Ch 10 Interviews Carole Baskin
Welcome! You have entered [News10 Online Chat] at 1:49 pm
[kelly jackson, news10] 1:54 pm: we’ll start in just a few minutes.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 1:56 pm: Kelly is our anchor. She’s joining us from the newscast set.
[News10 Online Chat]: Amazon Queen has entered at 1:56 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 1:57 pm: Hello Amazon Queen.
[Carole Baskin] 1:57 pm: This is pretty cool. I haven’t seen this done online with the media before, so you guys must be pretty cutting edge.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 1:57 pm: We’re trying some new things with media.
[kelly jackson, news10] 1:58 pm: we aim to please!
[Amazon Queen] 1:58 pm: Here is my question regarding the attack. I always assumed zoo personnel keep darts to use on animals out of control. It appears from the story that this cat was shot by law enforcement. Could this have been prevented?
[News10 Online Chat]: Tony has entered at 1:59 pm
[Carole Baskin] 1:59 pm: A lot of us grew up with a skewed concept of tranquilization from TV. It takes a dart 20 minutes, at least, to start taking effect and if the cat is excited, often doesn’t effect them at all.
[kelly jackson, news10] 1:59 pm: hello tony
[Carole Baskin] 2:00 pm: That being said, it could have been avoided with better safety protocols.
[Tony] 2:00 pm: hi kelly
[kelly jackson, news10] 2:00 pm: explain some of those safety precautionhs
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:00 pm: Also, I don’t think zookeepers immediately realized the tiger was out of her enclosure.
[Tony] 2:02 pm: i thought there was at least one person who is required to keep an eye on the animals at all times
[Amazon Queen] 2:02 pm: That’s the scary part. I would think they would keep better track of them.
[Carole Baskin] 2:02 pm: At Big Cat Rescue we do not allow keepers to work anywhere near big cats until they have been with us for two years. Even then, only 3 people have keys to the cages and no one enters the cages unless the cats are locked up, tranquilized by one of these three as well as our vet and more staff as needed.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:03 pm: Can you tell us a little about your sanctuary?
[Carole Baskin] 2:03 pm: We are a permanent retirement home to 147 lions, tigers, etc. who have mostly been abandoned or abused. They come from pet owners, zoos, circus acts and fur farms.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:04 pm: When I was looking at your site, I was shocked at how many attacks there have been just this year.
[Amazon Queen] 2:04 pm: Do they know yet how the tigers got out?
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:05 pm: I don’t think they know how Tatiana escaped yet.
[Carole Baskin] 2:05 pm: You aren’t just whistling Dixie when you say that not keeping track is the scary part. We are part of the International Tiger Coalition and are working to end the trafficking in captive tigers. No one keeps records on where all of these big cats are, or where they go.
[Amazon Queen] 2:06 pm: I hate seeing them in small habitats. Do you think there are any “zoos” that have an environment that is large enough for them? San Diego?
[Carole Baskin] 2:06 pm: There are far too many incidents of people being killed and mauled by captive cats. The following is a partial listing (660) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990. The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 20 humans, 15 adults and 4 children, the additional mauling of 174 more adults and children, 138 escapes, the killing of 81 big cats, and 113 confiscations. There have also been 150 big cat incidents outside the U.S.
[News10 Online Chat]: zakinsac has entered at 2:06 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:07 pm: You used to keep bobcats as pets, Carole. Tell us how your mind has changed about the suitability of exotic cats as pets.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:07 pm: Hi zakinsac.
[Carole Baskin] 2:07 pm: A Siberian tiger is designed to patrol 400 square miles of habitat. No zoo cage, sanctuary cage or even wildlife park can come close to offering even one cat the room they need in order to be who they are.
[kelly jackson, news10] 2:08 pm: hello zakinsac
[Tony] 2:08 pm: do you need a license or permit to keep a big cat?
[Amazon Queen] 2:08 pm: Which ones do you think are the best?
[zakinsac] 2:09 pm: Carole: Why do you think the animal attacked innocent people? Did it feel threatened or was it just animal instinct?
[Carole Baskin] 2:10 pm: I wish I had been born a DaVincian, but alas, was born human and subject to all of the associated ignorance. It has been a 15 year journey in discovering that not only do exotic cats not make good pets, but that it is cruel to breed them for lives of confinement and deprivation. We have an entire section of our web site devoted to this evolution of thought under the tab called About Us> History and Evolution.
[News10 Online Chat]: have_a_heart has entered at 2:10 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:11 pm: Here’s the link: http://bigcatrescue.org/historyandevolution.htm
[kelly jackson, news10] 2:11 pm: hi have a heart
[zakinsac] 2:11 pm: So you are completely against caging cats and using them as pets or “features” at zoos?
