Children Killed and Mauled by Big Cats
or 47 Reasons To Ban Big Cats as Pets
Exotic pet owners say that if they want to be mauled and killed by their pets it is no one’s business but their own. These children who have lost life and limb or have been physically and emotionally scarred could not make that decision for themselves and yet every year since 1990 have suffered the consequences.
Children Killed: 4 Children Mauled: 43
of those: Children Killed by Parent’s cat: 0 Children Killed by Step Parent’s cat: 1
Children Mauled by Parent’s cat: 9
Some of the other killings and maulings were by relatives who owned the cats, such as aunts, grandmothers, etc.
More than 80% of the children killed and mauled were not killed or mauled at home by their parent’s cats.
December 7, 2006 Coral Gables, FL: Goya Foods executive Francisco Unanue hired Corinne Oltz of Wild Animal World to bring a 62-pound cougar to entertain his 7 year old and their guests. The party ended badly when the cougar mauled a 4-year-old guest. An investigator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Herald that the cougar’s bite “was a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem. That would have killed the kid instantly.” The Kendall-based Wild Animal World — who has been cited in two similar past attacks — faces a misdemeanor charge of allowing injury to the public. The girl suffered severe lacerations to her eyelid, left cheek and ear. Doctors sewed back part of her severed ear. Georgia, the cougar, was euthanized last week as part of a rabies test. In 1999, Oltz was cited in a similar attack, also in Coral Gables. In 2001, a Wild Animal World leopard attacked a child at a company picnic in Broward County. “That one was a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem.” remembered FFW Lt. Pat Reynolds, who is investigating the Coral Gables attack.
July 18, 2006 Saratoga County Fair, NY: A white tiger owned by the the Ashville Game Farm scratched 4-year-old Riley Willard of Milton at the fairgrounds. The boy suffered a gash about an inch long and needed 14 stitches to close the wound. He was sitting on a bench positioned in front of Calcutta the 2-year-old white tiger on display as part of the backdrop for pictures of kids holding exotic animals. The game farm’s owner, Jeffrey W. Ash, of Lick Springs Road, was charged with a misdemeanor and was cited for a violation after the incident, according to the DEC. The Environmental Conservation Police charged Ash with failing to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by a wild animal that caused bodily harm. The charge carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $500 fine. Ash was also ticketed for violating a condition of a DEC permit that states he must maintain the tiger in a cage that is not in contact with humans. The violation is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of $250. Ash was in court Jan. 2007 to answer a felony forgery charge in connection with providing a forged insurance certificate to the Saratoga County Fair last summer, officials said.
January 6, 2006 Center Hill, FL: Girl mauled when cougar escapes at Robert Baudy’s Savage Kingdom. A teenage volunteer was mauled by a mountain lion when he escaped after she left the door open. It is alleged that alcohol and drug abuse is to blame for the continued decline of Savage Kingdom and that the facility’s owner tried to keep the press and authorities from knowing about the incident by treating the mauled young woman with expired antibiotics. A tree worker managed to get ropes around the escaped cat’s throat and he was strangled to death. The girl ended up in the hospital and Florida’s Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the matter.
October 23, 2005 Knox County, OH: Siberian Tiger Bites Boy at road side zoo. A 10-year-old Columbus-area boy got too close to a Siberian tiger that bit him Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. Ethan Newman of 1011 Colony Way in Perry Township was bitten on the leg in a fenced compound at the Siberian Tiger Foundation off Deal Road, Barber said. The park is 2 miles southeast of Gambier. The foundation is owned by David and Diana Cziraky who charge customers for a “close encounter” in which they enter a compound with Siberian tigers chained to posts, the sheriff said. The boy and his father, Robert, were in the compound with a trainer for a close encounter when the incident occurred.
August 18, 2005 Mound Valley, KS: (AP) – A Siberian tiger attacked and killed a teenage girl who was posing for photos at a family-run animal facility called Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary. Update: 11/18/06 Lost Creek Operators Doug and Keith Billingsly cannot engage in any activity for which a license under the Animal Welfare Act is required, until 2011 according to the ruling from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. That includes, breeding and selling, exhibiting or any public use of the big cats. In its 10-page decision issued Nov. 3, the Agriculture Department cited several violations of the Animal Welfare Act at Lost Creek, including allowing the public to have direct contact and pose for photographs with adult tigers. It also did not establish and maintain a program of adequate veterinary care to prevent and control injuries, the ruling stated. The ruling says there were not adequate methods of tranquilization available at the facility. Doug Billingsly’s nephew and authorities had to shoot and kill Shakka after the animal attacked Hilderbrand. The ruling also alleges that the Billingslys did not allow officials with the Agriculture Department’s animal inspection service to inspect the operation on four separate occasions from September 2004 to January 2005, months before the Siberian tiger attacked and killed Hilderbrand. Under the terms of the probation, the Billingslys can be fined $12,600 each if they violate the Animal Welfare Act again. They also were ordered to get rid of all animals subject to the act.
