Brian’s video called Conservation or Cruelty helped to shut down a tiger breeding facility that was trying to open in S.C. Read about it below:
Lowrys crowd readies push against Tiger World
Story posted Mar 08, 2007 – 23:17:22 EST
By Stephen Guilfoyle / Editor
Tiger World opponent Ginny Sloan said this picture was taken from a neighbor’s house with a high-powered lense showing what appears to be a wooden tiger cage with a double entry system under construction at the property on Simple Farm Road.
About 60 residents of the north Chester area of the county met Tuesday night to exchange information and some opinions on a proposal to put a tiger “sanctuary” in Chester County, as well as an ordinance banning exotic animals.
The county’s ban against exotic animals has been given two of three required readings, but it is technically in force, Chester County Attorney Joanie Winters told the council Monday night.
As such, it would basically kill an effort by a Rock Hill woman to build a tiger sanctuary in Chester County. Talk about the ban has not stopped her from beginning work on the sanctuary. She has a county permit to put up a fence around her property, and she has also constructed what looks like a wooden tiger cage.
Opponents of the ban showed a picture they took from adjoining property with a telephoto lens of the cage.
The ban has to be considered at one other County Council meeting, and she has to have her request for a zoning fix heard by another board before “Tiger World” is officially killed in Chester County.
The council gave initial approval to a ban on exotic animals at the Feb. 19 meeting, but that ordinance was not written. An ordinance was prepared defining exotic animals for the council’s meeting Monday. The council passed it without amending it, though it did have lengthy discussion of whether to use the word “and” or the word “or” in one section.
Both votes were unanimous.
The county Zoning Board of Appeals is to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 to consider a request that will allow “Tiger World” to be built in the county.
Proposer Lea Jaunakais had originally asked the Planning Commission to change the 41 acres she bought on Simple Farm Road from R2, a residential designation, to AG, or agricultural, to allow her tiger sanctuary.
Opponents of Tiger World watched a presentation that included a video clip from a Web site from a group called Big Cat Rescue in Florida.
The spokesman on the video says some of the things that zoology experts have told The News & Reporter about private ownership groups.
Jaunakais originally talked about breeding her cats, but the experts said that is a sure test to determine that a group is not into saving or conserving the species.
There are actually too many big cats in private ownership, and there is no need to breed more, the spokesman on the video showed.
Breeding is a sign that a private owner has other motives than conservation. Others are allowing people to view the animals as well as taking the animals off-site for exhibitions.
Animals put in a true sanctuary are left to themselves and are not on display, the video said.
Opponents also showed pictures they took at the Metrolina Zoo in Rowan County, N.C.
The “zoo” is actually a private collection on display for the public. Jaunakais has worked as a volunteer at the facility for several years.
Darlene Steen and Ginny Sloan went up to the zoo and took pictures. They said they were basically horrified at the conditions of some of the animals, showing an emaciated lion whose ribs were clearly visible. Sloan said it could barely stand.
“It was just pitiful,” she said.
There was also a tiger that was extremely thin. Steen said she had been talking to someone at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on her cell phone as they walked through the zoo. The PETA person was shocked to hear about the animals’ apparent ill health, having visited more than once.
PETA is against such facilities as a general rule, but the person Steen spoke to said the animals had been in good health before.
It may be a sign that the zoo owner, Steve Macaluso, is unable to keep up with caring for the many animals on the site. He has several big cats and bears and wolves, she said.
Not only is Jaunakais one of the volunteers at the zoo, her father’s company, which she runs in Rock Hill, is listed as a corporate donor supporting Metrolina Zoo.
Sloan said the conditions at the Metrolina Zoo are such that children can almost reach into some pens. She believes it is an indication of the kind of facility that Jaunakais really would build in Chester County.
In a public presentation of her plan to north Chester residents three weeks ago, Jaunakais did not deny having worked at Metrolina, but she did not admit that her cats are being kept there.
She also declined to say where her cats were being kept.
Jaunakais and one of her top supporters, Michaela Forbes, have said they will exceed the USDA’s “stringent requirements” in building Tiger World.
Sloan said the USDA regs are just three sentences. The USDA itself does not admit its standards are stringent. A spokesman told The N&R the standards are minimal, and fully compliant facilities have had escapes, maulings and killings.
Opponents said they wanted everyone in the crowd to come and bring someone else to the Board of Appeals. Numbers will impress the board more than emotional speeches, one man said. The board will also be impressed with verifiable information, such as items run in articles in The N&R in its examination of this proposal since it became public.
Jaunakais has asked the county’s Planning Board of Appeals to grant her a special exception. If granted, her property would remain R2, but she would be able to operate a “cultural and entertainment” facility on her property under that exception.
A zoo or wildlife park is allowed as a special exception in all the residential classifications.
The board can grant the exception, but it also has the power to set other restrictions for the property above what is already in the zoning requirements.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the War Memorial Building.
Chester County Council was to have a public hearing and final reading of the exotic animal ban ordinance on March 19, but failed to run a required legal ad publicizing the meeting.
The meeting has been rescheduled. County Council will meet at 6 .p.m., Wednesday, March 21. The public hearing and final reading on the exotic animal ban are on that agenda for that meeting
Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey said he met with Jaunakais on Monday and listened to her presentation for about a half an hour.
He said he would allow her 15 minutes to speak to County Council at the March 21 meeting, and give her presentation.
“We’ll hear her out,” he said.
She has asked the county to put in regulations to control exotic animals instead of a ban.
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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