For a list of incidents in FL including other dangerous exotic animals go HERE
For an Excel sheet of incidents by state, by year, by species and by country go HERE
See an interactive online map of exotic cat owners. See people being stupid with big cats, endangering themselves and others HERE. See the awful conditions these captive cats endure HERE.
Big Cat AttacksThe following is a partial listing (608) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990. The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 21 humans, 16 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 199 more adults and children, 188 escapes, the killing of 94 big cats, and 126 confiscations. There have also been 206 big cat incidents outside the U.S. that have resulted in the deaths of 72 humans and the mauling of 107 humans by captive big cats. These figures only represent the headlines that Big Cat Rescue has been able to track. Because there is no reporting agency that keeps such records the actual numbers are certainly much higher. http://www.bigcatrescue.org/big_cat_news.htm
The Journal of Internal Medicine in 2006 estimated that 50 million people worldwide have been infected with zoonotic diseases in the past 6 years and as many as 78,000 have died. Read more about zoonotic diseases here: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/zoonosis.htm
To see the number of exotic cats abandoned each year go to http://www.bigcatrescue.org/animal_abuse.htm
To view a trend chart that shows the alarming escalation of big cat incidents here: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/Flash/BigCatBans/BigCatBanCharts.htm
The U.S. represents less than 5% of the entire global population, but up through 2006 79% of ALL captive cat incidents occurred in the U.S. (Now that the US is clamping down on the exotic pet trade, the reports in 2007 show a decline in U.S. incidents compared to the rest of the world) Likewise, Florida represents less than 6% of the U.S. population while 12% of all U.S. incidents occur in Florida. Florida boasts the most comprehensive sets of regulations allowing private ownership of exotic cats while ranking #1 in the highest numbers of big cat killings, maulings and escapes. To view photos of fatal injuries from cases reported in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine click http://www.bigcatrescue.org/laws/AMJForensicFeline.pdf
This video shows facilities that are currently licensed and approved by the USDA and the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission that have been operating at this level or worse for more than 10 years and yet are still open to the public. These images are typical of those who allow cameras in but there are many worse ones who do not. This shows precisely why we need to ban private possession of exotic cats. http://www.veoh.com/videos/v2570412PGPYhmr
For more images of people who have been mauled by cougars open this Word Document.
2011 facts and figures coming soon. Please check back.
December 4, 2010 Union Grove, AL: Frank Harmes is recovering after being attacked by a black panther near his Marshall County home. He was walking his dog in a cove behind his home near Morgan City when he heard something behind him and turned to see a black panther. (if black it would have been a black leopard or black jaguar) Harmes says he moved to try to scare the big cat away, but instead it attacked and clawed his leg. He says he stabbed the animal twice with a knife and it ran away. Residents of the area have reported seeing panthers in the past, saying they sometimes come out looking for food.
Dec. 4, 2010 Cincinnati, OH: A serval found in Blanchester has been returned to its owner. Eris, a female serval, was found inside a barn on Tuesday morning hovering over a domestic cat she had just killed. Ohio initiated a ban on such animals in 2010. The cat had escaped nine days before. Under bans, owners are allowed to keep their exotic pets until they die, but cannot replace them. This site had a poll and the results showed 87% of the voters believe that people should not be able to possess wild animals as pets.
Oct. 31, 2010 Belize: A killing by an escaped4 year old, 130 lb jaguar named Max, is the latest, sad episode in a too-often-repeated series of ill-fated, cross-species encounters that usually end badly for humans and almost always worse for wild animals. The tragedy that could have been averted if people only learned from past experience that large predators belong in their native habitat, never in cages. Max was kept in captivity by filmmakers Richard and Carol Foster, who produced wildlife documentaries for National Geographic and escaped after winds from Hurricane Richard toppled a tree onto his cage. The cat attacked a dog owned by the Fosters’ U.S.-born neighbor, Bruce Cullerton, and when Cullerton tried to save his pet the jaguar pounced, dragged him into the bushes and bit him savagely on the arms and neck. After authorities found Cullerton’s mangled body they baited a steel-mesh trap, re-captured the jaguar and killed it – the circle of life, wild-animal-in-captivity style. Says the reporter, “I’ve never been a huge fan of wildlife documentaries since I always suspected filmmakers used captive animals for much of their footage, and the Fosters’ episode would seem to confirm my suspicion.”