August 15, 2005 Clackamas, OR: Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a pet lynx after it pounced on a six-year-old girl and began clawing her head. Deputies said the owner reported the pet missing Friday to a Clackamas veterinary clinic, which contacted the sheriff’s office. Attempts to trap the animal had failed.
June 25, 2005 Little Falls, MN: AP- A lion and tiger owned by auto mechanic Chuck Mock bolted from their cage and pounced on a 10-year-old boy leaving Russell LaLa of Royalton, MN., fighting for his life at Hennepin County Medical Center. The child is now a quadriplegic and on a respirator due to the severe injuries to his spinal cord and brain.
April 12, 2005 Thackery, IL: A 4-year-old McLeansboro girl is recuperating from injuries sustained Saturday evening when she was bitten by an adult cougar. The animal’s owner, Terry Biggerstaff, 58, shot and killed the animal. Holly Higgins was taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital where she was treated for a broken arm and lacerations to her hand and arm. Her parents said it took numerous stitches to close the wounds. An emergency room physician asked Holly if she was allergic to anything and she replied, “nothing but big cats”.
November 20, 2004 St. Augustine, FL: (AP) A 14 year old boy was mauled by a 450 lb tiger that was being walked on a leash at the St. Johns County Fair by the cat’s owner, Curt LoGiudice, owner of the Catty Shack Ranch at Jacksonville. The boy and some friends were watching the tiger being moved to the truck when the tiger went for the boy, hooking the boy’s thigh and pulling the boy under him. That’s when the deputies shot the tiger with the Tasers. The handler tried to get between the tiger and the boy, and after the tiger released the boy, it then bit the handler around his neck and head, Suchy said. At one time, the handler’s head was in the tiger’s mouth, Suchy said. LoGiudice has been questioned four times for attacks: One of his cougars bit a 19-month-old in 1999, while an elderly woman was bitten on the arm by a tiger cub in 2000, a trainer suffered 23 puncture wounds from a cougar and a woman sued LoGiudice after the same cougar attacked her, but Florida Game and Fish officials say that these attacks will not cause Curt LoGiudice of Catty Shack Ranch to lose his license to exhibit the cats.
Mar. 17, 2004 Massena, NY: (AP) A 4-year-old was hospitalized after her grandmother’s caged cougar mauled her at the woman’s home in northern New York. The girl told her mother the 160-pound male cat reached through the cage and grabbed her. Aubrey Swart was treated Saturday evening at Massena Memorial Hospital for cuts, bruises to the head and an eye injury, and transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlngton , Vt.
January 25, 2004 Surry County, IN: LOWGAP A 14-year-old Surry County girl was mauled by a tiger kept in a cage behind the family’s trailer and seriously injured less than two months after a tiger killed a 10-year-old boy at his uncle’s home 40 miles away in Wilkes County.
December 14, 2003 Millers Creek, NC: Ruth Bynum’s 400-pound Bengal tiger fatally mauled her 10-year-old nephew after pulling him under a fence and into his cage, authorities said. Cat was kept behind the family’s home in a cage that allowed the family dog to run in and out of the cage. The boy, Clayton James Eller, was shoveling snow Sunday afternoon near the tiger’s cage, an enclosure made of chain link “This little boy got too close, and it pulled him under the fence,” Coroner Howard Laney said. The boy’s uncle, James Marshall Eller, heard Clayton scream and saw the tiger dragging the boy into its cage. Sheriff Dane Mastin said Eller tried in vain to get the tiger off the boy, then ran and got his gun and shot the tiger to death. But it was too late to save the boy. The boy’s mother, Angela Eller, had left the boy in the care of her sister Ruth Bynum, the tiger’s owner, while she went to work, Mastin said. James Eller is the brother of the two women.
January 24, 2003 Albert Lea, MN: A malnourished tiger cub was seized from a home in a residential neighborhood after school officials learned that scratches and bite marks on a fifth-grade boy were caused by his father’s “pet” tiger.
