premises. He was alone and did not display any signs of being emotional or distressed. We suspect that he used the corner of the security wall and the fence of the lion’s enclosure to climb up and jumped over the fence. His corpse was discovered around 10am when it was time to feed the lions.”

Apr 15, 2015 Seattle, WA:  A 6-month-old lion cub walked out of its exhibit through an open door April 15, the same day handlers moved elephants Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo.  The cub roamed the service area in the feline building for about an hour before being returned to his exhibit.  The escape fuels the ongoing legal battle surrounding the elephants. It was used as evidence of a pattern of unsafe handling in a complaint filed Monday by a group that wants Bamboo and Chai moved to a sanctuary instead of another zoo.

Apr 1, 2015 Lion Park, South Africa:  Only two days after an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion at the Lion Park in Honeydew, Joburg, a 13-year-old boy was attacked by a cheetah. The boy who lives in an informal settlement close by, had been riding his bicycle when the incident happened. Park manager, Scott Simpson said that the boy had cut through a wire fence and took a short cut through the park.  Two game guides rushed to assist him, but the cheetah managed to bite him twice before they reached him. Even though cheetahs are known to be the most docile of the big cats, often found in petting pens at wildlife experience centres, their natural instincts to chase after moving prey may kick in in these sorts of situations. Two days before this incident, Brendan Smith from Australia had been attacked by a lion. He had opened his window while driving through the Lion Park.

Mar 27, 2015 China, Yichun city, Jiangxi:  A zookeeper, named Gong, was attacked by a tiger at the zoo.  Employees rushed to drive the tiger away and injected it with anesthetic, while paramedics carried out the badly mauled body. Despite immediate medical treatment, the keeper was later pronounced dead.  Reports from the scene indicate that after the tiger was fed that morning, someone at the zoo forgot to close the door separating the enclosure from the feeding area.

Mar 9, 2015 India, Bannerghata National Park:  With more than 50 bite wounds and scratches, doctors are keeping a close watch on the animal keeper, who continued to remain critical a day after he was mauled by a lion.  Krishna (38) was with four others in the holding house at the lion safari when the big cat slipped through an open squeeze cage and pounced on him.  “He has at least 20 deep wounds, and nearly 40 scratches. The surgery on the deep wounds is scheduled for Thursday. As it is an animal bite, there is a high chance of infection that can spread to the muscles causing gangrene,” said A.N. Venkatesh, Head of the Department of Emergency at Apollo Hospitals on Bannerghata Road.  Nakula (4), the 200-kg lion that had attacked his keeper continued to remain in its pride of ten.

Feb 15, 2015 Monterey:  A stunned Miguel Martinez, 32, got home from work and discovered a lion in his front yard, trying to get into his house with his young daughter.  He saw the big cat lying under a bush outside his front door as he pulled into his driveway, assuming it was a toy – until it started growling. Fearing his children would be attacked, Mr Martinez sat in his Audi and called police, who arrived and humanely trapped the seven-month old beast. A 19-year-old pregnant neighbour, Maria Fernanda Martinez, who had named him Simba after receiving him as a gift for getting pregnant.

Feb. 12, 2015 Seoul, South Korea:   An zoo keeper died after apparently being attacked by two lions at a zoo in South Korea’s capital, officials said.  A colleague found the keeper, 52-year-old Kim Geun-bae, unconscious and bleeding heavily from his neck and legs in the animals’ enclosure, as a male and female lion wandered near him, according to Seoul Children’s Grand Park official Jisun Lee. Kim was pronounced dead at a hospital about two hours later, she said.  There were no witnesses or visitors at the time of the attack because the zoo has been closed since last week to prevent the spread of avian flu, Lee said. The park said Kim had 20 years’ experience as an animal keeper and had been working with dangerous animals such as lions, tigers and leopards for the past three years.

Feb. 9, 2015 Egypt:  Faten El-Helw was in the middle of her routine, dancing and waving to the crowds during the circus performance in Egypt, when the lion attacked. The crowd of adults and children can be heard screaming and the music stops as her fellow performers rush to her rescue.  El-Helw comes from a long line of lion tamers – many of whom have suffered similar attacks. Her late husband Ibrahim reportedly died from his injuries after being attacked by a lion in 2004, while relative Mohamed El-Helw was mauled and died during the 1980s.

Feb. 2015 Johannesburg, SA:  ‘I’m 15 years old and have survived mauling by lions in a cage which was opened by the ranger,’ Neha Sharma wrote. ‘The lions were as tall as me and attacked my head… I could hear lions teeth crunching on my head and biting my arms and chest. While I was passing out I could hear mum and dad screaming for help.’ Dr Sharma recalled ‘My wife and I were yelling, kept asking the Park Ranger to help Neha but he remained on the ground. He just left my daughter and didn’t move once. So I thought he was dead.’ Dr Sharma said he could hear his daughter screaming out for him as he watched the lion bite her head, arms and legs. Neha then became unconscious when the lion bit her on her chest.  ‘I felt so helpless. That moment felt like hell to me. No one was around to help and I thought I was going to be left with nothing,’ Dr Sharma said.  ‘So at that point, I remember thinking that I had to fight the lion myself knowing that I was going to die. I knew if I went in, I would be killed but that would be better than watching my daughter get eaten alive.’ But Neha extraordinarily regained consciousness at that moment, stood up and ran straight towards the cage gate where her father opened it and let her out.

2014

Dec 25, 2014 Kuala Lampur, Malaysia:   The Malayan tiger escaped the Taiping Zoo when maintenance work was being carried out by new workers.  Workers immediately shot the animal with a tranquiliser dart, however it managed to run into the forest area nearby after jumping over the 1.8 metre zoo wall.  The tiger was found in the forest and was shot with a tranquiliser dart again and was recaptured.

Dec 11, 2014 Kuwait City:  A Filipina woman died two days after she was attacked by a lion inside a house in Sulaibikhat. According to security sources, the medical report indicated that the housemaid was bitten by the lion inside her employer’s house where the owner allegedly raises wild animals. During interrogations, the sponsor denied raising a lion in his house. A case has been registered and further investigations in this regard are ongoing.

Dec 7, 2014:  Barcelona, Spain:  A 45 year old man, with a history of odd behavior, leaped into the lion’s cage at the Barcelona Zoo, and was mauled by 3 lions.  He was dragged down a tunnel by three beasts in the frightening attack.  He was rescued alive, but taken to hospital in a serious condition after being bitten a number of times.

Dec 3, 2014:  Buckhead, GA:  A Siberian Lynx attacked his caregiver while his owner, Fred Boyajian, was out of town.  The person was reportedly bitten on the head at  the 3000 block of Paces Ferry Road NW.  Police say the woman was bitten on her head and had cuts on her arms and back. She was treated at the hospital.  David Laws, the primary caregiver for the cats tried to downplay the event, but the 911 call was pretty terrifying.  The owner has 9 cats, including 4 Siberian Lynxes, one Canada lynx, and 3 other cats of comparable size.  Channel 2’s Carl Willis went to the neighborhood, where neighbors said it isn’t the first incident involving the large cats.  Neighbors are nervous as it’s still not clear how the animal was able to attack a person hired to feed them.  They say it doesn’t help matters that one of the large cats has gotten loose in the neighborhood before.  Aerial footage from NewsChopper2 showed a large cat pacing in its cage at a home in Buckhead.  It was moments after police say a Siberian Lynx bit someone.  Police found the victim bleeding heavily from her head. DNR says the owner is permitted to breed the animals on the property.  In 2004, another lynx, belonging to the same owner, got loose.  A 50-pound lynx was spotted near a home on Beechwood Hills Court. “Because I don’t think any of us really know how they’re being contained and if one of them was to get out and bite someone in my family or anyone else, it’d be pretty terrifying,” a neighbor said.

Oct. 31, 2014 China, Chongqing, Xinhua:  A circus tiger killed an 8 year old girl in southwestern Chongqing Municipality.  She slipped into an closed animal training site of a circus in Leheledu Amusement Park and died in the hospital after serious injuries.  The circus is hired by the Leheledu Amusement Park for performances. A spokesman from the park said they have reached initial agreement on settling the incident with the victim’s family.

Oct. 21, 2014 Thailand:  Phuket’s Tiger Kingdom closed its Big Cat enclosure after a 15-month-old tiger attacked Australian tourist Paul Goudie, 49,  biting his both legs and stomach.  Bangkok Post reported that Mr Goudie has undergone surgery and has more operations scheduled.  The incident happened while Mr Goudie was walking around in an area where visitors are allowed to touch and take photos with the big cats.  The adult tigers are reportedly chained and drugged so that visitors can cuddle up to them and take photographs. Tiger Kingdom has closed Big Cat enclosure temporarily, though visitors can still visit cages containing smaller tigers, reported Phuket Wan.

Oct. 10, 2014 Little Rock, AR:  A three-year-old boy was mauled when he fell from the railing above the jaguar pit at the Little Rock Zoo.  According to the police report, the boy’s grandfather placed the toddler on the railing to view the two jaguars. His father Andrew Garber was taking pictures of the cats when he says he saw the boy fall in his peripheral view. The boy fell four-and-a-half meters, or about 15 feet, into the jaguar pit. Witnesses told THV11 they saw one jaguar biting child’s neck and the other biting the boy’s foot. The toddler suffered a fractured skull, scalp lacerations and minor puncture wounds both during the fall and jaguar attack.

Oct 9, 2014 St. Paul, MN:  Brian Casey Phillips climbed over the guardrail at the Como Zoo and was apparently yelling at the cougars in the exhibit and pushing on the cage wall when he apparently was scratched by one of the cougars. He was cited for disturbing zoo animals and released at the scene.

Oct. 6, 2014 Jupiter, FL:  A construction worker lost his thumb after being bitten by a tiger at Zoological Wildlife Foundation (a ZAA member)  owned by a convicted felon and suspected drug kingpin, Mario Tabraue.  Visitors to the zoo are encouraged to interact with the animals in the vast collection, which includes an alligator, different types of monkeys, birds, two different kinds of anteater, a fox and other exotic creatures.

In December 1987, the Associated Press reported that Tabraue was arrested as part of a sting operation targeting a drug-trafficking ring that killed an informant and dismembered his body while smuggling in a half-million pounds of marijuana. During the trial, witnesses recounted how Tabraue and an associate allegedly carved up the corpse of federal informant Larry Nash with a circular saw, dumped it in a horse trough and set it alight. Tabraue’s drug-smuggling operation allegedly imported 500,000 of tons of pot and more than 200lbs of cocaine from Colombia, earning him $75million in profit.

Now Tabraue funds Frank Vitello, a lobbyist to thwart the Big Cats & Public Safety Act which would put an end to the private collection of big cats.

Sept 22, 2014 Delhi Zoo: A white tiger attacked and killed a 20-year-old man named Maksood who apparently slipped and fell 18 feet into a dry moat at the Delhi zoo. Some say he was sitting on the enclosure, others say the barricade was too low and he fell in. A witness said he raced to the tiger enclosure after hearing screams, to see the man locked in the tiger’s jaws, “writhing badly in pain”.

“We saw some kids throwing in small sticks and stones inside the tiger enclosure. Then we saw that a white tiger had gripped a man by his neck. No one helped him,” said Himanshu, a visitor. Witnesses say the man suffered for an agonizing 10-15 minutes before dying.

“The tiger didn’t attack at first, till stones were thrown at it. I saw the man folding his hands before the tiger, who kept looking at first. The man tried to run away but the tiger swiped at him, wounding his neck. Then it carried him away by the head,” said Bittu, a witness who filmed the horrific incident on his mobile phone.

August 24, 2014 Rietfontein, Johannesburg, S. Africa:  A circus worker sustained severe bite wounds and lacerations to his neck and chest, Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said in a statement.  The tiger escaped from its enclosure early on Sunday morning. The man was taken to hospital.  Botha could provide no further details on the attack. Nor could he provide the name of the circus, which he said was on Beyers Naude Drive.

August 23, 2014 Dallas, TX:  A 35 year old senior zookeeper is recovering after being attacked by a lion at the Dallas zoo.  “We had an unfortunate incident and accident with one of our keepers who was actually in the same space with a lion and was bitten by the lion,” said Gregg Hudson, President and CEO of the Dallas Zoo.  One of two Zookeepers who were present, inadvertently left the door of an enclosure area open.  The male Zookeeper who, according to zoo officials, is among the most experienced, was bitten at least once on the shoulder and scratched several times.  “Anytime that you’re bitten by a lion, it’s going to be pretty serious …but I was able to speak to him this afternoon and he’s in good spirits, ” assured Hudson.

August 16, 2014 Cusco, Peru:  The teacher, who was out with the students for a day of fun at the Monaco Circus in Cusco, Peru, was called out by the lion tamer to show her students that the animal didn’t pose a threat.  But the applause quickly turned to screams of terror when she entered the cage and the lion attacked her, dragging her out in front of the crowd with its teeth while her students watched in shock.

