Outrage at bid to keep leopard in back garden
An animal lover from Peckham has sparked outrage among some of his neighbours by applying to keep endangered leopards and other meat-eating wild animals in his back garden.
Todd Dalton wants to keep a clouded leopard, and a baby leopard if born, in a cage in Peckham as part of a breeding programme to protect the species.
His application under the Dangerous and Wild Animals Act also requests permission to keep other wild cats, including an ocelot and margay, Southwark Council said.
However, his bid has caused a storm of protest from neighbours who fear the mammals could escape and pose a threat to pets and even people.
A City of London Corporation vet has cleared Mr Dalton’s cages as ‘suitable’ for the animals, but a licensing sub-committee at Southwark will make the final decision.
A council spokeswoman said the committee would take the views of the vet, the RSPCA and a police wildlife crime unit into consideration when looking at the application.
The RSPCA said it was ‘extremely concerned’ that clouded leopards – which can weigh up to 50lb – might be kept in a back garden in a busy residential area of London.
A spokeswoman said: ‘These leopards are endangered and the only possible justification for keeping them should be to try and re-establish these animals through national and international cooperative breeding schemes.’
She added that as far as the RSPCA knew there was only one other case of clouded leopards being kept in a private enclosure in the UK.
Neighbours of Mr Dalton expressed their fears over his plans at a public meeting last night organised by a local ward councillor.
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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