Background on woman mauled to death by tiger

Avatar BCR | April 7, 2006 83 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Background on woman mauled to death by tiger

The woman kept the tiger on her property and the attack happened at her residence. The woman, who was in her mid-40s, had several other “large” animals and exotic pets on her property, police said.

The attack happened around 5:15 p.m. A man who was going to do a controlled burn on the property made the call to police.

The man said when he got to the house, he found a woman lying in one of the tiger pens who appeared to be dead.

Investigators said the tiger responsible for the mauling was so out of control, they had to euthanize it to get to the woman. The man also said the tiger would not allow him to get to the victim.

The woman’s parents and son were home at the time of the attack.

The nearby Wildcat Sanctuary was called in to help with the incident, but authorities said they were not needed once they arrived.

“In the last year alone, we’ve removed 33 tigers from Minnesota’s backyards,” said Tammy Quist with the Sanctuary. “It’s very unfortunate, but this happens. We’re hoping to get more information but it shows why these animals shouldn’t be kept in private entities.”

The woman was licensed to keep tigers on her property, investigators said. She was also a breeder of wild cats at one time.

It is unknown how many tigers were kept on the property, or what lead to the mauling, police said.

The tiger weighed about 500 pounds and was taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital for testing. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy on the woman.

Duxbury is 90 miles north of the Twin Cities and about 15 miles east of Sandstone, Minn.

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The following are reports that we have collected from others about this organization and I cannot vouch for the accuracy, but the fact that the facility was USDA inspected just further illustrates why a USDA permit does nothing to ensure safety nor decent conditions for the animals.

A volunteer at the facility stated that cats were found dead due to starvation and dehydration at this MN facility. She said Center for Endangered Cats contracted for an exhibit in Oregon and hired only one person to care for the cats in MN with no back up staffing.  It turns out the individual hired to do so, failed to feed and water the cats for approximately 1 week. Craig Wagner & Cyndi GambleCenter for Endangered CatsRR#2, Box 115Sandstone, MN 55072USDA Licensed Alleged Animals Dead:Kayla, Female Snow Leopard Clyde, Male Breeding Amur LeopardNala, Female Breeding Amur LeopardKwai, Male CaracalNadia, Female Siberian LynxOne Paw, Wolverine

CEC currently has a license and cats in Sandstone, MN but are also contracted at Wildlife Safari, (P.O. Box 1600, Winston Oregon 97496 Or call (541) 679-6761) for “The Great Cats of the Wild Show”, and also has an inventory of cats there.

Past History:Source:  Animal Underworld Craig Wagner was cited as far back as 1990 for a Leopard and Tiger being changed outside in yard once again with no food or water.  This was Wagner’s fifth citation from WI DNR.  Nothing changed and the starving tiger killed the black leopard and ate it.  In return, Wagner allegedly beat the cat with a two-by-four. Wagner was found guilty in March 1993 and received a nine month jail sentence, which was stayed by the judge.  He was placed on probation for 2 years and ordered to pay more than $45,000 in restitution.  Because Wagner failed to comply with the restitution order, a warrant for his arrest was issued in 1997. Wagner then moved part of his organization to MN where he traveled and did cat shows for Renaissance Festivals until PETA protested that he housed cats inhumanely and he lost most of that work. There have been several incidences in MN that forced Wagner to move around the state three times. (check Hugo and Forest Lake, Mn. records) Within the last two years, he started moving cats to OR and doing the shows at Wildlife Safari.  There were several cats that are endangered species (snow leopard and 2 breeding pair of Amur Leopards – less than 300 remain in the wild) that were given to CEC by other organizations.  The local Sheriff’s department said that had talked to Cyndi and felt it was under control. Witnesses claim that there are several more cats in poor condition at the Sandstone property including 2 orange tigers, 1 white tiger, cougar, black leopard, snow leopard, 2 caracals, lioness, and North American lynx. Words from a volunteer – “All of the cats looked like skeletons with a piece of fur draped over them.” Sources claim the Center for Endangered Cats currently have the following cats in OR.1 yr old Amur Leopard Male2yr old black leopard female2  3yr old Amur Leopards1 Amur leopard cub5 yr old Ocelot male6yr old Ocelot male1-1/2 yr old female Geoffreys cat1yr old tiger3 yr old Siberian female5yr old Fishing cat1 Snow leopard featured in the movie Vertical Limit.3yr old black leopard5 or 6 and is a very nice male cougar

In Animal Underworld, Alan Green tells the story of Craig Wagner, a man from Minnesota who passed by a cougars for sale sign one day and became a self-declared big cat lover from then on. Wagner’s neighbors became unhappy when Wagner moved his cats into the neighborhood, and attempted to push him out. Others took Wagner’s side. Dozens of volunteers helped build and maintain a shelter for the cats. Others provided support.

Local schools asked Wagner to inform children about protecting the environment.

Wagner even founded The Center for Endangered Cats. What they didn’t know was that Wagner was located in Minnesota for a reason. Wagner ran to Minnesota because there was a warrant for his arrest in nearby Wisconsin for horrid animal cruelty acts. Because these issues are state jurisdiction, Wisconsin could do nothing but wait for Wagner to return.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, an Educational Sanctuary home to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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