Oct. 31, 2010 So Africa: Three lions proved who’s at the top of the food chain when they pulled an inebriated worker who was taunting them into their enclosure and devoured him before his horrified friend, authorities said. 30 year old Jan Bredenhand, who had been working as the restaurant manager for the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for just one month, returned from an all-night party Sunday morning and hopped on a gate around the lions enclosure when he was attacked by three lions. It was the second mauling death of a worker by lions at the park in six years. ”It was horrific,” one of the tourists, Veluchia Hassim told South Africa’s News 24 TV. “The one lion was gnawing on his ribs when we got there.”
Oct. 21, 2010 Youngsville, LA: Authorities say an exotic cat, they think is a Serval, is on the loose, forcing an elementary school to keep its students indoors as officials worked to capture the cat. The Daily Advertiser reports that the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Broussard Police Department, Youngsville Police Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were on the scene. Sheriff’s deputies say the serval, a cheetah-like cat and native of Africa, likely got loose from its owner, who was not identified.
Oct. 4, 2010 S. Africa: Russell Lissack, guitarist for indie bands Ash and Bloc Party, was hospitalized with a nasty bite – from a lion! Lissack was on tour with Ash in South Africa, when he and singer Tim Wheeler decided to visit a wild animal pay to play farm. At the facility, Lissack was playing with a lion cub when the creature bit him, drawing blood. He was driven to a local hospital for a tetanus booster but after being admitted the hospital was sealed off when two patients died from an unidentified virus. Finally, when Lissack was released, the band was involved in a car accident on the way back to their hotel.
Oct. 3, 2010 Idaville, IN: Two tigers escaped at Great Cats of Indiana. One was shot and killed and the other wounded. Sources say that the Indiana DNR and USDA were alerted later and that Joe Taft was offering to take in all of the cats and bears from Great Cats of Indiana. In Feb. 2010 the USDA revoked the license of Great Cats of Indiana for a long list of violations of the Animal Welfare Act as it pertained to more than 50 big cats and bears.
Oct. 2, 2010 Western Ukraine: L’viv Circus; In this circus lion attack video Trainer Oleksie Pinko can be seen knocked to the ground as he desperately tries to herd the lions out of the ring. Pinko was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for emergency surgery. The videographer, Doug Shepherd said, “I’ve been to some great circus performances there. My son said, ‘I don’t want to go the circus ever again,’ and I don’t blame him.” Circus workers quickly washed down the circus ring to remove traces of the attack.
Sept. 5, 2010 West Orange, NJ: Patrons and staff had a scare at Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo after a leopard escaped, causing the zoo to be locked down and patrons moved to safe areas. Megan, an Amur leopard, slipped from the sight of her caretakers and hid behind a retaining wall in a zoo service building. The zoo closed down for about 45 minutes while personnel sedated the leopard. The zoo says the leopard was never in danger of harming the public, but eye witnesses who posted in the comments section say otherwise.
Sept. 2, 2010 Las Vegas, NV: An MGM Grand hotel official, Yvette Money, says an animal trainer received emergency hospital care for a bite on the leg after an attack by a lion in a glassed display on the Las Vegas Strip. The lions are bred for photo ops with the public and are owned by Keith Evans who warehouses the adults in the desert on 8.5 ac. 12 miles away. There was some connection to Feld Entertainment at some point in the past as they were seeking shelter for 60+ second hand lions. See Attack Video
August 30, 2010 Springfield, OH: German Township’s Cindy Shaffer said Serafina disappeared from her Clark County home as she was letting the dogs out. The exotic cat had been missing since July.