[Carole Baskin] 2:11 pm: Tigers kill because that is what they are hard wired to do. It doesn’t matter how much you may love the cat, he or she will kill you, even if just in play. It is just a matter of time. Ask Roy Horn.
[have_a_heart] 2:11 pm: hello kelly
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:11 pm: Of Siegfrid and Roy… that’s right, we he was attacked a few years ago.
[Carole Baskin] 2:12 pm: I am working toward a day when we treat each other with compassion and respect. Cats are others.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:13 pm: I have three kids and I’ve taken them to the SF Zoo and been to the lion house.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:13 pm: I was very impressed, even behind the bar and the fencing at how powerful the big cats are.
[News10 Online Chat]: Jenna K. has entered at 2:13 pm
[zakinsac] 2:13 pm: I was just at the SF Zoo last year. I have to admit, I enjoyed the lion and tiger exhibit the most.
[Carole Baskin] 2:13 pm: I have watched tigers playing, where one will pick the other up by their head or neck, toss them in the air, and both land on their feet and take of running and chasing each other. They do that to us once, and we are dead.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:13 pm: Hi Jenna…
[zakinsac] 2:13 pm: They are beautiful creatures
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:14 pm: Carole, do you think zoos are safe?
[Jenna K.] 2:14 pm: Good Morning.
[Carole Baskin] 2:14 pm: There is no safe way to keep a tiger captive.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:15 pm: You have tours at your sanctuary? What safeguards do you have?
[Tony] 2:15 pm: all the zoos can do is their best-most of the time it’s good enough, on rare occasions it is not
[Tony] 2:15 pm: it’s just a flip of a coin when it comes to the animals, right Carole?
[Jenna K.] 2:15 pm: I am concerned about the zookeeper that was injured last year at the zoo. What was done in retaliation to that?
[zakinsac] 2:16 pm: This is a very rare occasion. You do not hear of very many loose animals or attacks at zoos.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:16 pm: The tiger in last night’s attack was the same tiger in the attack last year.
[Carole Baskin] 2:16 pm: You are always dealing with human judgment, which is subject to human error, and the cat is always waiting for that one opportunity at escape. The are beautiful, but more importantly, they are just incredibly intelligent and patient. They are bored out of their minds in captivity and have nothing to do all day but look for that one chance at freedom.
[zakinsac] 2:16 pm: Any idea how the tiger escaped?
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:17 pm: Zookeepers are trying to figure out how the tiger escaped.
[Amazon Queen] 2:17 pm: Carole, it seems to me that people like Roy Horn project human feelings and emotions onto cats. Like you said, it is in their nature to attack.
[Amazon Queen] 2:17 pm: I think we forget that.
[Jenna K.] 2:18 pm: Well they are felines, and I know my cats running around my house are some of the smartest cats I know. Now I know there is a big diffference in house cats and tigers of course, but it just goes to show you that they do think a like.
[zakinsac] 2:19 pm: I think the intelligence of animals is underestimated a lot. It is not noticed until tragic stories like this.
[Carole Baskin] 2:19 pm: People are not allowed to be on our grounds unescorted. We always have a tour guide and a tour back up who keeps everyone together. There are usually 10-15 people on a tour. Both of our guides have radios and everyone at the sanctuary is in constant radio contact. We have empty cages that are purposely left empty for emergencies. We do drills, have extensive training requirements of our staff and volunteers and despite all of our best efforts, there is still no fool proof way to avoid a tragedy.
[News10 Online Chat]: Rosie Palmetto has entered at 2:19 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:19 pm: Hi Rosie…
[zakinsac] 2:19 pm: But, the animal cannot be “blamed,” since this is an instinct and how they survive.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:20 pm: Good to see some folks from the forums…
[Amazon Queen] 2:20 pm: I agree Zac
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:20 pm: Animal Abusers Will Be Eaten
[Jenna K.] 2:20 pm: you are definitely right Zak
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:20 pm: Hi Tony
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:20 pm: Hi Queenie
[Amazon Queen] 2:20 pm: Hi Rosie!
[Carole Baskin] 2:20 pm: It is never the animal’s fault. I have yet to meet one who surrendered themselves from the wild, promised to be good if we just kept them in a cage and then didn’t keep their word.
[Tony] 2:20 pm: hi rosie
[Tony] 2:21 pm: that’s a good one, rosie
[Amazon Queen] 2:21 pm: I have taken my kids to the SF Zoo just to give them an idea of the sheer SIZE AND POWER of these cats.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:21 pm: What about the argument that we learn a lot from animals by having them in captivity?
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:21 pm: Well, it’s the bottom line isn’t it?
[Jenna K.] 2:21 pm: Yes elizabeth, I join the forums rehularly. and its nice to be able to chat live about the big issues. and to get our questions answered.
