By TIMES WIRES
Published January 4, 2007
The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the alleged deaths of two tigers belonging to Lancelot Kollman, who trains big cats at his compound in Balm.
RaeLeann Smith, a PETA activist, quoted unnamed sources in alleging that the tigers died this fall while anesthetized for a microchip implant prior to being released to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Reached by cell phone Wednesday night, Kollmann said PETA had it all wrong.
No tigers died while being microchipped, he said. One tiger, Sheba, 20, did die a few months ago. Kollmann found her dead one morning, he said, and an autopsy showed she had lung problems. But she wasn’t one of the tigers promised to Ringling.