August 10, 2014 Aiken, SC: Lt, Jake Mahoney with the Aiken Department of Public Safety is investigating the disappearance of a pet mountain lion from a Aquarium Pets on Richland Avenue West in Aiken.  The animal is described as black in color, (mountain lions are all tan, so was this really a black leopard?) weighing approximately 100 pounds, and three feet tall. The mountain lion was wearing a dog harness when it was last seen. The owner told officers that the animal has been declawed, which has been illegal since 2004.  Investigators have determined that the entire story has been fabricated, Mahoney said Sunday evening. Mahoney said at this time there is no indication as to why the original complainant fabricated the story. The search for the missing mountain lion has now turned into a criminal investigation pertaining to the filing of a false police report. The stats for escapes and incidents above have been reduced accordingly.

August 1, 2014 Brazil:  An 11-year-old boy was visiting Cascavel Zoo in Parana, Brazil, when he jumped over the barriers and started trying to touch a tiger named Hu through the fence.  Before the boy’s father realized his son was in the prohibited area, the tiger had attacked the child.  He was taken to a nearby hospital, but his arm was so damaged that after several operations surgeons decided they had to remove it.

July 30, 2014 Queensland, Australia:  An animal handler is recovering after being bitten by a tiger named Juma at Australia Zoo (owned by the family of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin) on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  The 42-year-old suffered puncture wounds while trying to move the big cat to another enclosure. He was taken to hospital in a stable condition.  Last year, 30-year-old tiger handler Dave Styles was mauled on the neck and shoulders during an attempt to swim with tigers.

July 27, 2014 Tawas, MI :  Renae Ferguson and her daughter Tina Dobson said the lion attack happened at the Sunrise Side Nature Trail and Exotic Park. They were visiting the zoo when they claim a worker let them into the lion’s cage.  “I was totally in shock. I really didn’t believe that was part of my finger laying on the ground,” Renae Ferguson said.  “I put my hand down there to pet it and it ripped my finger,” Ferguson said.

July 27, 2014 France:  A lion reached out of his cage and scratched a 16-month-old girl at the Claudio Zavatta Circus in France, injuring the child’s head and back. The child wandered away from her parents and walked past a security barrier that way around the animals’ cages. The lion stuck a paw out of his cage and grabbed for the girl. She was taken to the hospital to be stitched up.  The news came the same day as a not guilty verdict for the owner of a circus elephant that killed an elderly man.

April 14, 2014 Khobar, Saudi Arabia:  A tiger in a private zoo attacked an Asian worker when he was cleaning the premises.  Other workers managed to free the man before the beast could devour him. Despite the efforts, the worker died due to the severe injuries he sustained on his head, shoulder, and other parts of his body. The incident took place earlier this week, reported Sabq news.The spokesman for the Eastern Region Police, Colonel Ziad Alriqaiti said that they were investigating the incident that took place at the small private zoo near a housing complex in the eastern town of Khobar.

Feb 17, 2014 China:  After going to the Chengdu Zoo, 27 year old Yang Jinhai wrote how depressing it was to see the ‘noble and magnificent tigers’ living in such humble surroundings, where they were caged and unable to follow their natural instincts to hunt and kill.  He then announced that he had decided to sacrifice himself in order to provide the Bengal tigers with support.  He climbed into the tiger cage to sacrifice himself, but was rescued by staff after being dragged around the cage for a while by the tigers.

Jan 26, 2014 Montgomery, AL:  An inbred white tiger escaped from her enclosure and entered another animal pen at the Montgomery Zoo, prompting a lockdown of the facility.  WSFA-TV reported that a street near the zoo was temporarily blocked during the lockdown. Montgomery police also responded to the situation.  The tiger was out of her exhibit for about 30 minutes. The big cat was tranquilized and returned to her own enclosure. Zoo officials are now working to repair the breach in the underwater fencing.  The zoo introduced its two young tigers in March.

Jan 20, 2014  Tbilisi, Ukraine:  A 24 year old lion tamer, named Roman Gurkin, from a group of Ukrainian performers entered the lion’s cage to do some cleaning, and that was when the animal attacked.  Gurkin, who had been caring for the lion for years, died from his injuries at the Republican Hospital in Tbilisi.  Thursday night’s performance was just over when the incident happened. This was the circus’ last performance in Georgia.

Jan 3, 2014 Spring Hill, FL: The agricultural unit of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is assisting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in locating a lion believed to be loose from the Survival Outreach Sanctuary run by Judy Watson.  The facility is located at 22005 Bowman Road in Spring Hill.  USDA cited this facility for unsafe lion caging in Feb 2013 and gave Watson until March 2013 to make repairs but there is no evidence that USDA ever followed up.  SOS cited by USDA for unsafe Lion Cage.  A few days later a deer, that had apparently failed rehab, gored out the eye of a visitor and left her badly cut on her neck and arms.

Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_citrus_hernando/spring_hill/lion-escapes-from-wildlife-survival-sanctuary-in-spring-hill#ixzz2pLzXPlHL

 

2013

 

Dec 22, 2013 San Diego, CA:  A female Malayan tiger was killed Saturday while mating at the San Diego Zoo. Zoo officials say what happened at the zoo on Saturday when “Tiga” was killed was not an attack, but rather said it was a natural part of breeding. What is NOT natural is introducing captive cats to each other in such small spaces. These animals should be free to choose their own mates and not be held captive and used to breed more animals for captivity.

Dec 17, 2013 Shanghai:  A 56 year old keeper named Zhou, at Shanghai’s zoo, was mauled to death by a rare South China tiger after entering the 9 year old male’s enclosure to clean it.  The tiger was had no prior record of aggression against people. It said the attack occurred at the zoo’s breeding facility where safety procedures are in place.  State media cited unidentified colleagues as saying the man entered the tiger enclosure to clean it and “did not come out again.” The highly endangered South China tiger is considered effectively extinct in the wild after decades of being hunted as a pest. Only a few are kept in zoos.  Shanghai’s zoo is one of China’s largest and most popular urban animal parks.

Dec 9, 2013 Spain:  Danny Gottani of the Gottani Circus was in the middle of a performance when the tiger leapt at him, wrapping its arms around the trainer and swiping at him. Other circus workers had to hit the animal with sticks to get it off 60 year old Gottani, who was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He had been working with tigers since he was 18. Gottani’s mother also taken after she had a panic attack watching the terrifying scene.

Dec 8 2012 Montgomery, AL:  A tiger escaped into a neighboring cage at the Montgomery Zoo, according to WSFA.  The Montgomery Zoo introduced its two new Bengal tigers, an orange male and a white female, in March, but something led to one driving the other out.  The report says the zoo as well the street surrounding it were put on lock down after the animal entered another animal’s pen. The Montgomery Police Department responded and the Montgomery Zoo staff was able to get the tiger back into its exhibit.

Dec 2, 2013 Duluth, MN:  At the Lake Superior Zoo a  4-year veteran zoo-keeper was feeding the Siberian tiger venison, when the food slipped from her hand and the tiger tried to catch it but instead caught the zookeepers finger.  Jennifer Eickhoff was doing operant conditioning with Ussuri, a 400-pound male Amur tiger when a piece of meat got stuck in the fence and she apparently pushed it in with her finger. “It’s still attached, it’s just a little on the mangled side,” said Peter Pruett, director of zoo operations. “She was in complete shock.” She was taken to the hospital in Duluth. Pruett says the bite was completely unintentional.  “When she comes back to work, I’ll sit down with her and we’ll discuss the incident and we’ll look through our protocols and we’ll make the necessary changes to make sure this type of accident doesn’t happen again,” said Pruett.

Nov 25, 2013 Australia:  A 30 year old tiger handler, named Dave Styles, who has 9 years of experience at this zoo, was mauled by a tiger that he had raised from a cub, during a show at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. He was bitten on the shoulder and neck.  Several colleagues risked their own lives and rushed to his rescue, dragging the man to safety.  The incident happened in front of a crowd of spectators.  Paramedics tried to treat the man at the scene but massive bleeding led to him being flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.  His condition is listed as serious but stable.   In a radio interview with Carole Baskin, by Fairfax Radio Network, it was stated to her that this zoo participates in pay to play schemes whereby the zoo patrons pay to pose with cubs.

Nov 24, 2013 Seoul:  A 52 year old zookeeper, named Shim, at Seoul Zoo died a couple weeks after being mauled by a 3 year old male Siberian tiger after the animal escaped from its indoor enclosure into a corridor used by zoo staff, Yonhap news agency reported.  The incident prompted calls for improved safety checks and awareness at the zoo, the South Korean news agency said.

Nov 9 2013 Sherwood, OR:  Renee Radziwon-Chapman, a 35 yr old woman was killed after she was bitten by a cougar at WildCat Haven. She was alone at the facility at the time.  The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said they are not releasing details about the worker killed but said the medical examiner was responding.  News reports stated that fire crews have had a difficult time reaching the worker because there are several cats loose within the enclosure where Chapman was found dead. Renee was survived by her husband, Aaron Chapman, a former worker at the facility and their 5 month old daughter, Noa Elise.  WildCat Haven is the lifetime home for more than 60 neglected, abandoned, and abused captive-born wildcats.

Oct 5 2013 Garold Wayne Interactive Zoo, Wynnewood, OK:  Joe Schreibvogel, owner of the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, OK according to ABC news, said the arm was still attached when the 27 year old, Kelci Saffery was airlifted to Pauls Valley Hospital helipad as the nearest air evac had to respond from Duncan, Oklahoma.  From there she was air lifted to OU Medical Center where her arm was amputated from the elbow down.  Joe Schreibvogel blamed Saffery on facebook, and it was posted on dozens of news sites, saying, “This was an employee error of violating the safety protocols of placing any part of the body inside a cage.”  That seems like a hypocritical policy given that Schreibvogel frequently parades around in front of staff and guests walking an adult tiger on a leash and allowing staff and even guests to go in the cages and play with lions, ligers and tigers.

Sept 17, 2013 Ethiopia Musie Kiflom Zoo:  A lion has mauled to death a keeper at a zoo in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, after he forgot to close the door to the inner cage where the animal sleeps.  The lion, named Kenenisa bit Abera Silsay, 51, in the neck.  The attack is said to have lasted for 15-20 minutes.  This is the second time a zookeeper has been killed by a lion at the centre in the past 17 years.

Sept 7, 2013 Kuwait:  A passerby lured a runaway lion roaming an upmarket suburb of Kuwait into his car and then called the police.  Pictures in Kuwaiti media showed the animal glaring out of the back of a police car. The lion, which police said was a young adult, filled the backseat.  Police are seeking the owner of the lion, believed to be someone who was illegally rearing it as a pet in a country where such animals are sometimes considered status symbols by rich individuals.

Sept 5, 2013 Starkville, MS:  Huyanh Ralph Tran, 35, was arrested following an exotic animals investigation.  Tran resides Park Avenue, where a search warrant was issued on August 28.  Officers responded to neighbors complaining of loud animal noises coming from the residence.  Once inside the residence, investigators discovered an illegal commercial exotic animal breeding farm with dozens of large constrictor snakes, African cats, rare frogs, parrots, macaws and other large birds.

Sept 4, 2013 Fairfield Beach, OH:  The Ohio Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Erica Hawkins says the agency wants to know how the 400 lb., 2-year-old lioness ended up in a neighbor’s yard Sunday in Fairfield County.  Hawkins said the animal was registered, though its enclosure might not meet the state’s temporary standards.  The lion belongs to John Moore. He worked as a caretaker for the suicidal man who freed dozens of exotic animals near Zanesville two years ago.

Aug 30, 2013 Tiger Temple, Thailand:  The Daily Mail reported that a 19 year old student had been assured by the monks at the Tiger Temple that it was perfectly safe to pet the tigers, but as she was petting one tiger another leaped across the arena and bit through her leg, leaving her unable to walk, even 8 weeks later when the story finally was discovered by the media.  The young woman said the monks had been paying all of her bills, but they couldn’t buy her silence.  She said it isn’t as safe as they tell you.

Aug 10, 2013 Patna Zoo, India:  Mohammad Imran Khan, 22, barged into the Patna Zoo den of a lion named Vishal. He was saved from what looked like a certain death by zoo keeper Shatrughan Paswan who managed to divert attention of the animal and push it into a night shelter. Khan jumped into a moat in the enclosure, a fall of 12-13 feet, after scaling the wall. “It all happen in split of a second. The animal attacked him from behind, holding his neck and shoulder with its claws. He would have mauled the man to death had not keeper in charge showed presence of mind”, a witness said. The zoo director said it was a freak incident. “Patrolling parties make repeated rounds of the zoo ground on such crowded days. Still, crazy people have managed to do this kind of thing thrice earlier,” he said.

July 18, 2013 Belize, S.A.:  A family trip to an animal “sanctuary” in Belize ended with the 10 year old autistic child being mauled by an Ocelot. His mother had subjected him, and his two siblings, to being leapt on by Jaguars in a close encounter offered by the pseudo sanctuary. It took 40 minutes for the family and zoo keepers to drive through the jungle to the hospital.  The little boy was interviewed and said that all wild animals should be behind multiple barricades to avoid such incidents.  No legitimate zoo or sanctuary allows public contact with exotic cats.

July 11, 2013 Reliant, TX:  A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey tiger trainer was injured during a show at Reliant Stadium.  Alexander Lacey was doing the double walk tiger trick.  He was bleeding quite a bit, but Lacey continued with the show.  Onsite paramedics examined Lacey following the end of his act.  According to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show, Lacey is going to perform in Friday night’s show.