[News10 Online Chat]: joel farnham has entered at 2:21 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:22 pm: It’s good to hear people using the forums and chats in a positive way. Thanks.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:22 pm: Hi joel…
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:22 pm: It would be nicer if it didn’t take me 10 mins to log in! 😥
[Carole Baskin] 2:22 pm: It all comes down to human involvement. As long as people will pay to go to the zoo, pay to have their photo made with a baby tiger, pay to go to a circus with big cats, then there will be people who will breed them for that purpose. When people finally start thinking about what the cost is to the animal, then it will change.
[Jenna K.] 2:23 pm: Yes, and its very sad to think were contibuting to this.
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:23 pm: I don’t believe it’s just “human involvement”
[Jenna K.] 2:23 pm: contributing*
[Jenna K.] 2:23 pm: How so rosie?
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:23 pm: I believe someone has to offend these animals in captivity for them to want to kill the hand that feeds them
[Tony] 2:24 pm: rosie, don’t you think just the animals being held in captivity is offense enough?
[Jenna K.] 2:24 pm: due to human involvement though! Were the ones who rip them from their natural habitats.
[zakinsac] 2:24 pm: I don’t think the animal has to feel offended.
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:24 pm: Not if they’re rescued and cared for, or not eligible to be returned to the wild…
[joel farnham] 2:24 pm: I wish those guys saw an old cartoon. I demonstrates precisly what happens when you bother an animal too much.
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:24 pm: Most of them are not able to assimilate back to the “wild”
[Amazon Queen] 2:24 pm: I disagree Rosie. It is in their nature to attack. [Amazon Queen] 2:25 pm: Ask Carole, she knows.
[zakinsac] 2:25 pm: It is animal instinct. Are we sure the tiger’s intent was to kill the man? It is much stronger and bigger than any human being. Have you ever watched tigers play?
[Rosie Palmetto] 2:25 pm: Good to disagree Queenie! I encourage it. [Carole Baskin] 2:25 pm: Zoos have justified their existance by saying that we won’t protect what we cannot see, but the plight of the tiger now illustrates that reasoning is flawed. There are less than 1800 tigers left in the wild and they are being poaced at a rate of one a day. None of the tigers who were born in cages, lived their whole lives in cages and died in cages did anything to slow that extinction rate down. In fact, had the money been spent in the wild, rather than on exhibits, we might have saved the tiger. [Tony] 2:26 pm: amazon, i think it’s in their nature to protect themselves from even the SLIGHTEST risk of danger as it is with all creatures of the world
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:26 pm: Carole, can you tell us what your organization is doing about the issue of using exotic as animals as pets and attractions?
[Amazon Queen] 2:26 pm: …and cuisine?
[Carole Baskin] 2:27 pm: We are working on laws to slow the breeding and trade of big cats with a bill called Haley’s Act. The bill bans contact with big cats and their babies. Most of the babies are bred for photo booths, public displays, circus acts, etc. and then they are discarded when they become adults. [Tony] 2:27 pm: i agree, carole. the money has been spent in the wrong areas
[News10 Online Chat]: chincolores has entered at 2:28 pm
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:28 pm: There’s a news conference scheduled for 11:30 from the zoo. We’re live streaming it. You can open another browser window if you’d like to watch.
[News10 Online Chat]: ARod has entered at 2:28 pm
[Jenna K.] 2:29 pm: Wow, that is just so sad. I can only imagine how these poor animals feel. And to think if we were bred for those reasons, we sure as heck would not behappy either.
[Amazon Queen] 2:29 pm: Carole, here is a question I’m sure many of us have. Are all tigers prone to attack someone if they escape like Tatiana did? Or was this an anomoly?
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:29 pm: Hi ARod
[ARod] 2:29 pm: hello
[chincolores] 2:29 pm: hello
[Carole Baskin] 2:29 pm: I have spent 15 years giving love and care to the cats in our sanctuary and know that if I were to tempt fate by reaching in to touch them or walking in their enclosure that they would kill me. I don’t assign any malice to their behavior. It is just their size, power and inability to treat us as delicately as our bodies require.
[zakinsac] 2:30 pm: Where is this “sanctuary” located Carole?
[Jenna K.] 2:30 pm: I never thought of that Carole. very good point.
[News10 Online Chat]: ARod has left at 2:30 pm
[joel farnham] 2:31 pm: A long time ago, my families cat was scared by the families dog. I thought the exclamation points of were hilarious. Then I took pity and tried to calm the cat down. Got scratched hard for my efforts. Learned my lesson. [Carole Baskin] 2:32 pm: Tigers are opportunists and are designed to kill with short bursted speed and agility. If you play with your house cat by dangling a string, the cat just can’t help themselves. They know it isn’t food. They aren’t mad at the string. They are just wired to chase and kill things that run. People usually run when they see a tiger coming.
