Is there a tiger living next door?

Is there a tiger living next door?


Wildlife commissioners ruled against notifying neighbors when large animals are kept next door, so Carole Baskin took matters into her own hands.


Baskin is founder of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. She supported a proposal to require anyone who obtains or changes a Class I wildlife permit to notify neighbors and emergency responders.


The permits are required for owners of big cats such as tigers, large primates such as baboons and other large wildlife including elephants, bears and rhinoceroses.


Permit holders raised privacy concerns about the notification requirement. As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to move forward a rule requiring notification only in the case of escapes.


So Baskin took matters in her own hands, obtaining a list of the state’s 362 Class I permit holders on her own. Last week, she sent out more than 1,500 letters to all their neighbors she could find.


"I intend to continue notifying neighbors when it is an issue that concerns them as no one else bothers to do so," she said in an an e-mail.


At a meeting in Gainesville this week about the notification plan, wildlife owners expressed outrage about the letters. One owner equated the move to terrorism. Others expressed concern their animals would be shot or stolen.


There are 27 holders of Class I permits in North Central Florida. Do you think their neighbors should be notified?


Post a comment below.


— Nate Crabbe



  Posted October 10, 2007 10:08:54 AMPermalink: URL: | Add CommentPosted By: Karen Sidley (10/10/2007 12:17:53 PM)


Comment: Medical laboratories must submit a list of every chemical present in their labs to the fire department. This is so that in an emergency, the fire department knows what chemicals are present and the potential dangers of each. It is ludicrous that neighbors would not notify each other (especially the abutters) and all emergency personnel of their large cat ownership. Not only is it common courtesy but their are major safety and possible escape concerns as well. Please require neighbors with big cats to tell other neighbors and emergency personnel. It is for the safety of everyone involved!


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