July 3, 2013 Pretoria, South Africa:  

Lauren Fagen, 18, says she was kissing the fur of a male lion named Duma when he suddenly reached through the bars of his cage, grabbed her legs in and began mauling her at the Moholoholo animal rehabilitation centre in Pretoria, South Africa. She was walking next to the cage for a five-year-old male lion when he stuck his paws between the bars and grappled her. “My leg was through the bars into his enclosure… and I was in the feeding cage. He started biting my leg and scratching it, and I tried to push back with my other leg but somehow… he had both my legs up to my upper thigh inside the enclosure. The bars are quite close together so I couldn’t pull them out because at my knee it got stuck, and i could see him biting me and I thought I was going to lose both my legs,” she said.

Fagen said she remembers the male lion being quite affectionate with her and in a very good mood. A few minutes later, she noticed the lion was at the door to the feeding cage, and that’s when he grabbed the bottom of her leg and tried to pull her through the bars. A female lion approached and also began mauling her legs as well. The teenager said that’s when she was certain she was going to die. Other volunteers at the centre heard Fagen’s screams and ran to her rescue, fending off the lions with brooms. She was rushed to a hospital and treated for multiple lacerations to her legs and abdomen.

July 2, 2013 Turin, Italy: A 72 yr old zookeeper, Mauro Lagiard was mauled and eaten by his own tigers when he went to feed them.  He was dragged 100ft while his 73 yr old wife watched.  According to the Daily Mail, Police said his dismembered body was later found by the tigers’ water trough.  He went in to the cage to give the tigers chicken meatballs on Tuesday night.  However, the alpha-male of the pack, named Samir, went in for the kill, quickly followed by two others of the pack. Five recently born cubs watched the attack.  The tigers dragged the zookeeper through the dirt to a clearing and tore him to pieces.

According to reports, the tiger that attacked first was his favorite, even though the same animal had attacked him before two years ago and caused him to spend eight months in hospital. Neighbors said the animals were malnourished and aggressive. The tigers were fed just twice a week.  In 2010 large bills and dwindling numbers of tourists forced the closure of the zoo.  The tigers are currently in the care of vets while their fate is decided. Samir is likely to be put down.

June 21, 2013 Anderson, IN: A 21 year old female employee named Marissa Dub was attacked by tiger at Joe Taft’s Exotic Feline Rescue Center. For cleaning purposes, the tiger was moved into a holding area. Officials report that the door to the holding area did not get shut all the way, allowing the tiger to bite and latch onto her head. Co workers distracted the tiger with food and retrieved Dub who was airlifted in critical condition to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis.

June 20, 2013 Charlestown, IN:  A woman got the shock of her life when she fired into the shadows, in an attempt to kill what she thought had been a bobcat, and discovered the cat she killed to be a 9 month old baby leopard.  Tim Stark, a mile away, at Wildlife in Need, a backyard menagerie, said he had been setting traps to catch a leopard, but claimed it was because his neighbors asked him to do so.

June 19, 2013 Westtown, NY:   A male, 30-35 pound serval was left outside the Dawn Animal Agency sanctuary entrance in a flimsy wire crate, and quickly escaped.  He was on the loose for 3 days before being caught with a net while going for some food that was set out as a lure. The USDA is trying to track down the owner.

June 11, 2013 South Africa, Bloemfontein: Manie and Angelique Visser, from Brits,  have been left seriously injured after apparently trying to play with a lion cub at the Ukutula Lion Park & Lodge. According to Manie they had fostered the lion, called Markus, since it was a cub of three weeks until it was eight months old when they returned it to the park last year. “We visited it every two or three months and we went again on Sunday. As Angelique was leaving, the lion rubbed against Angelique’s legs and then grabbed her leg,” Manie said.

He got hold of her calf and I tried to get his mouth open. He then turned on me and started biting. One of the park workers grabbed him by the tail and I was trying to push him away. The other worker hit him with a stick.” Manie said he had no idea how long the attack lasted. He sustained bite wounds to his legs, arms, hands, back and head. “The lion took a chunk out of my leg,” Angelique said.

The pair, who had recently bought the lion, were both admitted to hospital and had to have surgery. They had owned lions before and insisted they knew what they were doing.

June 04, 2013 Novosibirsk, Russia: A zookeeper at a zoo in western Siberia died Tuesday after a female jaguar mauled her, officials say.  Police said the attack at the zoo in Novosibirsk occurred in an area of the enclosure the woman cleaning.  A partition between the animal’s open-air enclosure and their indoor pen had been accidentally unlocked and the women entered an area occupied by a 5-year-old female jaguar and her 7-month-old cub, zoo director Rostislav Shilo said. The 48-year-old woman died instantly when the jaguar broke her back. The woman had worked at the zoo for two years.

May 25, 2013, Dalton-in-Furness, UK: A 24 yr old, female zoo worker, Sarah McClay, a long time staff member at South Lakes Wild Animal Park was mauled to death after apparently walking into the tiger cage. CEO, Mr Gill said Miss McClay had worked at the wildlife park for a number of years and was ‘very proficient’ in her work with big cats.  He told BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday: ‘After investigation by the authorities here and the police, it does seem that she just basically failed to follow the correct procedures.  ‘For some unknown reason, an inexplicable reason, because there is no reason for why she did it, she opened the door and went into the tiger enclosure and straight into the tigers, and now we’ll never know why.’

April 20, 2013, Salina, KS: A circus tiger escaped during an Isus Shrine Circus show at the Salina Bicentennial Center. Initial reports indicated that the circus was trying to downplay the escape, saying no one even noticed, but that’s not what Jenna Krehbiel said. Krehbiel had finished watching the large cat show when she decided to step out into the hall and came face to face with the escaped tiger.

March 28, 2013 Montreal Canada:  A zoo employee was mauled by a tiger at the Zoo Sauvage in St-Félicien, in the Lac St. Jean area.  The male custodian was attacked by the female tiger and was very badly injured but conscious when the officers arrived. He is currently being treated in hospital and the tiger has been placed in isolation.

March 6, 2013 Fresno, CA:  A 24 year old intern named Dianna Hanson was mauled to death while inside a cage with a four year old male lion named Cous Cous.  The lion had been raised at the zoo since he was 8 weeks old.  Another worker tried to distract the lion, to no avail, and the sheriff shot the cat to death, but it was too late for Dianna Hanson.  The facility is called Project Survival Cat Haven and is run by Dale Anderson.  On his website he says, “In the seventh grade a gentleman brought a Mountain Lion to my class… After that experience I wanted to have a cat of some kind at some later date.”  This is why it is so bad to use wild animals as ego props, especially in the presence of children who will grow up to fulfill their desire to “be that guy,” even if it means dooming wild animals to life in cages.

February 2, 2013 Etchojoa, Sonora:  Police say that Alexander Crispin, 35, died after being attacked by his tiger inside the Suarez circus tent.  Crispin, who was originally from the United States and worked as a tiger tamer, was bitten on the neck by the enraged animal in the middle of the show.  Crispin was taken by ambulance to the Red Cross hospital Huatabampo, Sonora where he died while receiving medical care, as a result of hypovolemic shock.  Hysterical spectators ran out of the scene during the attack.  It is believed that the tiger was killed during the struggle when beating him did not cause him to release Crispin.

 

2012

 

Nov 23, 2012 Czech Liberac Zoo:  A white tiger escaped from its enclosure at a Czech zoo and mauled three employees.

Nov 11, 2012 Skopje, Macedonia:  Several hundred spectators got an unexpected shock at a circus in Macedonia after a lion broke through a safety enclosure during a performance.  Spectators fled in panic when the lion charged through metal fencing at the Hungarian circus Safari. Children were crying and some women even fainted.

Sept 21, 2012  Bronx Zoo, NY:  A 25 year old man jumped out of the monorail into the tiger exhibit where he was badly mauled by one of the tigers before zoo employees rescued him using fire extinguishers, zoo officials said.  The man severely injured his leg and foot in the attack and also has deep cuts to the back.  Once the tiger backed away, the man was instructed to roll under a hot wire to safety, said Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny.

August 26, 2012 Berlin, Germany:  A 4 year old tiger named Altai escaped his cage at Cologne Zoo in western Germany and killed a 43 year old female keeper before being shot dead by the zoo’s director, police said.  The tiger slipped through a passage between the enclosure and an adjacent storage building said police spokesman Stefan Kirchner, saying  “It appears the gate wasn’t properly shut”

August 18, 2012  Cisarua, Bogor, West Java:  A janitor at the Taman Safari Indonesia zoo identified as Junaedi, 32, was mauled to death by a tiger while busy trimming grass in the Sumatran tiger compound . Junaedi was not aware that the adult Sumatran tiger was stalking him.  The tiger suddenly attacked Junaedi, who died instantly at the scene with wounds to his head, hands and legs.

July 30, 2012 Chile’s Santiago Metropolitan Zoo: A zookeeper, Jose Silva, who had more than 25 years experience with big cats, was mauled and seriously injured by a white tiger named Pampa, who was later killed.  Pampa had arrived at the zoo seven years ago from Buenos Aires, and attacked the zookeeper both inside and outside the enclosure.

July 19, 2012  Nanping Jiufeng Mountain Zoo, China:  A substitute zookeeper was mauled to death by a leopard when he opened the cage.

July 15, 2012 Tata Steel Zoo India:  A man was mauled when entering the tiger cage at Tata Steel Zoo.  Reports said that he was not stable and may have been there to steal the cubs or poison the cats.

July 12, 2012 Toronto, Canada:  A declawed Mountain Lion who killed a dog may have been from nearby Guha’s Tiger and Lion Farm a backyard menagerie.  Calls to Guha’s were not returned said The Star.

July 11, 2012 Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark:  A 21 year old man was found dead in the tiger pit at the Copenhagen Zoo.  It was unclear how or why the 21-year-old Afghan-born man had entered the Siberian tiger den, but investigators could not exclude suicide as a motive, police spokesman Lars Borg said. The man sustained multiple bite wounds to the throat, face, chest and a thigh.

May 29, 2012 Hernando County, FL:  Charlie, a 275 lb mountain lion pushed the wall out of his cage, escaped and killed a neighbor’s dog.  Video at Ch 10 News

May 23, 2012 Plano, TX:  A bobcat has been filmed who is wearing a collar, and was obviously a pet, wandering around a Plano, TX neighborhood with her kittens.  It is not known if she escaped, or if she was abandoned, nor is it known if she was pregnant at the time of release or if she has mated with native bobcats.  What this does do is prove that  bobcats should not be kept as pets and when they escape into the environment they can multiply.  That wouldn’t be such a bad thing for bobcats in TX, except that most pet bobcats are the Northern varieties and thus the mixing of genes in the wild could threaten local varieties as the northern cats are usually much larger.

May 15, 2012 Hoedspruit, South Africa:  In a pay to play scheme  Madelein Querk, 28, visited the Tshukudu game lodge where she posed for pictures with the lion cubs.  One cub bit her, leaving her with four deep cuts on her face, and lacerations on her left arm and leg, where the lion clawed her. Querk’s husband attempted to distract the lion by hitting it with his camera.  The injured woman received 60 stitches at the Nelspruit Mediclinic.

May 4, 2012 Belleview, WA: Animal Control impounded a 13-year-old lynx that bit the girlfriend of a man who lived in the 1900 block of 160th Avenue Northeast area of Belleview. The Canada Lynx was impounded by the King County Animal Control. Big Cat Rescue contacted Animal Control asking that the lynx be released to their care rather than killed.

April 28, 2012 Port Elizabeth, South Africa: Two excited, supposedly tame cheetahs mauled a Scottish tourist in a petting area at the Kragga Kamma Game Park, forcing her to play dead to save her life.  Violet D’Mello, who had just posed for a picture with the hand-reared cheetahs named Mark and Monty, tried to protect a seven-year-old boy. According to D’Mello, who was with her husband, Archibald, one of the animals first grabbed the leg of a visiting eight-year-old girl, leaving her with cuts and abrasions. When she was free, it appeared to run after her seven-year-old brother. D’Mellow was viciously knocked to the ground and attacked, proving that wild cats act on instinct and cannot be tamed.

March 2, 2012 Crocodylus Park, DarwinAustralia:  A lioness mauled Peter Davidson, who runs hunting safaris in the Top End, called Arnhemland Hunting Safaris had been hired by Crocodylus Park to spray for weeds. It appeared he put his hand inside the animal’s cage. He said the nine-year-old lioness named Shebe grabbed Mr Davidson’s arm in her mouth. Prof Webb said Shebe had never harmed anybody and he was at a loss to explain why Mr Davidson put his hand in the enclosure. “We really need to talk to him. He was with the head keeper. She turned around and the next thing he yelled,” he said. He was sent to the Royal Darwin Hospital where he is in stable condition.

February 27, 2012 Loxahatchee, FL:  After more than 5 years of non compliance with Florida’s wildlife possession laws, and a failed attempt as securing a federal permit, three big cats (2 tigers and a leopard) were confiscated from Steve Sipek.  He was jailed during the confiscation to assure public safety and had been infamous for once playing a Spanish version of Tarzan and for the escape of a tiger named Bobo, who was shot to death while roaming the community of Loxahatchee.

