B.C. woman mauled to death by tiger

B.C. woman mauled to death by tiger

 

Canadian Press

 

May 11, 2007 at 5:01 PM EDT

 

100 MILE HOUSE, B.C. — A 32 year old woman has been mauled to death by a captive tiger near 100 Mile House, B.C., apparently while her boyfriend who owned the animal was out of town.

 

Regional coroner Bruce Chamberlayne said the woman was taken to hospital in 100 Mile House after the attack Thursday but couldn’t be revived.

 

Police responded to a 911 call at a farm that houses exotic animals. When they arrived all the animals were in their cages and family members were giving assistance to the woman.

 

The farm in the B.C. Interior is called Siberian Magic, owned by Kim Carlton. His business puts on exotic and magic shows and offers services such as photos with the big cats.

 

The RCMP did not release the name of the woman, and would only say she and the farm’s owner knew each other.

 

Police said all the animals remained secured on the premises, about 40 kilometres east of 100 Mile House. Among the animals at the farm are three tigers, a lion and a lemur.

 

The woman was found outside the tiger’s cage, with wounds from the waist down.

 

Global TV reported that she may have been outside the cage when the tiger swatted her, knocked her down and dragged her part way into the cage. A CBC report suggested she was inside the cage petting the animal.

 

Siberian Magic’s website invites people to visit the Bridge Lake, B.C., facility to experience “the wonderful worlds of magic and exotic animals.”

 

“Visit our animals up close and personal. Capture the memories and have your photo taken with our amazing Siberian tiger, Kisa, or our African lion, Sarmoti, as well as many other wonderful animals.”

 

The site claims the company educates people about exotic animals in a “safe and enjoyable way.”

 

Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the SPCA, described the facility housing the animals as a “public safety catastrophe.”

 

“The tigers are being kept in 12-by-12-foot chain-link enclosures with a mere padlock on the enclosure. The animal owner had admitted to walking the tigers, his kids feed them.

 

“This could all have been avoided with provincial legislation that bans the keeping of exotics by private citizens.”

 

She said Mr. Carlton has been investigated by the SPCA since November 2005 when he moved his tigers to the 100 Mile House area.

 

After notifying regional authorities about their concerns, the SPCA tried for months to seize the animals but there wasn’t any room at any facility to take the exotic animals, Ms. Moriarty said.

 

“We contacted the Calgary Zoo to see if they had space and the sad fact is we came up with absolutely no way to seize and move the tigers so we were stuck with simply making orders and recommendations,” Ms. Moriarty said.

 

She said the SPCA provided an order to Carlton setting out the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards for keeping the animals

 

“The use of exotic animals in entertainment is simply playing with fire,” Ms. Moriarty said.

 

“We’d be hopeful that this will at least now focus the provincial government on the dire need for this kind of legislation.”

 

Erin Kincaid, event manager for the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler, B.C., said the restaurant had considered having one of the tigers at an annual masquerade event in November 2005.

 

But there was such an outcry from the community and animal-rights groups that the restaurant quickly decided to not have a tiger at its circus-themed show that year.

 

“We were just unfamiliar with the fact that there were so many people that felt so strongly against it,” Ms. Kincaid said.

 

Ms. Kincaid said she felt sick when told about a tiger mauling a woman to death.

 

“More than anything my heart goes out to the tiger. I really hope that the tiger doesn’t end up having to pay for this because this is not the tiger’s fault at all. I truly believe that it’s how they keep them.”

 

Enlarge Image

A tiger cage at Siberian Magic near 100 Mile House, B.C., where a woman was found dead. (SPCA)

 

Internet Links

The animals of Siberian Magic 

National Geographic: Tiger video 

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070511.wtiger0511/BNStory/National/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20070511.wtiger0511

 

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