[Carole Baskin] 2:32 pm: Even if you didn’t run, you would still be fair game, just like a cat toy, laying on the floor is still fair game for your cat. The cat will pick it up, toss it in the air and try to make it run. Tigers do the same.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:32 pm: Does anyone have any more questions for Carole?
[Amazon Queen] 2:33 pm: I think I would just wet myself. Not trying to be graphic, just honest.
[News10 Online Chat]: mickeyd has entered at 2:33 pm
[Tony] 2:33 pm: lol
[joel farnham] 2:33 pm: Which of course motion is attractive. Is it food? I want to find out.
[Jenna K.] 2:33 pm: What was done after the attck on the zookeeper last year? How did they handle it?
[Carole Baskin] 2:33 pm: We are located at 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 bigcatrescue.org
[chincolores] 2:33 pm: as far as behavior goes, why would the cat continue to go on toward the cafe to maul more people after it killed the one man near it’s habitat?? The immediate one I can understand, but to actually attack after a long walk to calm down I am wondering about.
[Amazon Queen] 2:34 pm: Probably not a long walk for her though.
[joel farnham] 2:34 pm: Maybe they have long memories.
[Carole Baskin] 2:34 pm: Not a long walk when you were built to patrol 400 square miles.
[Tony] 2:34 pm: aren’t big cats attracted to certain colors? if they see a certain color it just kicks their instincts into full gear?
[chincolores] 2:34 pm: Not a long one, but I’m sure she passed a bunch of people before attacking again
[Amazon Queen] 2:35 pm: Can you imagine the terror and chaos that ensued?
[Carole Baskin] 2:35 pm: We have seen a definate preference for red. Blood is red.
[Carole Baskin] 2:36 pm: Most people would never know the cat was there. They will sit quietly for hours waiting for just the right moment to attack.
[Amazon Queen] 2:36 pm: Based on the stats you provided, there must have been a lot of attacks that were hidden from the media?
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:36 pm: I’m not sure how many people were actually at the zoo last night. It was Christmas and the zoo was in the process of closing.
[Amazon Queen] 2:36 pm: Good point.
[Carole Baskin] 2:37 pm: All of my stats came from the media. No one keeps such a data base. USDA does not. The state’s Fish and Game Dept. usually cannot even tell you how many tigers are in the state, much less anything that has to do with attacks, escapes or maulings.
[Tony] 2:37 pm: not necessarily hidden, Amazon-just not posted in our area. we might have just gotten lucky the station found out about it
[Amazon Queen] 2:37 pm: Is there a chance they will shut down the whole big cat exhibit as a result of this?
[Amazon Queen] 2:37 pm: It was on the cover of the Bee.
[chincolores] 2:38 pm: hope not
[joel farnham] 2:38 pm: It would be interesting to find out how that cat got out.
[Jenna K.] 2:38 pm: Yes I definitely want to find out how it got out ro if it was provoked in any way.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:38 pm: Do you have a last thought you’d like to share, Carole?
[Carole Baskin] 2:39 pm: I would like to see that done. Zoos are figuring out, finally, that there is no humane way to keep elephants and many are opting to end their elephant exhibits. If they decide that captive cats are just too dangerous then maybe they will end that practice as well.
[chincolores] 2:39 pm: because there was a previos incident a year ago….she showed signs she wasn’t happy – should they have gotten her another home somewhere else??
[Jenna K.] 2:39 pm: I think it is a great idea to end the captivity of these animals.
[Jenna K.] 2:40 pm: This just goes to show why.
[chincolores] 2:40 pm: These animals will be extinct if we do not keep them somewhere
[joel farnham] 2:40 pm: Too bad. Most of us can’t go to the wild to see these animals.
[Carole Baskin] 2:40 pm: I believe that we are all connected. We are all ONE. The way we treat the animals around us ultimately affects us. The way we treat each other is often cultivated in how we treat animals. I would like to see a world where we all love and respect each other for who we are.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:40 pm: Thanks for joining us today Carole.
[Jenna K.] 2:41 pm: thank you carole.
[have_a_heart] 2:41 pm: Well said Carole, thank you.
[Tony] 2:41 pm: i hope the snakes are kept in secure places on display or safely away from humans-just thinking of one makes me almost freak out
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:41 pm: Carole’s Web site is http://bigcatrescue.org/
[joel farnham] 2:41 pm: Thanks.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:41 pm: Thanks to everyone! We’ll see you tomorrow.
[Jenna K.] 2:42 pm: Thank you.
[Elizabeth Bishop, News10] 2:42 pm: Also, we’re live streaming the zoo’s news conference. It hasn’t started yet…