February 15, 2012 Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa:  A lioness attacked and mauled a 63-year-old zoo keeper to death at a farm owned by Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa.  Joe Ramonetha, who had worked at the zoo for more than 40 years, died from a bite to the neck, zoo officials have said.

January 11, 2012 Bhubaneswar: Two days after a wild leopard strayed into Guwahati and mauled four persons, a lioness escaped from its enclosure in Nandankanan Zoo sending the animal park authorities into a tizzy. Multiple attempts to dart the lioness have failed.

January 4, 2012 Blagoveshchenski, Russia: A tiger at a roadside zoo attacked a three year old child who neurosurgery. Dmitry Serezhichev said the tiger was behind a barrier but that the parents put the child too close to the cage to take his picture.

 

2011

December 27, 2011 China:  In Hefei a female Siberian tiger escaped from a zoo and entered a public park so she was immediately put down by police on safety concerns.  The nine-year-old tiger made her way out of the zoo after a zookeeper came to feed her but forgot to properly lock the cage. Zoo officials said the tiger had a bad temper, probably caused by mating anxiety. This was the latest incident in a string of cases involving tigers escaping from zoos in China over the past few years, according to local media reports. Most escaped tigers were put down by police if they were not caught. A Bengal tiger killed a zookeeper after escaping the cage in Shanghai last year.

November 28, 2011 Wynnewood, OK:  In an expose on tiger cub abuse at malls, Inside Edition filmed an employee of G.W. Exotic Animal Park saying that just last month he was mauled by a six month old tiger and that “There was blood everywhere.  It was a total, total mess!” The segment also showed children interacting with a sickly tiger cub who appeared to have ringworm, a highly contagious fungus.

November 9, 2011 Seattle, WA: A lion got out of its den at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, but it didn’t get far before it was tranquilized in a service building. The zoo says the 12-year-old female named Kalisa gained access to a hallway.

October 19, 2011 Zanesville, OH:  56  lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, wolves, giraffes, camels and bears escaped from a the Muskingum County Animal Farm, and the owner Terry Thompson, who had just gotten out of prison was found dead there after shooting himself.  Neighbor Danielle White, whose father’s property abuts the animal preserve, said she didn’t see loose animals this time but did in 2006, when a lion escaped.  Thompson, who lived on the property, had orangutans and chimps in his home, but those were still in their cages.  18 tigers, 17 lions and 3 cougars were shot to death because the owner had cut all of the doors off the cages to prevent their containment.  A cougar is still at large.  In the last six years, local authorities visited Thompson’s farm nearly 30 times in response to complaints about escaped animals, animal cruelty, and more. Police knew the rare animals were at a huge risk, but there was nothing they could do because OH does not ban the private possession of wild animals.

October 16, 2011 Odessa, TX:  A 4-year-old boy was mauled by a pet mountain lion owned by his aunt.  His mother and aunt refused to speak to the press and wanted to hide the attack.  The boy received lacerations and puncture wounds on his left side, including a bite mark on the left side of his face during the attack in West Odessa, Sgt. Gary Duesler with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office said.  Amber Michelle Couch, 9450 W. 26th St., who owned the mountain lion, was given a citation for not keeping up with the vaccines and was warned in July that the cage was too small and gaps where the cat could reach out too large, but had done nothing to correct the situation.

September 17, 2011 Wynnewood, OK:  Again at Joe Schreibvogel’s G.W. Exotic Animal Park rather incredibly just a week later, there was another incident of a child being bitten by one of the cubs. If you go to the link you will see a child walk around behind the guide to a tiger cub while the guide is not paying attention.  When the child screams the guide whirls and from what ensues and the conversation is it clear that the cub knocked the boy down and bit him on the leg. It is two minutes because it includes where the manager of G.W. Animal Park goes on to tell a story about being bitten by a full grown tiger. To appease the screaming child the manager then brings out a two week old cub which is far below the legal age for such public use. A complaint was filed with USDA and a citation issued on Dec. 5.

September 10, 2011 Wynnewood, OK:  At Joe Schreibvogel’s G.W. Exotic Animal Park a child is bitten by one of the cubs being used in a pay-to-play scheme where the public pays to pet a lion or tiger cub.  You can see the video at TigerCubAbuse.com. You will hear a tour guide who is off camera say that a girl was bitten by one of the cubs who were over the legal age, ranging from 15 to 20 weeks.  (The only legal age in which contact is currently allowed is 8-12 weeks)  A complaint was filed with USDA.  A search of this page will show there have been numerous injuries by cubs from this facility who are bred and used to generate income at both the compound and at malls and fairs across the country.

August 12, 2011 Halifax Township, Dauphin County, PA:  A Harrisburg woman in her twenties is recovering after being bitten by a tiger at the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park where she is a tour guide.  Officials say she climbed over the fence, walked in between the tiger cages and was bitten when she reached in to pet the tigers.  The woman told first responders she has pet the animals hundreds of times before.  She was airlifted to the hospital and will require rehab to regain use of her arm.

July 26, 2011 Tyrone Township, MI:  The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office said a Serval, an African wild cat, has been found in Tyrone Township.  The cat may be sent to a zoo if the owner does not come forward.

July 21, 2011 Hugo, OK: Kelly Miller Circus, a sister circus of Carson & Barnes, had three tigers escape from their enclosure and injure a horse according to the Colorado News.

July 18, 2011 Bela-Bela, Limpopo: Finlay Holden, 5, was mauled by a six-month-old Bengal tiger that got hold of him at the Zebula Golf Estate and Spa near Bela-Bela in Limpopo.  His mother, Claire Holden, said she, her 3-year-old daughter Hannah and Finlay went to look at the two tigers so they could pose with them for pictures.  As Finlay stroked the back of one of the tigers it suddenly turned around and grabbed the boy’s head between its paws.  “The animal’s mouth was wide open over his head,” said Holden. While Finlay yelled hysterically, “Mom, make it stop! Make it stop!”, she tried to pull the growling tiger off her son with her bare hands.  nother tourist ran to the scene and began choking the tiger to make him let go of the terrified child.  Holden said: “My child and I were covered in blood. My little daughter saw everything.”

July 18, 2011 Ajman, United Arab Emirates: Salem Al Sayed, the 2 year old girl’s father, said “Sarah accompanied my brother’s children and the maid to a neighbor’s house to play with the children there. Sarah went innocently towards the lion, which was in a cage which was not properly closed. The lion pounced on the girl and was about to bite her when the maid intervened and saved baby. Effects of the lion’s canines can be cured with time, but the psychological effects of the attack is difficult to heal, as my daughter still suffers from intense fear and starts screaming and crying at any loud sound.” He added “I call upon the concerned authorities to impose controls on breeding wild animals in the homes, this time my baby narrowly escaped death, but what will be the fate of others who may be exposed to similar incidents.”

July 17, 2011 Manchester, IA: The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old Tom Sellner suffered lacerations to his head and torso in the brutal tiger attack at Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester.  The Des Moines Register wrote that Sellner and his wife ?are routinely bitten or clawed and that in this incident, the tiger had ripped the meat from the bone of his upper arm, had practically scalped him with front teeth the size of knife blades. His left ear dangled from his head.  Sellner, who was found to be in violation of Iowa’s Dangerous Wild Animal law, was flown to an Iowa City hospital for treatment.  The zoo’s website says it has more than 300 birds and animals, including tigers, African lions and other exotic cats.

July 10, 2011 Eynsford, England:  The zoo has been in trouble with local authorities about their perimeter fence being inadequate.  A bystander said, “The staff were jokingly describing that they were filming the cheetahs to prove to the local authority that they were friendly,” when one of the cheetahs attacked the two men who had gone in to film.  Mr Cooper added: “The cheetah had taken quite a few bites and scratches from both the cameraman and the trainer, ripping the shorts off one in one close swipe of the paw. The two men managed to sit on the cheetahs head while another member of staff ran for a fire extinguisher. He was very lucky to escape with his life.”

July 8, 2011 Smolensk, Russia:  Russian police said they would not be charging the owners of a circus where a leopard mauled a small girl, as the law failed to provide adequately for such an event.  The incident took place in Smolensk, a city some 400 km to the southwest of Moscow. The leopard bit the girl’s thigh and scratched her shin before being restrained by circus staff.  “Russian law does not provide any clear description of how to act with regard to wild animals, including in a circus, and does not state any punishment for the owner of an animal that attacks a person,” said Alexander Borovikov, a senior aide to the prosecutor for the Smolensk Region.

May 6, 2011 Wichita, KS:  A first-grade student on a class field trip to a Wichita zoo was mauled by a leopard after climbing a railing and approaching the animal.  Sedgwick County Zoo spokesman Jim Marlett says the boy climbed over the 4- to 5-foot railing and approached the Amur leopard. The leopard grabbed him around the head with both paws and tried to bite him.  A woman on the zoo’s tram saw what was happening and spooked the leopard.  The child suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to his head and neck. He was listed in fair condition.  The boy’s age hasn’t been released. There were several school groups at the zoo including his group from Linwood Elementary.

January 31, 2011 Longview, WA: An illegally kept serval was found running loose near Pacific Way and Sunset Way after escaping roughly a week earlier from his owner’s home on Nevada Dr.  Throughout the week, Rajah, an African serval, had been showing up on people’s backyard decks in the Columbia Heights area, startling neighbors who suspected he might be a cheetah, Humane Society Director Rick Johnson said.   An animal control officer and local veterinarian caught it after setting a trap baited with cat food.  Johnson said Rajah’s owner does not have permits to own the cat, and Humane Society officials are researching what permits the owners need to legally keep it.

2010 & Before

 

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-before-2000/

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2000-2005/

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2006-2010/

State Laws Exotic Cats

State Laws Exotic Cats

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Which States Ban Wild Pets

PrivatePossessionBigCatsMap

 

State Laws for Keeping Exotic Cats

2016 Stats:  5 states have no laws on keeping dangerous wild animals as pets: Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.  21 states ban all dangerous exotic pets, while the rest allow certain species or require permits.

Find out what your state laws are regarding the keeping of exotic cats from bobcats to tigers. Select the state of your choice below for a synopsis of the law or click HERE to get the full 231 page Adobe PDF version for all states. The WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society lists all existing laws and pending laws HERE If clicking on the state doesn’t take you to the state, try scrolling down the page to the information.

The Library of Congress offers this guide to global laws regarding the private possession of exotic cats.

 

ALABAMA

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

CONNECTICUT

GEORGIA

HAWAII

IDAHO

ILLINOIS

INDIANA

IOWA

LOUISIANA

KANSAS

KENTUCKY

MAINE

MARYLAND

MASSACHUSETTS

MICHIGAN

MINNESOTA

MISSSISSIPPI

MISSOURI

MONTANA

NEBRASKA

NEVADA

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NEW MEXICO

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

OREGON

PENNSYLVANIA

RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH CAROLINA

SOUTH DAKOTA

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

VERMONT

WASHINGTON

WISCONSIN

WYOMING

Federal Laws:

USDA & USDI

2013 Legend:

B = Ban on private ownership of big cats (20 states)

B* = Partial ban on private ownership of exotic animals — allows ownership of some exotic animals but precludes ownership of the animals listed (11 states)

L = Requires the “owner” of the exotic animal to obtain a license or permit or to register the animal with state or local authorities to privately possess the animal (excludes states only requiring import permits) (13 states)

N = The state does not require the “owner” to obtain a license or permit to possess the animal within the state, but may regulate some aspect thereof (i.e. entry permit, veterinary certificate, etc.) (7 states)

O = No statute or regulation governing this issue (1 states WI )

To see a list of states that have passed exotic cat bans since 2005 click HERE

The steady increase in legislation banning private ownership represents recognition by our society that private ownership leads to massive abuse. Social values evolve. It took decades to ban slavery in England and for women to win the right to vote in America. Those ideas started out as “radical”, held by a small minority. Gradually more and more people understood and agreed until they became a part of our value system that we take for granted today. The same trend is happening with private ownership of exotics. Gradually more and more people are realizing that this simply leads to widespread abuse of these animals. The best evidence of this is the accelerating trend in state laws. Just since 2005 eight more states have passed some level of ban.

 

 

Three Things to Know About Petting a Cub

There are a some lion and tiger cub exploiters still making the rounds at fairs, flea markets, parking lots and malls who are charging the public $10 – $25 to pet a baby lion cub or to play with a baby tiger cub.

USDA regulations should over ride state regulations on this matter, but in Florida the FL Wildlife Commission has set its own standard that may differ a bit, but not much from USDA’s ruling.

Here is what the law says about that:

Cubs cannot be handled by the public before the age of 8 weeks because they are not old enough to have had their first kitten vaccination. Cubs need to be vaccinated at 8, 10 & 12 weeks of age to build up an immune response, so it is really irresponsible to allow contact before 12 weeks.

USDA defines a juvenile big cat as being any cub over the age of 12 weeks and does not permit public contact with cubs over the age of 12 weeks. Despite the fact that touching cubs between the age of 8 weeks and 12 weeks is potentially deadly to the cub, USDA does currently (2010) allow public contact with cubs over 8 weeks and under 12 weeks of age.

