Man with bear, tigers cited

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Man with bear, tigers cited

By AP Wire Sevice
Published: 3/7/2009 6:11 AM
Last Modified: 3/7/2009 6:11 AM

GENE AUTRY, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservationhas issued a citation to a man who was investigated after residents complained about conditions surrounding the upkeep of his exotic animals.

Carter County Sheriff Ken Grace said his office looked into allegations that 14 Bengal tigers and a grizzly bear were being fed live cattle and that rotting carcasses were contaminating a nearby water supply.

Grace said Friday that the only thing he could confirm was that James Garretson owned the tigers and the bear.

“Mr. Garretson said he buys cattle from Red River Auction. He euthanizes them, butchers them and uses the meat to feed his animals,” Grace said, adding that deputies found no indication of inhumane treatment or live feeds.

Some cattle bones were found on the property, but there were no immediate signs the remains posed a health hazard, Grace said.

“I’m going to check with the district attorney’s office but at this point I don’t anticipate what he is doing is against the law,” Grace said.

The Wildlife Department cited Garretson for not having the paperwork required by the state to keep the bear. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture will assess how the tigers are being cared for to make sure state standards are being met.

“Nothing else was found, although as I said I will check to make sure he is within the law,” Grace said.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20090307_11_0_GENEAU470203

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