Serafina was 9 months old, declawed and had on a blue collar. Shaffer worried the collar might become too tight for her, as she grew. In the last two months, police said there had been a few sightings of Serafina. Police said some residents were in a state of panic. “People are worried about their dogs, and if they need to keep them in,” said German Township Police Lt. Michael Stitzel. If sighted call her owner, Cindy Shaffer at (937) 346-4995, or the Clark County Sheriff at (937) 328-2560.
August 29, 2010 Miami, FL: Visitors to Miami’s Jungle Island stampeded over each other to avoid an escaped, 3 yr old, 500 lb. tiger named Mahesh. A monkey escaped while being transported through the zoo and 500 lb. Mahesh bounded over the 14-foot fence into the public area according to the Miami Herald. The attraction’s three big cats — which include a liger and a white tiger — have been confined to a “night kennel,” while the park investigates. “We were really scared. There were people crying,” Miami mom Dorothy Evans told the Herald, adding that people knocked each other down as they sprinted toward the shelter. “People were running for their lives,” Larry Rhodes, 46, of Pompano Beach, told the Sun Sentinel. Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told the Herald that several people were injured while running, including a mother who fell on top of her 15-month old baby. Another guest was taken to a Miami hospital after suffering a panic attack. Bhagavan (Kevin) Antle, who also owns T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach, SC and who is the owner of Mahesh, was charged with one count of maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition, resulting in threats to public safety. Park owner Bern M. Levine was charged with two second-degree misdemeanors for conditions resulting in the animals’ escape. The charges for both men have a maximum penalty of $500, FWC officer Pino said. Video
June 23, 2010 Quebec, Canada: Jonas, a tiger, along with two camels, Sean and Todd, were inadvertently abducted in central Quebec when thieves made off with a pickup truck and trailer as the trio of animals were being brought back from the Maritimes to the zoo in Bowmanville. They were later found alive and returned to the zoo.
June 22, 2010 Jakarta: Indonesian police have arrested Akmamul Mukminin, 24, who allegedly poisoned and skinned a critically endangered Sumatran tiger in a state-owned zoo. He could face up to five years in jail and a fine of $11,000 dollars for killing a protected animal. The suspect allegedly killed the tiger, named Shella, in August in Taman Rimbo zoo, Jambi province, by placing poisoned bait in his enclosure after closing hours. He then allegedly skinned it on the zoo grounds, aided by two accomplices.
June 14, 2010 Bejing, China: Five tigers mauled a man to death and injured his son in a zoo in China’s Shaanxi province. Xian Qinling Wildlife Park official Jiao Congling said the animals attacked the two after they entered the tigers’ zone. The father died at the scene from bites to the head and neck. “The gate to the tigers’ zone was open, so we walked in. Then the tigers attacked us,” Xinhua quoted the son as saying.
June 13, 2010 Coventry, UK: Police charge Alan Dudley after finding tiger and other animals parts in his suburban garage freezer. An endangered tiger, turtles, lemurs and the remains of a chimpanzee were among an incredible haul of dead exotic animals found by police in the freezer of his suburban house.
May 31, 2010 Brown Co., OH: The Brown County Sheriff today released new information about a mountain lion that’s reportedly running loose in that area. Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger says a Mount Orab resident bought the animal from a flea market in Lucasville, Ohio. It escaped about a month ago. The owner planned to get rid of the cat because it had gotten too aggressive. Officials got calls Wednesday and Thursday mornings saying the animal had been seen around the Rumpke Landfill off Beyers Road near Route 68. Wildlife officials are aware that the lion is loose.
March 24, 2010 Canary Islands: Three tigers that escaped from a zoo in Spain’s Canary Islands have been shot dead by police. The animals escaped when the enclosure at the Cocodrilos Park zoo was being cleaned by an employee, who mistakenly pushed a button that opened the cage door. The park said in a statement that four of the seven tigers inside the cage stayed put but three escaped. About 100 police officers were involved in the operation to find the animals.