 

In USDA vs Palazzo the courts ruled, “…it is now manifestly clear that USDA has changed its position, finding there to be “an inherent danger present for both the viewing public and the exhibited animals(s) where there is any chance that the public could come into direct contact with juvenile or adult big cats”…and finding that…”For regulatory purposes, APHIS generally considers big cats to become juveniles when they reach 12 weeks of age. 11 CX 20 goes on to explain that “According to Dr. Gibbens’ testimony, the policy precluding direct public contact with juvenile tigers was in effect in 2004 & was placed on the USDA’s website in 2005.

 

http://www.911animalabuse.com/images/USDAViolations/2010GreatCatAdventures3YrSuspension.pdf

 

Florida law only allows contact up to 25 lbs for exotic cats. This works out to roughly the same 12 week limit that USDA has imposed, but Florida law does not protect cubs under that weight limit, despite age.

 

(a) Public contact and exhibition.

1. General: All Class I, II or III wildlife that will be used for contact with the public shall have been evaluated by the exhibitor to insure compatibility with the uses intended. All wildlife shall be exhibited in a manner that prevents injuries to the public and the wildlife. The exhibitor shall take reasonable sanitary precautions to minimize the possibility of disease or parasite transmission which could adversely affect the health or welfare of citizens or wildlife. When any conditions exists that results in a threat to human safety, or the welfare of the wildlife, the animal(s) shall, at the direction of a Commission officer, be immediately removed from public contact for an interval necessary to correct the unsafe or deficient condition.

2. Class I wildlife shall only be permitted to come into physical contact with the public in accordance with the following:

a. Full contact: For the purpose of this section, full contact is defined as situations in which an exhibitor or employee handler maintains proximate control and supervision, while temporarily

surrendering physical possession or custody of the animal to another.

Full contact with Class I wildlife is authorized only as follows:

I. Class I cats (Felidae only) that weigh not more than twenty-five (25) pounds;

https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=0&tid=7515480&type=1&File=68A-6.0023.doc

 

Further the US Fish & Wildlife Service defines a sanctuary as a facility that does not allow contact between the animals and the public.

Accredited wildlife sanctuary means a facility that cares for live specimens of one or more of the prohibited wildlife species and:

(1) Is approved by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a corporation that is exempt from taxation under § 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which is described in §§ 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of that code;

(2) Does not commercially trade in prohibited wildlife species, including offspring, parts, and products;

(3) Does not propagate any of the prohibited wildlife species; and

(4) Does not allow any direct contact between the public and the prohibited wildlife species.

http://bigcatrescue.org/laws/lawscaptivewildanimalsafetyact.htm

 

Alabama

Category: N
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources64 N Union St.Montgomery, AL 36104

(334) 242-3465

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Possession of Wildlife for Public Exhibition Purposes

Bobcats and mountain lions are not allowed to be imported into the state, transported within the state (except for licensed game breeders), and future possession permits to keep these species will not be issued (as of March, 2003). Accredited educational facilities, research facilities, and permitted rehabilitation facilities shall be exempt from this regulation through the written permission of the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries or his designee. Previous owners that already have permits will be grand fathered, but breeding is prohibited. Also issues permits for the public exhibition of wildlife. Carnivals, zoos, circuses, and other like shows and exhibits where ample provision is made so the birds, animals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish will not escape or be released in this state are permitted. Applications require statement regarding person education and experience, description of facilities, number of species desired, and signed agreement that recommended standards for wildlife exhibition will be adhered to.

Section 3-8-1 Rabies vaccine required for any canidae or felidae; applicability. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, it shall be illegal to own, maintain, sell, or trade any canidae or felidae for which there is no USDA licensed rabies vaccine. Anyone currently owning or maintaining such animal may keep the animal for the length of the animal’s life providing the animal is spayed or neutered and is registered with the Department of Agriculture and Industries. This section does not apply to any zoological parks, circuses, colleges, and universities, animal refuges approved by the Department of Agriculture and Industries, county or municipal humane shelters, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or veterinary clinics.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-322, p. 562, §8.) http://wwwlegislature.state.al.us/CodeofAlabama/1975/3-8-1.htm

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Alaska

Category: B

Department of Fish and Game

P.O. Box 115526, 1255 W. 8th Street, Juneau, AK 99811-5526,  907-465-4100

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Does not allow private ownership of exotic cats and lawbreakers are subject to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. Only issues permits for fur farming of lynx and bobcat, or scientific or education use of animals. Applicants must demonstrate a significant benefit to the state and produce a substantial study plan identifying the purpose and need of their study in addition to specific objectives and procedures.

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Arizona
Category: L

Game & Fish Dept  5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, 602-942-3000

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Issues Private Game Farm license, for USDA licensed facilities which allows the sale, trade, rental, purchase, display, import and export, possession and breeding of wildlife. Also has Zoo license and Wildlife Holding License. Wildlife Holding is divided into five categories: Scientific Study permit, Wildlife Management, Education Holding, Humane Treatment and Exhibit licenses. Wildlife holding permit is for animals that are unable to meet their needs in the wild, are abandoned, or are no longer useful in previous captive situations, they may not be exhibited. Scientific Study permit is only issued to students and faculty members of higher learning institutions. Humane treatment license is required to hold non- releasable animals. These are one-year renewable permits. They do not cover healthy specimens wanted for personal possession (no pets). Education Holding does not permit “exhibiting”, but requires educational use of animals. Exhibit license is to exhibit live wildlife already possessed. You must have previous and current year’s wildlife holding license before exhibit license will be issued. State statutes generally prohibit the unlicensed keeping of all live game animals, fur-bearing predators and many species of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish. Some animals are allowed as pets if born in captivity, but may not be captured wild. A number of animals are banned in Arizona but lawful in other states. Even if they were obtained legally elsewhere, they may not be imported without a special permit. The black market: Most dealers are collectors or hobbyists, not commercial operators. Some species are valuable in the clandestine market. A list of restricted animals and detailed Arizona information on taking, keeping or dealing in wildlife may be found at www.azsos.gov. Search for “Game and Fish,” then click on “Title 12. Natural Resources” and “Article 4.” Other information on possessing wild animals can be found at www.azgfd.gov. For other questions, call Game and Fish headquarters at (602) 942-3000 or the regional office in your area.

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Arkansas
Category: B*

Game & Fish Commission Two Natural Resources Dr. Little Rock, AR 72205  800-364-4263 and 501-223-6300

State Web Site

Commission Web Site

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2005/R/Acts/Act2226.pdf

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusarst20_19_501_511.htm

http://statutes.laws.com/arkansas/title-20/subtitle-2/chapter-19/subchapter-5

In 2005 Arkansas banned the private possession of large carnivores. Regulates ownership of native feline species. The rearing of any wild animal for commercial purposes requires a wildlife commercial breeder/dealer permit and a USDA license. Must follow general provisions applicable to Captive Wildlife in the Arkansas State Game & Fish Commission Code Book, Chapter 9.   Also has a new wildlife translocation permit for transport of wildlife through Arkansas – requires a permit and health certificate be on file with AG & F. Possession of wild felines is further regulated on a county level in several counties.

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California
Category:B

Department of Fish and Game License and Revenue Branch  1740 North Market Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95834, 916-928-5805

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Department Regulations  input Title 14, Section 671

Exhibiting permits for educational purposes, must have a written statement of purpose that specifically incorporates a NO PETS EDUCATION POLICY. Must also present animals in natural setting and natural behavior patterns. Breeding permits will be issued for animals that the department determines will not result in unwanted or uncared for animals or if species is endangered and needs to be propagated. AZA Zoo permit allows possession of only species listed on department approved permit inventory. Research must be college, government, or bona fide scientific institution. Also issues Broker/Dealer and Shelter.

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Colorado
Category: B

Division of Wildlife 6060 Broadway Denver, CO 80216 303-297-1192

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Division Regulation   Chapter 11, Article II, # 1104

Issues Commercial Wildlife Park Permits. Wild felines must be possessed for commercial purposes only. Has specific requirements to meet definition of commercial; must provide a plan to show a profit, must have experience, maintain business records, hire and train employees, file state and Federal income tax based on this activity, etc. Further, there are caging requirements, and any animal exhibited out of a cage requires a $500,000 liability policy. Big Cats can be held in natural settings. Open topped enclosures must be 10 feet, with double electrified wires on top and fencing sunk 3 feet into ground.

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Connecticut
Category: B*

Dept of Environmental Protection 79 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106  860-424-3000

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Statutes of Connecticut, Title 26, Chapter 490, Section 26-40a and Section 26-55

Only allows for municipal parks, zoos, nature centers, museums, laboratories and research centers to possess wild felines. Forbids private ownership or any feline breeding farms.

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Delaware
Category: L

Department of Agriculture 2320 South DuPont Highway Dover, DE 19901  302-698-4500

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must have permit to possess animals not native to state and has specific carnivore category. Permit approval requires a cage, and perimeter fence, positive control of animal and approval of permit application. State issues Carnivore Class licenses to firms, dealers, pet shop operators, research centers, municipal zoos and traveling circuses. For private possession of wildlife for pet purposes, state issue permits for lifetime for each individual. Private ownership of wild mammals requires animals be purchased where previous permits have been issued. Before permit is issued, it must be determined that animal will in no way poses a threat or nuisance to the public.

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Florida
Category: B* & L

Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission 620 South Meridian St. Tallahassee, Fl 32399 (850) 488-4676

Department Web Site Policy

Florida Captive Wildlife Rules

See an interactive online map of exotic cat owners.

Class I animals (includes panthera cats) can not be kept for personal use – must be commercial exhibitors. Class I permit requires 1 year and 1000 hours experience, details of experience and place acquired and 2 references. Documented educational experience in zoology or other relevant biological sciences, obtained at the college or technical school level or above, may substitute for up to six months or 500 hours of the required experience. The Class I permit applicant still has to prove another documented 500 hours or 6 months, if they have the Biological Sciences qualifications. Class I exhibitors must post a $10,000.00 bond or carry 2 million in liability insurance. Class I animal permits require that facilities for Class I animals must be constructed on properties of not less than 5 acres in size. Under a Class II and Class III permit, animals as large as mountain lions can be kept for pets. Class II permits require 1,000 hours experience, or 100 hours experience and successful completion of a test. Class II and Class III wildlife shall not be possessed in multi-unit dwellings unless the dwelling in which they are housed is equipped with private entrance, exit, and yard area. Class II permits for mountain lion, require that facilities for mountain lions must be constructed on properties of not less than 2 acres in size. Applicants for a Class III animals must be at least 16 years of age and shall require the satisfactory completion of a questionnaire developed by the Commission that assesses the applicant’s knowledge of general husbandry, nutritional, and behavioral characteristics. All permits require adherence to structural cage requirements. There are more than 1500 tigers in Florida, but less than 100 of them are in accredited facilities. If you are a resident, type your zip code into any box on this page to see what legislation is pending in your state and make a difference now!  Florida issues more than 4000 exotic ownership permits each year and has to employ 27 inspectors at a cost to tax payers of 1.5 million dollars per year, just to allow people to keep, breed and sell exotic pets. Permits cost between 5. and 250. if you have more than ten animals. This does not generate nearly enough revenue to cover the cost of administration. What can a County in Florida do to ban exotic pet ownership when FWCC says they have supreme authority and no intention of banning this inhumane practice? Click here to see what the Attorney General has to say. Memo of Law.

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Georgia
Category: B

Department of Natural Resources  2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SE Suite 1252, Atlanta, GA 30334, 404.656.3500

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Wildlife Exhibition permit requires that you must be over 18, must be USDA licensed, must have cages with scientific names posted, must conduct a minimum 12 hours education per year, special requirements for rabies prone animals; bats, coyotes, foxes, bobcats. Have specifications for humane handling, care, confinement and transportation of wildlife. Rehabilitation permit; has caging and housing, veterinary, handling requirements. Wild Animal License requires that you must be USDA licensed as breeder, dealer or exhibitor, must have insurance voucher for large felines; big cat species, snow leopard, mountain lion or cheetah, must have proof that no local ordinances forbid holding wildlife. Has regulation that specifies humane handling, care, confinement and transportation of wildlife. No permits issued for non-commercial possession of wild felines, i.e. no pets allowed.

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Hawaii
Category: B

Department of Agriculture  1428 S. King Street,  Honolulu, Hawaii 96814, 808-973-9560

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Import of wild felines into this state is granted only for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the Board of Agriculture. No private ownership allowed.

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Idaho 

Category: N

Department of Agriculture

P. O. Box 790, Boise, Idaho 83701-0790  208-332-8540

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Issues Fur farm permits for bobcats and lynx. Applicants must notify Dept of Agriculture of intention to possess fur bearing animals, individually mark each animal, maintain records of purchases, sales and progeny, allow facility inspection by F & G personnel, and importation of any bobcat or lynx requires valid state health certificate. Frequently people will circumvent the law by claiming to be fur farmers so that they can raise and sell lynx as pets. If you are a resident, type your zip code into any box on this page to see what legislation is pending in your state and make a difference now!