September 20, 2002 Scotts Valley, CA: A declawed 150-pound tiger, who was being walked on a leash by Zoo to You at a school assembly with 150 children at the Baymonte Christian School, suddenly lunged at a 6-year-old boy and grabbed the child by the head with her jaws. The boy was wrestled away from the tiger by the principal and airlifted to a medical center where he received 55 stitches for two cuts to his scalp. A psychologist gave counseling to the terrified children who witnessed the attack.
May 26, 2002 Hennepin, IL: A 7-year-old girl was bitten by a tiger at a private menagerie as she attempted to pet the animal. The girl required 110 stitches and three months of therapy.
April 28, 2002 Pickens County, SC: According to the Post & Courier, a “pet” tiger was quarantined for biting an 8-year-old boy in the leg after the tiger had been given a bath. The tiger is normally kept in a metal cage in the backyard.
December 9, 2001 Davie, FL: A 7-year-old boy was taken to the hospital for stitches after being attacked and bitten “bone-deep” on the neck by a 40-pound declawed African serval at a PepsiCo International picnic. The child was walking by when the unattended serval leaped on him and knocked him to the ground. Pangaea Productions now called Animal World which is owned by Corinne Oltz was hired to bring the serval and other animals to the event to be used for entertainment.
October 10, 2001 Lee County, TX: A 3-year-old boy was killed by one of three of a relative’s “pet” tigers as he was about to have his picture taken with the animals. The 250-pound tiger snatched the boy from the arms of an adult, clamped down on his leg, and dragged him around the enclosure, causing head injuries. The tiger was beaten on the head until he released the boy’s foot.
July 27, 2001 Racine, MN: A 2-year-old, 400-pound white Siberian tiger was destroyed for rabies tests after he bit a 7-year-old girl. The tiger had escaped from a cage at a roadside zoo called B.E.A.R.C.A.T. Hollow and attacked the girl, inflicting two puncture wounds that became infected. The tiger was stuffed and mounted.
October 21, 2000 Gambier, OH: A 10-year-old boy was knocked to the ground and bitten on the leg by a tiger at the Siberian Tiger Foundation while participating in a “close encounter” at the facility. This was the tenth incident in seven months of people being bitten or otherwise injured by tigers at the facility.
August 26, 2000 Sioux Falls, SD: A 14-year-old boy was hospitalized after being mauled by a tiger on his father’s farm. The teenager was hospitalized for more than a month with bite wounds to the leg, neck, and shoulder.
June 28, 2000 Rensselaer, NY: A 4-year-old boy underwent plastic surgery for a bite to the neck and two puncture wounds to the face when he was attacked by a 40-pound African serval being taken for a walk. The man walking the cat received several stitches for bite wounds to the hand.
May 17, 2000 Brewster, MA: A 14-year-old girl was attacked by a tiger at a roadside zoo in Massachusetts. The girl, a part-time employee at the zoo, was feeding the cat when he bit her leg and shook her before releasing her.
March 15, 2000 Channelview, TX: A 3-year-old boy had his arm bitten off by his uncle’s “pet” tiger.
December 4, 1999 Williamsville, MO: A 5-year-old boy required surgery after he was mauled by a “pet” lion kept chained in a neighbor’s yard. The animal inflicted puncture wounds to the boy’s throat and head. The lion was killed.
October 25, 1999 Great Plains, SD: A 4-year-old girl was injured after she was clawed by an African lynx at the Great Plains Zoo. The girl and her parents had wandered into a staff area of the zoo.
June 7, 1999 Yorktown, TX: A 9-year-old girl was killed when her stepfather’s “pet” tiger grabbed her by the neck and dragged her into a water trough.
March 16, 1999 Colorado Springs, CO: A 6-year-old boy was severely injured by a leopard at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo after he climbed over a rope to get a closer look at the animal. Three months earlier, a woman was scratched by a tiger at the zoo after sticking her hand into his cage.
December 23, 1998 Coral Gables, FL: A five year old girl suffered a nine inch gash to her skull when a handler with the cougar at a child’s birthday party was unable to restrain the cat from attacking. The cat was killed to be tested by the Center for Disease Control.
July 30, 1998 Minot, ND: A 5-year-old boy suffered facial cuts requiring plastic surgery after being attacked by a tiger at a photo booth at the state fair.
May 2, 1998 Wylie, TX: A “pet” cougar bit a 4-year-old boy on the leg. The boy required $5,800 in medical care.