March 13, 2010 Shanghai: An animal keeper was killed by a Bengal tiger at the Shanghai Zoo after the zookeeper forgot to lock the tiger’s cage. Li Zhonglin, 53, was mauled by the tiger while cleaning outside the cage with its door unlocked, according to the Shanghai Municipal Management Bureau of Greening and City Appearance. A visitor told the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News that he saw the tiger suddenly jump on the keeper and snap his neck before the man could cry out for help. The 11-year-old male tiger has lived at the zoo for over a year.
Many people believe the tiger attacked its keeper out of hunger. A zoo cleaner who asked for anonymity told the Global Times that the tigers are usually hungry on Saturdays because the zoo doesn’t feed them on Fridays.
February 19, 2010 Wellington, FL: A Jaguar tore the thumb off of a visitor to Panther Ridge Conservation Center, owned by Judy Berens. The visitor, whose name wasn’t released, apparently had her fingers curled around an enclosure at Panther Ridge Conservation Center when a jaguar grabbed her hand and tore off her thumb, said Gabriella Ferraro, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is the third time since 2005 that wildlife officials have been called to the roughly 10-acre compound off Palm Beach Pointe Boulevard. In 2008, Berens was attacked by two cheetahs as she was entertaining visitors in their enclosure. Three years earlier, a 500-pound Bengal tiger escaped from his cage. Judy Berens had said she was paying $7,500 each for the Jaguars, Aztec and Tia that she bought from Lance Ramos, a circus owner in Balm, FL in 2004.
A May inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that found Berens had improperly declawed two clouded leopards. “The procedure is no longer considered to be acceptable when performed solely for handling or husbandry purposes since it can cause considerable pain and discomfort to the animal and may result in chronic health problems,” inspectors wrote. When Judy Behrens was criticized in 2008 for paying $40,000 for two cheetahs by those who believe it feeds the market for the endangered cats, she insisted she is trying to help protect them by removing them from the wild. She faces a $500 fine for the loss of the guest’s thumb.
February 4, 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand: Three cheetahs swam a moat and crawled through a hole in a rusty fence at the Orana Wildlife Park. “Our cheetahs, just like a domestic house cat, they all hate swimming, so if you had asked me yesterday would any of our cheetahs swim I would have said no,” Anderson told National Radio. “They proved us quite wrong.” After climbing through the hole in the fence, the cats ran in front of a park shuttle bus, causing the driver to jam on his brakes, before they were recaptured.
January 29, 2010 Guwahti: A tigress and her cub slinked out of an enclosure at Assam State Zoo triggering fear among 10,000-plus visitors present. Dibya, the eight-year-old female, had had a taste of human blood two years ago when she mauled a visitor to death along with another tiger. For an hour and a half, Dibya prowled around the zoo, covering nearly 400 metres, even as visitors screamed and ran helter skelter. The thrilling drama finally ended around 11 am when the Bengal tigers were tranquilized and put back into the cage.
January 21, 2010 Van Zandt County, TX: A 400 lb tiger that had spent the night on the loose has been found and is being held by TX Game Wardens. She was on the run after escaping her enclosure during yesterday’s storm.
The ownership of exotic wild animals (such as tigers, lions and jaguars) in Texas is allowed by law with a license. The animal also must be registered with the state.
January 10, 2010 Tornoto, Canada:
January 7, 2010 Beijing, China: A 56 year old worker named Ming at Nanhai Wildlife Park in the city of Madian in Henan province was attacked and killed by an African lion while he was cleaning out her cage.
Yang Yang, the nine-year-old African lion, has been placed under quarantine as an investigation into the incident is conducted.
In November, police in northeast China shot dead two Siberian tigers after the animals severely mauled a worker at a wildlife park in Liaoning Province.
December 20, 2009 Germany: He had slipped past a gate she left unlatched. Last year Karim the tiger attacked and killed a Siberian tiger that strayed into his enclosure after a zookeeper mistakenly opened the access gate.
December 10, 2009 Wilmer, AL: The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office was reported by WKRG to have said the tiger was recaptured from escapting John Hightowers’ Mobile Zoo at 15161 Ward Rd. W. Wilmer, AL 36587 but the owner says there was no escape.