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Illinois

Category: B*

Department of Natural Resources

One Natural Resources Way,  Springfield, IL 62702-1271,  217-782-6302

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Leopards, jaguars, tigers, lions, cheetahs, mountain lions, snow leopards, ocelots, bobcat, jaguarundi and margay are considered by the state as “Dangerous Animals” and require permit approval by the Director of Natural Resources. Permits for these wild felines will only be issued for USDA licensed exhibitions, zoos, for scientific or research purposes, or to animal refuges by the Director of Natural Resources. Illinois does issue fur farm licenses for bobcat. Frequently people will circumvent the law by claiming to be fur farmers so that they can raise and sell lynx as pets. Importation of any wild feline into the state requires approval from Director. An intent to import wildlife must be filed with state Director not less than 30 days prior to importation, and must include veterinary proof animal is free of disease, and director must be satisfied that in no way does the animal pose a threat to wildlife or potential to become a nuisance to people of the state. Zoos and public displays of wildlife are exempt from permit requirement.

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Indiana
Category: L

Division of Fish and Wildlife

402 W Washington St., Rm. W273 Indianapolis, IN 46204 317-232-4080

State Web Site

Department of Natural Resources Web Site

Department of Wildlife Web Site

Issues Wild Animal Possession Permits. Permits are for one year only, must be renewed annually. Class III is for wild cats. Bobcats are native endangered species, but may be legally possessed with proof of legal captive birth paperwork. Must provide health certificate for animal being possessed, escape recapture plan, pay $10.00 fee, have cages inspected by conservation officer. Provides caging requirements that include: concrete floors must be covered with natural substrate, loafing platforms, 14 foot tall walls with 45 degree incline can be used if no roof provided, etc. Persons licensed by the USDA as commercial exhibitors, zoos or dealers are exempted from this state permit and its requirements.

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Iowa
Category: B

Department of Natural Resources

502 E. 9th Street Wallace State Office Building Des Moines, IA 50319 515 281-5918

State Web Site

Department Web Site

5/17/07 Iowa bans Internet Hunting and on 5/27/07 Iowa made it illegal for a person to privately own or possess a dangerous wild animal and it is now illegal to breed or transport them into Iowa. Exotic pet owners won’t have to give up their pets because the bill doesn’t apply to animals currently owned by Iowans. However, the bill requires owners to register their dangerous wild animal. The animals must be listed with the state an electronic identification device must be attached or embedded into the animal.

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Kansas
Category: N & L

Department of Wildlife and Parks

512 SE 25th Ave Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-5911

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Exotic felines may be kept, bred, sold, imported, purchased, without limit in time or number despite the fact that there is no legitimate market for them. Wildlife must be confined and all activity is subject to federal or state rules and regulations. Possession of mountain lions requires a Special Wildlife Possession permit. Commercial breeding of mountain lions requires a Game Breeder Permit. Bobcats purchased legally from other states and possessed in Kansas are not regulated. There is no reason for the general public to be breeding and selling exotic cats in Kansas.

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Kentucky
Category: B

Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

#1 Sportsman’s Lane,  Frankfort, KY 40601,  800-858-1549

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Effective 2005, a ban on the private possession of tigers, lions, monkeys, bears, venomous reptiles, and other dangerous wildlife has been enacted in Kentucky. One of the most comprehensive restrictions on the keeping of exotic animals as “pets” in the United States, the regulation also prohibits existing animals from being bred. Existing confining facilities shall be large enough to allow reasonable space for exercise, shelter, and maintenance of sanitary conditions. The holder of an existing pet or breeding permit shall allow a conservation officer to inspect the facilities at any reasonable time.  As of 2012 Kentucky has held the record for five years in a row of having the most lacking regulations for protecting animals of all kinds according to the ALDF.

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Louisiana
Category: B

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

P.O. Box 98000 Baton Rouge, LA 70898  1-800-256-2749

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Bobcats require a non-game quadruped exhibitor or breeder license. In April 2006 Louisiana passed a ban on the possession of non human primates, cougars, bears, wolves & hybrids. Exceptions are AZA accredited facilities. Those in legal possession at this time may keep the animals until they die, but they may not be bred, replaced nor taken out in public and no public contact is allowed.

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Maine
Category: L

Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

Mailing Address:
41 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0041

Physical Address:
284 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0041

Department phone number is:  207-287-8000

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Personal Possession requires Import Permit and Propagator Permit. Exhibitor requires exhibitor’s permit. Have caging, health, safety, and sanitation requirements. Permit application asks for reason to be imported, experience level of applicant, and takes into consideration the potential for animal to harm humans or environment.

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Maryland
Category: B*

Department of Natural Resources  580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401,  1-877-620-8DNR (8367)

State Web Site

Department Web Site

No personal possession permits. Denial of personal possession is based on the rabies concern and a lack of an USDA approved rabies vaccination for wild felines. A public zoo park, museum, educational institution, or a person holding a valid state or federal permit for educational, medical, scientific or exhibition purposes may possess, trade, barter, import or sell wild felines. As of 2006 a sanctuary is defined as a 501 c 3, that does not buy, sell, trade, lease, or breed outside of the SSP and does not conduct commercial activity with respect to any animal. While it would appear that MD is trying to be responsible in regards to rabies, the exclusion of educators, who drag their animals out to schools for a fee, outweighs their proactive attempts.

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Massachusetts
Category: B

Department of Fish and Wildlife

251 Causeway St., #400, Boston, MA. 02114,  617-626-1500

State Web Site

Department Web Site

No permits for breeding unless in compliance with AZA, IUCN, or the state of Massachusetts or the USA, and in the eyes of MA Director will make a meaningful contribution to the survival and recovery of the species. No personal possession permits for the purpose of pet ownership will be issued. Authentic and legitimate educational use certified by zoological or biological officials will be issued permits. Commercial businesses where the animal is in conjunction with the applicant’s primary existing occupation or livelihood will be granted a permit.

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Michigan
Category: B* & N

Department of Natural Resources

Wildlife Division P.O. Box 30444 Lansing, MI 48909  517-373-1263

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must have permit to hold wildlife for native species mountain lion and lynx are state-endangered species and cannot be privately owned for pets. Bobcats in MI are regulated by the Department of Natural Resources. Separate enclosure must be built first, and then a special permit called “Permit to Hold Wildlife in Captivity” needs to be obtained BEFORE getting the animal and are issued by the Department of Natural Resources Permit Specialist, James Janson. Inspection may be required before permit approval and Monthly Inventory Reports are required after obtaining the permit. Minimum Enclosure Requirements for a Bobcat: 8ft x 6ft x 6ft for a single animal. 24 sq ft of floor space per additional animal. (compare to the five square miles this animal would roam in the wild) Clawing logs. Den Box 2ft x 2ft per animal. Climbing tree 3 or more 4in diameter branches for each animal. Lounging shelf must be 14in x 36in located at least 3ft above floor per animal. Tigers, Leopards, Lions, Jaguar, Panther, Cheetah, mountain lion, and hybrids of such are not to be owned by private individuals. Only persons who possess a USDA Class C exhibitors license will be granted a state permit to possess big cat species or mountain lions. Existing large felines owned by those without this federal permit must register their feline with the state and a variety of regulations must be complied with for the animal to continue to be possessed for it’s lifetime. The new regulations forbid the breeding of any large feline. Importation of other non-native species is regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Division . Department of Natural Resources does not regulate small exotic felines at this time.

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Minnesota
Category: B*

Department of Natural Resources

500 Lafayette Road,  St. Paul, MN 55155-4040  651-296-6157 or toll free 888-646-6367

State Web Site

Department Web Site

It is unlawful for a person to possess a regulated animal. A regulated animal is defined as all members of the felidae family (except domestic cats); all bears; and all non-human primates. A person who possesses a regulated animal on the effective date of the law, January 1, 2005, has 90 days to register the animal with the local animal control authority. Persons possessing a registered regulated animal may replace the regulated animal if he/she dies, but may replace he/she only once. The law also requires those longtime owners to have a written plan to recapture escaped animals and to meet Department of Agriculture requirements for caging, including having a perimeter fence around primary enclosures. Regulated-animal signs must be posted, and wildcats must be registered with local animal-control authorities, who in rural counties might be the sheriff.

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Mississippi 

Category: L

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

1505 Eastover Dr.,  Jackson, MS 39211,  601-432-2400

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must obtain permit for all big cats, clouded, snows, cheetahs and mountain lions. Can get personal possession, or breeding or exhibiting permits. Requires $100,000 per animal Liability insurance, health certificate $300.00 per animal yearly fee. Sanctuaries are exempted from paying yearly fee, only if they are USDA Class C licensed. Permits have caging, housing, record keeping requirements.

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Missouri
Category: N

Department of Conservation P.O. Box 180 Jefferson, MO 65102 573-751-4115

State Web Site

Department Web Site

2010:  Large Carnivore Act (LCA): This law requires anyone who owns, breeds, possesses, or transports a large carnivore on or after January 1, 2012, to obtain a permit from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and to maintain a minimum of $250,000 in liability insurance. Verification of insurance must be provided annually. The LCA (Section 578.600 – 578.624 RSMO) includes the following protections for the animals;

  • Requires the Department of Agriculture to enforce the provisions of the Act to ensure that owners of such animals “practice best husbandry and health care protocols to ensure the humane and safe treatment of large carnivores on behalf of their physical well-being.”
  • Requires owners of large carnivores to provide their animals with adequate care and treatment, as established by USDA, in the areas of housing, handling, transportation, sanitation, nutrition, water, general husbandry, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather and temperature.
  • Prohibits the issuance of a permit to own or possess a large carnivore to anyone who has “been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, a violation of any state or local law prohibiting neglect or mistreatment of any animal…”
  • Prohibits the issuance of a permit to anyone who has any type of felony conviction within the previous ten years.

Effective March 2008 MO Wildlife Code changed as follows: Safety: Because of the inherent danger and potential liability associated with the possession of bears, mountain lions, wolves and their hybrids, the Conservation Commission now requires owners of these animals to identify each individual with a microchip embedded under the animal’s skin. The owners must also submit a blood or tissue sample for DNA analysis. All animals must be registered with the Department when acquired, born, at death, or when sold. This will aid enforcement of illegal sales of these animals and will help Department biologists distinguish escaped and released captives from wild animals. MO Conservationist magazine Feb issue at magazine@mdc.mo.gov where Wildlife Code book for 2008 has been released. Now help get SB 1032 passed at CatLaws.com. Current Regs: Regulates bobcat and mountain lion only – has caging requirements and permit application. Bobcats are Class 1 animals, mountain lions are Class II animals. Bobcats can be permitted for personal possession reasons, called Wildlife Hobby Permit for $10 fee. Commercial breeders can get a Class I Wildlife Breeder Permit for $50 per year. Possession of mountain lions requires a Class II Breeder Permit for $150.00 per year – they cannot be possessed under the wildlife hobby permit. Has caging, husbandry and transportation standards.

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Montana
Category: L & N

Fish, Wildlife and Parks

P.O. Box 200701 Helena, MT 59620  406-444-2535

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Bobcats and lynx are listed as furbearers. But if they are raised not for their fur or body parts, a permit is not required. State issues Fur Farm permit, but make one exception. If animal is raised not for its fur or body parts, a permit is not required. Importation of wild felines in the state requires an import permit. Possession of wild felines requires a valid permit. State has permits for Roadside Menageries and Wild Animal Menagerie and Zoo licenses. Tigers and mountain lions must be tattooed on the left thigh. Roadside Menageries must keep detailed records of acquisition, birth, death and transfer. There are also housing, feeding, treatment and care regulations. Roadside Menagerie Permits requires proof of $100,000 liability insurance on each occurrence of bodily injury. Insurance must be with a reputable operation and must cover all injury to the public whether negligent operation, maintenance care, confinement or supervision causes an accident. Permit fees are $10.00 for less then 6 animals, and over 6 animals cost $25.00. No more than 10 animals may be possessed with a Wild Animal Menagerie permit. Has caging, record keeping, feeding, treatment and sanitation requirements. Zoo permits require that the licensee be a non-profit organization.

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Nebraska
Category: B*

Game and Parks Commission

2200 N. 33rd St., Lincoln, NE 68503   402-471-0641

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Private, non-commercial possession of wild felidae, including cross breeds with domestic cats is illegal. Only issues permits for the possession of felidae to municipal, state or federal zoos, parks, refuges or wildlife areas, or bona fide circus or animal exhibit. Also issues fur farm licenses for bobcat and lynx for the purpose of raising these species for fur or producing stock for sale to persons engaged in fur farming.

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Nevada
Category: N

Department of Wildlife

1100 Valley Rd., Reno, NV 89512   775-688-1500

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Requires a permit for the possession of bobcats and mountain lions. Also has import permit for bobcat and mountain lion. All other felines are exempt from permit requirements. Issues both non-commercial licenses ($5.00 per year) and commercial licenses ($100 per year.) Has caging requirements. Allows for the option of open-topped enclosures. mountain lions must have perimeter fences 8 feet tall and have Y-recurve on top of at least 12 inches wide. Gates must be self-closing and have two locking devices. Native felines must be permanently marked or ear-tagged.

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New Hampshire
Category: B

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department  11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301, 603-271-3211

State Web Site

Department Web Site

New Hampshire only allows possession of wild felines by USDA licensed exhibitors. The NH state exhibitor permit requires that one have 2,000 hours of paid experience with a licensed exhibitor to qualify. Exhibitors must not allow direct contact of the felines with the public.