August 17, 1997 Marshfield, MA: A 13-year-old girl was rushed to the emergency room after being bitten by a tiger during a photo session in Massachusetts. The girl had to undergo painful rabies treatment. The Marshfield Mass. Animal Control Department reported “several” other bites associated with this photo booth.
April 4, 1997 Dallas, TX: A “pet” bobcat mauled a toddler. The 2-year-old boy lost his right index finger, had his heel chewed off, and suffered a severe bite wound to his right cheek.
March 12, 1997 Caudwell, TX: A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a “pet” tiger and a lion kept in a cage built into the side of his grandfather’s house. The boy’s father said, “My boy was not mauled, he was being eaten alive.”
May 6, 1996 Midlothian, TX: A 6-year-old girl suffered severe injuries to her head, neck, arms, back, and legs in an attack by a tiger, one of seven big cats on a breeding farm. During the investigation it was found that these same cats had been involved in three previous documented attacks. On this day, Katie Baxter’s mother, Tammi Baxter, decided to visit the tigers owned by a cousin’s friend. “Everybody knew about this place; everybody went out there all the time. ” she says. A ball was in the tigers’ water bowl, and as Baxter and her children watched, one of the animal handlers went into the pen to retrieve it. “He closed all the gates behind him, but somehow when he got to the last one to get the ball out of the water thing, this one tiger went nuts. [The tiger] hit one of the gates, kind of like stood up and hit the door,” Baxter says. “He went through two other gates the same way and was out in the viewing area before we even knew what happened. “I got to Katie, but by the time I got to her, he was already attacking her. It was horrible.” The tiger knocked Baxter and Katie down but “went for Katie,” grabbing her by the neck. Then it started dragging her. “We were trying to beat the tiger, beat it with our hands, but that wasn’t stopping it. So my cousin, he got a metal pipe and knocked it in the head so we could get her away from the tiger,” Baxter says. There were no telephones, so Baxter put Katie and her son into their car and raced toward a nearby hospital. Baxter missed a turn and crashed into a ditch. Katie, who was bleeding from the neck, was taken to one hospital by helicopter ambulance. Baxter and her son were taken to another with injuries from the car wreck. Katie spent more than a month in the hospital and underwent cosmetic surgery.
November 24, 1995 Raleigh, NC: A “pet” Bengal tiger mauled and critically injured a 3-year-old boy while his father was walking the animal on a leash. The tiger was shot and killed.
September 18, 1995 Wesley, KS: A 2-year-old boy required hospital treatment for a severe bite on his ear from the family’s 4-month-old cougar.
August 6, 1995 Phoenix, AZ: A mountain lion at the Phoenix Zoo gashed a 5-year old boy’s arm after he wandered too close to the cage. He required stitches to close the wound and received scratches on the side of his chest.
June 27, 1995 Downers Grove, IL: A 2-year old Chicago girl was mauled by her aunt’s “pet” Asian jungle cat.
April 5, 1994 Jackson, MS: An 80-pound cheetah scaled an 8-foot fence and pounced on an 8-year-old boy at the Jackson Zoo. The boy was scratched and nipped before the cheetah was recaptured.
August 11, 1993 Georgetown, OH: Two teenage boys suffered facial cuts when a lion attacked one, and the other attempted to intercede. The boys were walking when a “pet” lion escaped from his cage and attacked them unprovoked.
April 17, 1993 Little Rock, AR: A tiger performing with the Shrine Circus at the Barton Coliseum escaped, ran into the audience, and bit a 13-year-old girl. The tiger was owned and trained by Jordan Circus.
April 5, 1992 Portland, OR: A “pet” lion/tiger hybrid attacked an 11-year-old girl who had to undergo surgery to repair extensive muscle damage in her arm. The animal would not let go and had to be shot and killed.
September 17, 1991 Tucson, AZ: A lion cub bit the arm of a 3-year-old girl at the Reid Park Zoo.
April 18, 1991 Wilkesboro, NC: A 3-year-old girl was attacked by a leopard traveling with the Great American Circus.
August 9, 1990 Sturgis, SD: A 5-year-old girl was mauled by a leopard who was restrained by a small chain on a box in Engessor’s Endangered Species traveling act. The girl’s mother sued for $100,000 in damages.
June 18, 1990 Sidney, MT: A leopard in a petting zoo bit a 7-year-old boy. The owner of the leopard said he had no intention of stopping his shows.
Children are too young to die