Follow Up to Cheetah Story Tells How Many Owners in FL

Big-cat encounters: South Florida has had its share of exotic animal tales
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Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Exotic animal permits

Twenty-nine people and organizations in Palm Beach County and the
Treasure Coast have permits to keep exotic animals.

Class I permits are for dangerous animals, including lions, tigers,
chimps, baboons, crocodiles and komodo dragons, and the owners must
use them for exhibits, sale or research.

Class II permits are for less dangerous wild animals such as cheetahs,
bobcats, wolves, howler monkeys and dwarf crocodiles that can be kept
as pets.

Here's a county breakdown:February 2008

A 300-pound Malayan tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo nips an employee's
finger while she is feeding it. Although the injury is described as
minor, Susie Nuttall is hospitalized overnight. State wildlife
officers clear her and the zoo of any wrongdoing, but zoo officials
pledge to review their policies.

November 2006

A62-pound cougar mauls a 4-year-old girl at a Coral Gables birthday
party thrown for the daughter of Goya Foods executive Francisco
Unanue. Corinne Oltz, a former Hooters waitress and Playboy video
actress who owned the cougar as part of Kendall's Wild Animal World,
is charged with culpable negligence and keeping wildlife in unsafe

July 2005

A Florida wildlife officer shoots and kills Bobo, a 600-pound
Bengal-Siberian tiger that escaped from a Loxahatchee compound owned
by former Tarzan actor Steve Sipek. Hundreds of people send angry
messages, including death threats, to the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission. Sipek ultimately replaces his beloved tiger
with two new cubs. He holds a state license.

November 2004

Rocker Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, is reunited
with his 60-pound pet wallaroo after it escapes with a pet goat from a
relative's backyard and roams around the Torinoarea of Port St. Lucie.
Although Van Winkle doesn't have an active permit, wildlife officials
return the wallaroo to him after a friend, who has a permit, agrees to
watch it. Van Winkle, who was living in Davie, expresses a love of
exotic animals.

February 2002

Bobo mauls a volunteer at Sipek's compoundwhen she enters the tiger's
cage, thinking it is empty. Carol Pistilli sustains a fractured skull
when the declawed tiger grabs her head with his mouth. Wildlife
officers say no charges are warranted, blaming Pistilli for entering
the cage.

Martin County

Class I and II permits: 2

Class II: 1

Okeechobee County

Class I and II: 1

Class II: 3

Palm Beach County

Class I and II permits: 7

Class II: 11

St. Lucie County

Class 1: 1

Class II: 3

Info available on these numbers here:

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

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.


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