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New Jersey
Category: B

N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Mail Code 501-03, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
609-292-2965

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Does not issue permits for potentially dangerous species (All felids) for pet or hobby purposes. Possession of potentially dangerous species must be for scientific holding, animal exhibitor, zoological holding or animal dealer. Application asks for education and background information, demonstration of a working knowledge of the species, the stated purpose and intent, description of housing and caging plans. An Endangered species possession permits will not be issued for the purpose of breeding by amateurs. A scientific institution, zoological society or similar organization must sponsor the possession of any endangered species.

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New Mexico
Category: B

Department of Game and Fish P.O. Box 25112 Santa Fe, NM 87504    505-476-8000

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must have importation permit before wildlife may enter this state. Discourages and prevents the importation of non-native species into state. Does issue permits for zoos, Class A parks, and scientific study. Importation of non-game species requires a confinement and maintenance plan, and certificate from veterinarian that animal is disease free and copy of applicant’s USDA exhibitor or breeder license.

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New York
Category: B

State Department of Environmental Conservation

625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-0001     518-402-8995

State Web Site

Department Web Site

In 2005 new law specifically prohibits the possession, sale, barter and importing of big cats, monkeys, large reptiles, bears, wolves, venomous snakes and many other wild animals as pets. State issue permits for Possession, Sale and breeding, Scientific or Exhibition purposes, Collection and Possession in some cases. Endangered species breeding permits. Also issues fur-farming permits for bobcats and lynx. Native felines may not be kept as pets. New legislation is pending and you can help save the lynx from anal/genital electrocution and eliminate dangerous exotic cats from being sold or possessed in New York.

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North Carolina
Category: N

Wildlife Resources Commission

1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1701   919-707-0010

State Web Site

Department Web Site

In 2005 NC is proposing a ban of private ownership of exotic animals. Issues Wildlife Captivity License. For private possession of mountain lions, state requires natural habitats of rather grandiose proportions. Minimum one-acre enclosure, 12 foot fences, with 45 degree recurve, have a pool, have a den, have vegetation and landscaping, property must be owned by applicant. Zoos or Scientific Research facilities are allowed to keep mountain lions in concrete and chain link cages. No natural habitats required for bobcats as are for mountain lions, but state has minimum cage size requirements. Must apply for Import Permit if native feline is being brought into state from outside the state. Must be USDAlicensed to import any species native to the US. But that is not a requirement to purchase in-state, though NC does not issue permits for pet purposes. State does not regulate non-native species, but many counties have enacted regulations of wild felines.

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North Dakota
Category: L

Board of Animal Health Department of Agriculture 600 E Boulevard Ave. Dept 602 Bismarck, ND 58505  701-328-2655

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Regulates private ownership of nontraditional livestock, i.e.: all wild animals in captivity, by issuing licenses. Bobcats and lynx are category 3 animals (native to the state) all other felines are Category 4. (Inherently dangerous) Before any class 3 or 4 animals can be imported into the state, an importation permit must be issued. Nontraditional livestock permitees must keep records of sales, purchases, escapes, captures, diseases or animal transfers or births. Record keeping must be available for inspection.

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Ohio
Category: B

Department of Natural Resources 2045 Morse Road, Building G, Columbus OH 43229-6693    614-265-6300 and 800-WILDLIFE

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Requires a permit to posses the native endangered species, bobcat. Permits issued for zoological, breeding, scientific and educational purposes. Must have permit before the bobcat can be imported into the state. On June 5th, 2012 a law passed that banned the private possession of dangerous wild animals, including most exotic cats.  Those who have the animals must register them but cannot buy or breed more.  The only exemptions for breeding are AZA accredited zoos (and ZAA for now, but that needs to change) and sanctuaries that are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries can continue to rescue wild animals. See the details of the OHIO WILD ANIMAL BAN.

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Oklahoma
Category: L

Department of Wildlife Conservation P.O. Box 53465 Oklahoma City, OK 73152 405-521-3851

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Requires a Commercial Breeder’s permit for possession of any native bear or cat (black bear and mountain lion) that has an adult weight that exceeds 50 pounds, even if the animal is not to be bred. Issues Personal Possession permits for any native wildlife to be kept for hobby purposes. Importation into the state of bobcats, or mountain lion, requires an Import Permit. Cage construction and inspection is required before permit is issued. Requires that permitee follow the general care guidelines of the AWA. Permit fee is $48.00 for commercial permit and $5.00 for personal possession permit. Passed this change in spring 2003 legislative session removing the regulation of exotic felines over 50 pounds. Just native species are regulated.

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Oregon
Category: L

Department of Fish and Wildlife

3406 Cherry Avenue N.E, Salem, OR 97303   503-947-6000  or  800-720-ODFW [6339]

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Neither bobcat or lynx can be bartered, sold or purchased in the state of Oregon. Oregon Dept. off Fish and Wildlife issues holding permit for bobcat, but it is not legal for Oregon residents to sell bobcats. They issue commercial wildlife propagators license for mountain lions. The State Department of Agriculture regulates exotic animal permits.

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Pennsylvania
Category: L

Game Commission 2001 Elmerton Ave Harrisburg, PA 17110  717-787-4250

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Has Exotic Wildlife Possession Permit ($50.00 per animal) that does not allow breeding and sale. Exotic Wildlife Dealer Permit ($200.00) does allow breeding and resale. Wildlife Menagerie Permit ($100) allows possession of cats as well as many other species, but to qualify, facility must be open to the public and charge a fee. PA Game Commission has caging, housing, bill of sale, sanitation and general requirements to be met to qualify for permit. State game protector inspects facilities prior to permit approval. Exotic Wildlife Possession Permit requires inspection by game protector prior to receiving animal. Exotic Wildlife Permit allows the importation and possession of wildlife, but a separate permit must be applied for each animal. New regulation passed in April 2003 requires a two year experience requirement for each for each canid or felid species permit applied for.

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Rhode Island
Category: L

Division of Fish and Wildlife 3 Ft. Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI 02879, 401-423-1920

State Web Site

Rhode Island State Veterinarian Dr Scott Marshall Division of Agriculture 235 Promenade St. Room 370 Providence, RI 02908

Department of Environmental Management

Must obtain a permit from the RI Dept of Environment, Department of Agriculture to import, possess or receive any native wildlife or hybrid thereof. Permits are issued to AZA zoos, US F & W Service, or other USDA approved facilities complying with the AWA, with specific attention to part 3 – Standards, part 2 sub-part E – Identification of Animals and additionally sub-part C – Research facilities. Exotic wildlife is regulated by the state veterinarian. To possess or import any exotic wildlife, contact the RI state veterinarian.

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South Carolina
Category: N

Department of Natural Resources P.O. Box 167 Columbia, SC 29202  803-734-3886

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Section 47-5-50 Prohibition on sale of wild carnivores as pets; No carnivores, which normally are not domesticated, may be sold as a pet in this state. Dangerous animals are not permitted beyond premises unless safely restrained. Further, those possessing dangerous animals must maintain them in a controlled and confined manner. Dangerous animal is not defined only on the basis of species. No person may possess with the intent to sell, offer for sale, breed, or buy, or attempt to buy, a known dangerous animal; however, this subsection does not apply to a person who is licensed to possess and breed an animal under the classifications specified and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act as codified in Title 7 of the United States Code. It is illegal to sell, possess or import wild felines except for scientific or exhibition purposes. 2/19/07 Chester County will be looking at possibly changing its zoning procedure and putting in an exotic animal ban. Because SC has no state wide ban on possession in place, many counties have passed their own ordinances either banning or strictly regulating exotic animal ownership. York County has an ordinance banning exotic animals. Lancaster County has banned them as well, as has Fairfield County. Lexington County outside Columbia has a ban, as does the town of Mount Pleasant. Beaufort County has a ban as well. Lexington County’s ordinance is just one page. It lists several types of “exotic animals” from lions and tigers and other big cats, to reptiles, bears, elephants and gorillas. Lancaster County’s ordinance bans exotic animals, saying “no person, firm or corporation shall keep or permit to be kept on their premises any exotic animal as a pet for display or for exhibition purposes.”

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South Dakota
Category: L

Animal Industry Board 411 South Fort Street Pierre, SD 57501 605-773-3321

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must apply for annual Captive Non-Domestic Animal permit. Facility must be built and approved before issuing permit. Permit fee is $10.00 per animal, maximum of $100.00. State issues Import permit and it may be granted by telephone. Zoo permit is also $10.00 per animal up to $100 maximum and allows the possession of any non-domestic mammal. Applicants must be non-profit exhibitors.

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Tennessee 

Category: B

Wildlife Resources Agency

Ellington Agricultural Center, 440 Hogan Rd., Nashville, TN 37220,  615-781-6500

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Possession of dangerous animals requires commercial activity and USDA license. Has Exhibitor permit – $500.00 per year and Breeder permits $1,000 per year. Zoos are exempt from permit requirements if they are AZA accredited. There is a Rehab permit. A test is required for Class I permit (covers big cat species, snow leopards, cheetahs and mountain lions). Test is on handling, habits, health care and housing. Have caging, sanitation, and housing standards. Cages must be inspected by TDW before animals will be permitted. Small cat species fall under Class III, which does not require a permit. Bobcats are considered a native species and require a class II permit. State has housing and transportation rules for possession of any wild animal.

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Texas
Category: L

Parks and Wildlife Department, Headquarters 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744   389-4800
State Web Site

Parks and Wildlife Web Site

In 2001 the Texas legislature passed a state law mandating that all counties either regulate or ban “dangerous” wild animals. A list of species considered dangerous contains nearly all felines, with only a few species such as geoffroy’s cats, jungle cats and asian leopard cats not listed. Each county must develop a plan to administer a registration process that requires a permit fee, caging standards, $100,000 liability insurance and veterinary care requirements as outlined in the state law. Many counties have chosen to ban rather then fund a county registration requirement. This is an irresponsible way to manage a state wide problem. There are more tigers in Texas than there are left in the wild. The state needs much tougher legislation to prevent the breeding, selling and often the shooting of exotic cats in canned hunts.

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Utah
Category: B

Department of Natural Resources Main office
PO Box 145610, 1594 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5610
801-538-7200

Division of Wildlife Resources Main office
1594 W North Temple, Suite 2110m PO Box 146301
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6301
801-538-4700
DWRcomment@utah.gov

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Issues permits for educational and scientific use of wild felines. Applicant must be university, government agency, non-profit institution, or persons involved in wildlife research. Wild felines can be imported and possessed for commercial purposes by a bona fide zoo, circus, amusement park, or film company. Also bobcat or lynx can be propagated for their fur but you must apply for a certificate of registration from the department.

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Vermont
Category: B

Department of Fish and Wildlife 103 South Main Street Waterbury, VT 05671 802-241-3700

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Must have an importation permit before any wild felines may enter the state. Office does not issue permits if wild felines are desired for pets, breeding stock or private collection. They have not issued any importation permits for wild felines. With sufficient documentation, they would allow the importation for scientific research, education, or exhibition purposes.

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Virginia
Category: B*

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries P.O. Box 11104 Richmond, VA 23230 804-367-1000

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Does not allow pet possession of wild felines. Must be USDA licensed as a Class B broker or C Exhibitor or have scientific or educational purposes. Must have import permit before animals can enter this state. USDA licensed persons are automatically granted an import permit, but must notify state 24 hours in advance of intention to import, and FAX a copy of their current license or registration prior to receiving new animals.

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Washington
Category: B

Department of Fish and Wildlife

Building 74, 324 Fourth Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303,  304-558-2754

State Web Site

Department Web Site

(7) Scientific research or display: The director may issue written authorization for a person to import into the state, hold, possess and propagate live specimens of wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section, for scientific research or for display by zoos or aquariums who are accredited institutional members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), provided that the person:
(a) Confines the specimens to a secure facility;
(b) Does not transfer specimens to any other location within the state without the director’s written authorization, and the specimens are transferred to other AZA-accredited facilities and transported by AZA-accredited institutional members or their authorized agents;
(c) Does not sell or otherwise dispose of specimens within the state, unless the director gives written approval to sell or dispose of the specimens;
(d) Keeps records on the specimens and make reports as the director requires; and
(e) Complies with the requirements in this section.

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West Virginia
Category: B

Division of Natural Resources

Building 74, 324 Fourth Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303,  304-558-2754

State Web Site

Department Web Site

3/21/14 Gov. Tomblin has signed a bill into law to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals. Introduced by Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D-1), HB 4393 passed the House by a vote of 72 to 23, and the Senate by a 22 to 11 vote.

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Wisconsin
Category: O

Department of Natural Resources Box 7921 Madison, WI 53707 608-266-2621 toll free  888-936-7463

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Regulates native species bobcat, mountain lion and lynx, but not exotic wildlife. State allows possession of these species for exhibition or advertising purposes and issues Exhibitor’s License. Applicants must provide information on location of exhibit, source of exhibit animals, USDA license to exhibit. State also issues permit for Game Farms to those engaged in the breeding or hobby keeping of wildlife.

