Lion gets out of enclosure at Wisc. big cat facility

To Rock Springs and Excelsior residents,

I am asking all of you to attend our monthly village and town meetings. In the last election, certain people were elected solely on the basis of whether they were for or against the (so-called) big cat rescue.

Three good people on the board were voted off because they were against the big cats. Actually not against the big cats themselves but for the safety of the public. The three new people are all for the big cats.

Why, I wonder? Could it be that two of those people are on the board of directors for the newly established Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue and Educational Center? Seems like a big conflict of interest to me. Will you allow a handful of people on the village board to make your decisions for you seeing they have used our local government for their own financial gain and status?

The town of Excelsior and the Sauk County have made it very clear that they do not want these big cats here and are to be out of the county’s jurisdiction by July 31. They are a public nuisance and hazardous to the people. If they move into the village of Rock Springs, they will be out of the county’s jurisdiction. Therefore, the county’s Public Health department no longer will be responsible for looking out for our public’s health and safety.

Mr. Kozlowski (the previous owner of the big cats ) has turned over ownership of the cats to his board. Therefore, he won’t be held accountable for what happens with these animals. This is probably a good thing, because while these animals were under his supervision, Kozlowski is facing more than $23,000 in fines imposed by the USDA.

Also, all along he has stated that these big cats could not get out of their cages. Well, on June 9 just that happened. Bam Bam, a 2-year-old lion, went underneath his fenced cage and got into an area that has two female lionesses. When Kozlowski discovered this, he had to cut a hole in the fencing to get this huge lion back into his cage. Luckily, he just got into another cage and not out of the compound.

The village is going to have a public hearing soon (watch for the notices in the Reedsburg Independent) to see if you want these big cats within your village limits. I urge village residents to attend this hearing and voice your opinion on whether you want these animals in your village.

If you don’t voice your opinion, the newly elected village board will do it for you. They of course want the cats there. The responsibility will then be the village people’s problem. I am sure that you would not want the village sued because one of these big cats get out and do bodily harm to you or one of your children. Yes, they are beautiful animals, but are they more important than your children?

Melody Hiller,

Township of Excelsior

http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/opinion/197938

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