December 9, 2009 Hamburg, Germany: Christian Walliser, 28, an experienced tiger trainer, was attacked after he stumbled during the show in Hamburg. The 200 guests watched in horror as Walliser was pinned to the ground by the tigers. The tigers dug their teeth into Walliser’s head and upper body, tearing off most of his left hand. Several of the audience members, including Walliser’s boyfriend, were treated for shock. Doctors amputated Walliser’s left hand and said he had suffered serious head and chest injuries in the attack. He remains in a critical condition.
November 27, 2009 St. Paul, TX: A pet Serval escaped in Collin County. The cat has been declawed and cannot protect itself, but may act aggressively if it feels threatened. The missing serval is approximately 40 pounds, is orange with black spots, and had on a black collar and a red harness.
November 19, 2009 China: A retired teacher named Zhu lost his fingers trying to touch a caged tiger at a circus. Zhu was seriously injured when the animal grabbed his hand and snapped off four of his fingers at the show in Nankang, Jiangxi province. The 61-year-old reportedly lost consciousness on the spot and was later paid 3,500 yuan as compensation by the circus officials.
November 13, 2009 China: 2 tigers were killed after mauling a zoo worker at a zoo in Liaoning Province. The attack is attributed to the tigers being starved. Yang Jingwel, 51, struggled desperately for nearly 15 minutes before zoo workers shot the tigers 10 times with a shotgun. A profusely bleeding Yang was seriously injured on his head, neck, hands, arms and legs, and flesh had been ripped out from the lower part of his face. ”He was brought in a coma caused by excessive blood loss,” Dr. Gaoyan at Shenyang Military General Hospital, told the Xinhua News Agency. “His breath and heartbeat could be barely felt.” “It is possible that the tigersattacked a human being because they are starved,” Wan Dongmei, professor of zoology at Liaoning University said. The zoo administration, which has a poor record of animal feeding, dealt with the revenue shortfall by sacrificing small animals to save the big ones.”Ducks and geese that once amused visitors were fed to the big cats.
November 9, 2009 Las Cruces, AZ: A bobcat was captured at the former home of an exotic cat breeder named Kelli Perras and another large cat is still on the loose,
according to Doña Ana Sheriff’s Department investigators. The bobcat was isolated in a tree and shot with a tranquilizer dart to capture it without injury, after which it was transported to the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, and is expected to be sent to a sanctuary. A second, larger cat – possibly a pregnant bobcat or mountain lion – may have escaped the residence before investigators arrived. The residence is north of Las Cruces on King Edward Avenue, near the intersection of Doña Ana Road and West Taylor Road. Perras had cats seized from her in June; Bengals and Savannahs were transported to the Humane Society of the White Mountains in Lakeside, Ariz., about 130 miles northeast of Phoenix, so that they would not be euthanized.
October 26, 2009 Boca Raton, FL: A Palm Beach Circuit judge told Redclift, 34, that if, in the next two months, she paid outstanding room and board – already at close to $1,000 – and got the right permit, the state would drop the charge of having Nambi the Serval without a permit. According to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a neighbor called the agency Sept. 3 to say the owner of a home in the 5100 block of Deerhurst Crescent Circle in Boca Raton had a wild cat for a pet. The neighbor, who e-mailed photographs of Nambi to the agency, said a person had been hurt by the cat. The FWC waited 20 days to investigate, but when they did Redclift told them the cat was a “Savannah cat” and said she’d brought it from NC. She admitted it had escaped from the home in Boca Raton and is now trying to have the cat released from the sanctuary where he was placed upon seizure and turned over to a Miami exotic animal dealer.