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Wyoming
Category: B

Game and Fish Department 5400 Bishop Boulevard Cheyenne, WY 82006  307-777-4600

State Web Site

Department Web Site

Possession of all wildlife is regulated by state statutes and commission regulations. Application for possession permit requiring source of wildlife, purpose of possession, description of holding facility, biological evaluation on threats to native species must be approved before importation permit will be issued. Bobcats can be possessed for commercial fur farming. Lynx, considered native protected species may be possessed only for scientific and educational permits. There shall be no private ownership of animals classified as trophy animals, which includes mountain lions. Applications for possession of exotic felines will be evaluated upon human health and safety, animal welfare and threats to Wyoming’s wildlife resources from competition, damage, and destruction of habitat and predation.

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USDA Licensing & Federal Laws As of September 17, 2007 it is illegal to transport a big cat across state lines as a pet, which means from any non USDA licensed facility or to any non USDA licensed facility. Read the entire Captive Wildlife Safety Act. USDA prohibits public contact with big cat babies under the age of 8 weeks and over the age of 12 weeks. If you see someone using a cub who is too young or too old, please photograph the event and report the exhibitor’s name, location and what you saw to stop this abuse. There is only a one month window in which exhibitors are allowed to use the cubs. There is a pending bill to ban all contact with big cats and their babies. Before you pay to have your photo made with a big cat, check with your regional USDA office to make sure you are not breaking the Federal laws. This is an important law that will protect big cats from being bred for this purpose. Many states and individual counties require a USDA license (usually a Class C Exhibitor’s license) as a prerequisite for gaining a permit to possess wild felines. The following explanation may clarify this requirement.

Commercial Activity is Required for a USDA License so a person who wants a big cat as a pet will be forced to take the cat out in the open on display or breed and sell cubs in order to circumvent the laws against having the big cats as “pets”. While the requirement was probably well intentioned, it created more opportunity for injury and fatalities than it cured. USDA Animal Welfare Act regulates the use of animals in commerce. Commercial activity is a prerequisite for licensing. If there is no commercial activity, (i.e., the animal is merely a pet), you are not eligible to enroll in the Animal Welfare Program and gain a USDA license. USDA licenses animal facilities which own or possess these animals. The license is issued to an individual. There are three classes of USDA license – A, B and C. For ownership of wild felines, each class of licenses require that the license holder submit a letter saying that they have adequate husbandry knowledge of the species they possess. Class A License In the case of wild felines specifically, a USDA Class A license is mandatory if the individual is engaged in the sales of offspring produced by the individual’s felines. If the individual is breeding his adult animals but is not selling the offspring, he is not eligible for a USDA Class A license. (no commercial activity) Holder’s of a Class A license may not broker animals, only sell their offspring. Class A license for wild felines requires caging that allows the animal to stand up and turn around and a perimeter fence, no closer that 3 feet to the cage. Perimeter fences for felines defined as dangerous (specifically lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, mountain lion, cheetah) must be eight feet in height. Caging for smaller felines must be surrounded by a six foot perimeter fence. In the case of multiple animal collections, often a single perimeter fence encloses all the animal cages. There is no definition of how this fence is to be constructed. Class B License A USDA Class B license is mandatory if the individual is selling wild felines not bred by the adult animals in the licensee’s possession. That is, they are brokering other people’s animals – buying and selling adults or offspring, not part of the licensee’s long term collection. Holder’s of a Class B license may engage in limited, controlled exhibiting, such as is required to facilitate the sales of offspring or recently acquired animals. When conducting exhibition of animals the licensee must be responsible for physically preventing any direct contact between the visitors and the animals and their cages. This type of exhibiting cannot be a major part of the commercial activity engaged in by the licensee. Class B license for wild felines requires adequate caging and a perimeter fence, no closer than 3 feet to the cage. In the case of multiple animal collections, often a single perimeter fence encloses all the animal cages. Class C License USDA Class C licenses are commonly referred to as an Exhibitor’s license. Person’s holding class C licenses may exhibit their animals to the public. This is the same license all zoos possess. All exhibitors, whether municipal owned zoos, or privately owned roadside zoos and menageries, circuses, or self proclaimed educator’s that bring animals off-site, must adhere to the same minimal USDA guidelines and standards. USDA Class C facilities may breed and sell offspring, they may broker offspring bred by others, and they may exhibit animals, though the major activity of a Class C licensee must be the exhibiting of the animals. Examples of this is found with zoos: 1. they are open to the public (exhibit), 2. produce baby animals and sell them (breeder), 3. they trade animals amongst other zoos and often times sell animals for various reasons after only owning them a short while (broker). Every year the public wants to see babies so all of last year’s babies must be disposed of. Since all of the zoos breed to supply the public’s demand to see babies the offspring are rarely wanted by other zoos so they end up in the hands of backyard breeders and in canned hunts. Minimum USDA Requirements for possession of Wild Felines Facilities which regularly allow the public to view their animals must have these three elements. 1. A cage big enough for the animal to stand up and turn around in. 2. A barrier fence, which can be just a rope. 3. A perimeter fence, of no particular substance or strength. The Animal Welfare Act is enforced by 90 inspectors who are charged with inspecting more than 10,000 licensees that are breeding, selling and exhibiting wildlife. For more information about USDA licenses and the animal welfare act, visit the USDA Animal Care web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/. The USDA was originally created to regulate farming and the “use” of animals. Big Cat Rescue does not believe that exotic cats should be “used” and having the oversight of exotic cats in the hands of those who have such an archaic view of animals as mindless creatures who are undeserving of our compassion and respect is a travesty.

Important Notice Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, and appropriate contact information has been included for each state. This is only a brief summary, and laws are being changed daily. In many cases, the actual laws are quite long and involved. This page last updated: June 2012 Accredited Rescue Facilites Accredited ZoosWhat can you do about it? Write your state representatives and tell them that exotic cats should not be bred or sold to be kept in cages. Check out pending legislation that you can influence with just a few mouse clicks below.

Got an update? Let us know at Info @ Big Cat Rescue . org

Exotic Cat Meat

Exotic Cat Meat

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Exotic cats are openly offered up for their meat, hides, bones or for hire at sites like these http://www.exoticmeatmarket.net/ and on YouTube as shown below. http://www.exoticmeatmarket.net/

 

 

Note Big Cat Rescue opposes such industry and only posts this video and info so that you know what can happen to those cute little cubs you pay to pet at malls, fairs and parking lots. 702-339-6563 Exotic Meat Market, 5615 South Cameron, Suite 7, Las Vegas, NV 89118 advertises as a Las Vegas exotic meat market. Nevada is a state with almost no regulation of wild animals and is on our top 5 list of states where exotic animal bans should be enacted immediately.Unfortunately it is legal to kill lions, cougars and bobcats and eat them in the U.S. Big Cat Rescue is working on ending all of these kinds of abuse and there are letters you can send at CatLaws.com

Lion killed and slaughtered

Lions are killed and slaughtered legally in the U.S. and offered up for their meat, hides & bones

The people who sell the meat lie and say that it is farm raised and USDA inspected, but USDA doesn’t inspect wild animal meats. We believe that most of the cats who end up being slaughtered this way started out being pimped in pay to play sessions where people will pay to touch or feed a baby lion or tiger. The cub can only be used, legally, between the age of 8 and 12 weeks.

After that they have no value to the people who have dragged them out to malls and fairs and are very likely to end up in canned hunts and on the menu.

Reports from his customers have said that on this person’s site he advertises that you can rent his cats, or come pay $60 to pet them, or you can buy their meat when they are no longer profitable.

 

Big Cat Laws

Big Cat Laws

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This page lists pages that deal with big cat laws

Killings, maulings and escapes by big cats

State and Federal laws concerning exotic cats

Big Cat Bans

Why regulations don’t work and why bans do

Legislation cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless.

 

http://bigcatrescue.org/county-authority-to-regulate-wild-animals/

http://bigcatrescue.org/saber-tooth-sleuth-2/

http://bigcatrescue.org/children-killed-and-mauled-by-big-cats/

http://bigcatrescue.org/captive-wild-animal-safety-act/

 

Visit these pages for more information:

 

Animal Welfare Laws

Support Legislation

Your state’s laws

Big Cat Bans

See an interactive online map of exotic cat owners.

 

Why we need better laws:

Animal Abusers

Abandoned Animals

Failed big cat facilities

Maulings, killings and escapes

Slideshow of what captivity means to the animal

Inadequate laws

The American Bar Association has an Animal Law Committee.  Visit it HERE.

 

Laws Big Cat Rescue Proposed in 2005 to End Big Cat Abuse

http://bigcatrescue.org/2005-stats-to-back-up-a-ban-on-big-cats/

 

 

Misc

http://bigcatrescue.org/lobbying-for-big-cat-laws/

 

Big Top, Big Cruelty

Big Top, Big Cruelty

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Good Morning, fellow Big Cat supporters! I’d like to share with you an article I’ve written as the new Legislation Intern for Big Cat Rescue! My particular internship is a new one here and was created to further the incredibly important big cat welfare legislation we are constantly working on! Please keep your eye out for the articles and blogs I will share to keep you in the know about one of the most important that Big Cat does and how you can help us end the trade and save the cats!!!

Big Top, Big Cruelty

by Jessica James

 

Who can forget the thrill of your first circus? Consider the sweet smell of popcorn in the air and the sound of the ringmaster calling to you in the distance. He promised you death-defying feats and to behold exotic wonders. Who can forget the excitement that you felt your ticket clutched tightly in hand, overwhelmed by scents and sounds that were foreign to you in your everyday life? Though there were fearless tightrope walkers, inhumanely flexible acrobats and comical clowns what we were all craning our necks to see were the performing animal acts. How could we know, in our tender adolescence, of the cruelty that happened after the lights turned off and the big top came down.

Hollywood bans circusSo many myths surround the circus. Myths propagated by organizations that force animals to engage in unnatural acts and exploit them for profit. How often have we heard the following:

  • “Circus animals perform tricks for enjoyment and out of love for their trainers.”

In reality, circuses use a plethora of cruel training methods on their animals. Often they are beaten, restrained or deprived of food until they perform a trick satisfactorily.

  • “The circus is wholesome family fun and completely safe for both the animals and your children.”

The truth is that the circus is an incredibly dangerous place not only for the animals, but for the trainers and the audience as well. These wild animals can be very unpredictable. In the past decade there have been over 40 violent circus incidents, including one where a trainer was dragged helpless around the ring in the jaws of a tiger in front of 200 terrified children.

  • “In between shows the animals rest comfortably in regulation sized enclosures.”

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be any more misleading. Animals are locked in small cages and shipped from town to town on freight cars with no heat or air conditioning. They often suffer from heat exhaustion and severe dehydration due to lack of access to ventilation and water.

  • “Circuses are working hard to conserve species and educate the public.”

Many circuses falsely claim to be conserving a species when in fact none of the animals they breed are ever put back into the wild. These animals simply end up in the circus trade until they are too old to perform and are then relegated to a life of breeding or are sold off or traded when their performing skills are no longer up to par. In addition to that, the circus does nothing to educate people on the natural history or behaviors of these animals. Watching wild animals perform unnatural tricks such as balancing on balls and jumping through hoops of fire doesn’t teach the public anything about animals in the wild. What we are being told is that animals are merely props that are here to entertain us. 

  • “There are well, enforced laws that protect these animals from abuse or neglect. “

The United States Department of Agriculture does have regulations meant to protect performing wildlife, but these are very poorly enforced and the punishments for not adhering to their standards are minimal. Even habitual offenders of the worst kind are very rarely prosecuted.

Animals suffer the worst kinds of emotional and physical abuse during their lifetime as circus performers. The physical abuse often includes punishments so severe that it is literally crippling. Past trainers have remarked on the use of bull hooks and other forms of “training” methods. They have gone on record admitting elephants are struck repeatedly with a bull hook and that they see “hook boils”-these are infections caused by the bull hook wounds- on an average of twice a week. Not only does this happen during training, but also during shows. Patrons have reported seeing the performing elephants bleeding all over the floor of the stage after being beaten with the bull hook over and over again during a performance.

Many of the most horrific circus incidents have been publicized, however there are dangers that we are completely unaware of. The sharp claws, and bone crushing jaws of the lion are a clear threat to human life, but just as deadly are the dangers of zoonotic diseases that remain unknown to the public and undiscussed by the media. These are diseases carried within animals that are communicable to humans. A group of circus elephants were tested and found positive for TB (tuberculosis). Of the 22 elephant handlers that were tested, 11 were found to be positive. The Journal of Internal Medicine reported that an estimated 50 million people worldwide had been infected with zoonotic diseases between the years of 2000 and 2007 and as many as 78,000 people died as a result of those illnesses. Not every danger of these wild animals is easily identifiable to the eye.

Currently 38 countries have circus bans and sadly the United States is not among them. We remain a nation proud of our incredible progress, be it scientific or humanitarian and yet still we have animals suffering for a form of amusement that has outlived its entertainment value. Philanthropist and television personality Bob Barker has said “Big, wild animals should not be part of the traveling circus and simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past, in a time when humans were ignorant about the needs of other species who share our planet.” As modern Americans we have the ability to educate ourselves and learn from the mistakes of those who came before us in order to set our future generations on the path towards becoming a kinder, more socially aware nation.

“Do the best you can until you know better, and when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou.