The Humane Society of the
December 13, 2006
"Cougars are wild animals who cannot be domesticated," said Don Elroy, director of wildlife advocacy for The HSUS in a letter sent Friday to Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyre, Regional Director of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. "Public contact with these animals should never be allowed, and placing small children at risk is the height of irresponsibility. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the child and her family."
USDA regulations require that during public exhibitions, animals must be handled so that there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and the public, with sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animal and the general viewing public so as to assure the safety of the animals and the public. The cougar in the recent incident was euthanized to test for rabies.
According to court records, Wild Animal World has been cited for previous incidents in which a leopard attacked a child at a company picnic in
"The actions of this exhibitor have shown a lack of concern for these children and for the animals under their care," said Elroy. "In light of the history of violations by this exhibitor we believe that an investigation leading to the immediate revocation of this exhibitor’s