Carole’s Note: Tiger World claims they breed white tigers for conservation. That says who they really are.
Zoning board could bring an end to ‘Tiger World’ project tonight
By Charles D. Perry · The Herald – Updated 03/13/07 – 1:00 AM
“Tiger World” could be finished tonight.
At least in Chester County.
The brainchild of Rock Hill’s Lea Jaunakais, the proposed sanctuary for large cats could meet its end in Chester if the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals says her land isn’t right for the project.
The board meets at 7 tonight at the War Memorial Building. They will evaluate if her 41 acres on Simple Farm Road qualifies for a special exception that would allow her to build the facility.
If the board says the land doesn’t fit the exception, the project can’t go on the land. If they say it does, “Tiger World” would survive, at least until the county has its third vote on banning exotic animals. Either way, many residents hope to keep tigers out of their farming community.
Here’s a look at the project:
What is “Tiger World”?
Jaunakais envisions a federally-regulated facility that would offer shelter to big cats and would serve as a research site and entertainment park with guided tours.
What is the case for Tiger World?
Jaunakais said she settled on the Simple Farm Road land because the rural area is right for her project. She claims Tiger World would create jobs and children’s activities. Ironically, she picked Chester because of positive feedback from the community, she said.
Facilities such as Tiger World are needed because many big cats are abused or neglected and sanctuaries that house them are full, Jaunakais said.
She plans to install fences that will exceed government standards for height and depth as well as motion-sensitive lights and video surveillance, she said. Residents will not see the animals from the road because of a buffer zone.
What is the case against Tiger World?
Residents say the federal government’s standards are not that strict, and there is no guarantee that Jaunakais will take the safety precautions she claims she will. They also are concerned about the smell, the noise and the lights.
Another fear is that Jaunakais plans to breed the animals, although she said she only will breed her tigers in rare situations. Residents say that true sanctuaries don’t breed animals.
Residents claim Jaunakais can’t guarantee her large cats won’t escape. They fear for their livestock and personal safety.
Ultimately, they say the project is just not right for their area.
What does the future hold for Tiger World?
The project’s future in Chester looks bleak. Even if the Zoning Board of Appeals says the property fits the exception, the County Council is expected to pass a ban on exotic animals next week.
Jaunakais is aware that her project could be over in Chester. Several developers have looked at her property, she said; one has made an offer. If the project is denied, she’ll look in other places in the Charlotte-metro area, she said.
“This isn’t the end,” she said. “This is only the end of that initial objective.”
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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