October 5, 2009 Calgary Zoo, Ontario: Two 27-year-olds, Thomas Bryce-Hart and Trever Wearmouth snuck onto zoo grounds Monday morning and climbed over the public safety fence surrounding a tiger exhibit, where one man suffered serious arm injuries. Grahame Newton, the director of corporate services at the zoo, said the men first made “unauthorized access” to the property by climbing over its exterior fence, which stands nearly 2.5 metres high and has three strands of barbed wire at the top. About two metres in from the public safety fence, a second interior fence — 4.5-metres high and electrified along four separate wires at the top — cages the tigers off from the outside world. The exterior side of the second fence is where the injured man made contact with a two-year-old Siberian tiger named Vitali. It is believed that the man had his arm pulled through the fence after it became hooked by the animal’s claw. “The information we have is that while his injuries appear not to be life-threatening, they are, however, quite serious,” Newton said. ”I think it’s fair to say that if anybody puts their mind to it, they can breach any kind of security and that certainly seems to have been the case here,” Newton said.
October 4, 2009 Ross Township, PA: 37-year-old Kelly Ann Walz died after being mauled by her pet black bear. She was attacked when she entered the bear’s cage to feed the 350-pound animal and clean its cage, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The bear lived in a 15-by-15-foot steel and concrete enclosure on Walz’s property in Ross Township.The homeowner had a permit to keep a Bengal tiger and an African lion too. This incident is not included in the totals as it did not involve a big cat killing, mauling or escaping.
September 30, 2009 Tucson, AZ: People outside a Catalina Foothills home couldn’t believe their eyes. A man was driving through a Catalina Foothills neighborhood and spotted an African Serval. The serval is at the Tucson Wildlife Center, a non-profit sanctuary and rehabilitation center. Lisa Bates-Lininger is founding president of the Tucson Wildlife Center. She says they had to tranquilize the big cat “She could still move and attack and she was really upset with the people around her. So we did tranquilize her and we found nothing wrong with her major,” Bates-Lininger says. But the serval was in bad shape. “She was dehydrated and tired and just ready to give up. She may have died last night, but luckily we got her in. We got her emergency treatment, fluids for shock,” Bates-Lininger says. She’s also missing a rear leg.
September 29, 2009 Romania: Hunedoara zoo was evacuated after keepers spotted two tigers – a pregnant female and its mate – roaming the zoo. They were finally shot with tranquiliser darts by zoo keepers who feared they may break out of the zoo and get into the nearby town.
September 10, 2009 Hanoi, Vietnam: A tiger leaped out of its enclosure at a Vietnam tiger farm and killed a zoo worker and injured another when the cat jumped over the 8.3 foot high, electrified fence to attack the men who were planting trees. The Dai Nam zoo keeps nine adult and seven infant tigers. In 2007, the communist government allowed some private tiger farms in southern Vietnam to keep dozens of the endangered animals as they were better equipped than state zoos. Most conservationalists believe that this farming of tigers has been encouraged by China’s efforts to throw off a ban on using tiger parts. The talk of lifting the ban on the trade in tiger parts has increased poaching putting the tiger on the brink of extinction with only 3,500 cats left in the wild and one being killed every day.
August 27, 2009 Harare Zimbabwe, Africa: A lion escaped from its cage at Kyle Recreational Park near Lake Mutirikwi in Masvingo. 4 lions escaped from their cages at Simply Wild a lion breeding scam to provide canned hunts but Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers recaptured three. The runaway lions were part of the 59 that were abandoned by Ronnie Sparrow. The trackers have been authorised to shoot the lion. Ms Washaya-Moyo attributed the escape to vandalism and theft of solar panels that used to provide power to the perimeter electric fence at the breeding cages.
July 29, 2009 Hyderbad, India: A white tiger at the Nehru Zoological Park wrenched the right hand of a drunken visitor when he thrust it into the animal’s enclosure after all the park was closed for the day. Ramesh lost the muscles on his right hand from forearm almost up to the shoulder and also suffered scratches on his face. He was rushed to Osmania General Hospital where doctors shifted him to the ICU immediately.
July 29, 2009 Las Vegas, NV: A white tiger that is used in a Las Vegas magic show performed a surprise disappearing act – when it escaped from its cage and went on the prowl. Terrified residents in the northwest of the city spotted the big cat wandering the streets on Thursday evening. Police and the Animal Rescue Service were alerted and the tiger was cornered in a family’s back garden. Police Lt. Les Lane said the cat belonged to Fercos Brothers magic act. Zuzana Kukol, the owner of the REXANO website that attempts to discredit those who oppose the use of big cats in circus acts, claimed to be training tigers for the 6th generation Fercos Brothers circus act in an online post to a snake owners blog. The Fercos Brothers operate out of Pahrump, NV and FL at 6155 S.W. 123rd Av Miami, FL 33183. Fercos Brothers Circus has applied to the USFWS repeatedly in an attempt to move tigers in and out of the U.S. Big Cat Rescue always responds with letters to the USFWS explaining that circus acts do noting to protect tigers in the wild and allowing such movement is only a detriment to both the captive tigers and those in the wild. Check CatLaws.com to send a letter of your own. Mark Smith lztwobits@ claims that Picasso the tiger escaped while being taking out for a walk, rather than from a cage…well that’s reassuring!
May 26, 2009 Zion Wildlife Centre, New Zealand: A zoo-keeper has been mauled to death by a white tiger in the notorious safari park, in the third attack in four months. The keeper suffered serious “tearing” injuries to his abdomen and lower leg after being attacked when he and another keeper went to clean the enclosure. The man died at the scene before an ambulance arrived at the park. The tiger has since been shot dead. The zoo which displays 42 lions and tigers has been embroiled in controversy over the last year.
In February a keeper was hospitalised after being bitten on the knee while trying to move a tiger between two enclosures. Demetri Price, a senior zoo-keeper, laughed off the attack at the time, saying he had “no worry at all” about the zoo’s safety. In April, a Scottish teenager working at the park, Lisa Baxter, was left scarred for life, when Timba, an African white lion, sunk his teeth into both her hands after she put her hands through a hole in the fence designed for television cameras to stroke a cub. The park is also currently involved in an employment dispute with Craig Busch, whose Lionman television series had an international audience. A MAF investigation expressed concern that animals were kept in crowded, insanitary conditions.
May 25, 2009 East LIverpool, PA: An 11 year old girl in Columbiana County was flown by helicopter ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh after either being mauled by a pet mountain lion. The police spokesman said, “Apparently, someone has it as a pet,” and that the child’s parents took her to the hospital directly from the scene of the incident. He was uncertain where the incident took place.
May 24, 2009 Great Bend, KS: Officials at the Great Bend Zoo are trying to figure out how a 150-pound mountain lion escaped from its enclosure. The 14-year-old female was shot and killed by police after escaping during feeding time. The big cat was frightened and had a history of being somewhat aggressive.
May 24, 2009 Memphis, TN: A Memphis Zoo investigation team said this afternoon that human error led to an incident in which a keeper was bitten by a Bengal tiger. The keeper failed to close two internal safety doors inside the nighthouse building, according to a report from the team. When the keeper released two Bengal tigers into their outside exhibit, one of them wandered into the unsecured walkway, encountered the keeper and bit him on his upper-right calf.
May 24, 2009 Næstved Zoo, South Zealand: Tigers mauled, killed and partly ate the body of a former zoo keeper, after he apparently committed suicide in their enclosure. The body of a former employee of Næstved Zoo was partly eaten by tigers after the man broke into their enclosure on Sunday night. A source told the newspaper that the body had been badly mauled by the tigers, which ate parts of the man’s legs and lower abdomen. The man had been employed as an animal keeper at the South Zealand zoo for ten months, where he was described as having a deep fascination with the zoo’s Bengalese tigers. Zoo owner Peter Bo Rasmussen said that the death was a tragedy but it would not affect the way staff interact with the animals.
May 3, 2009 New Orleans, LA: Linda Authement of Violet said the recent discovery of her cat, Raja, with a hole in its head has her both heartbroken and angry. Her $3,500 Savannah cat escaped and was allegedly shot by her neighbor Rene Paul Desselle. The Savannah cat is a crossbreed between a Serval African wild cat and domestic cats. They can weigh up to 25 pounds and are spotted.
May 2, 2009 Christmas, FL: Wildlife officials are looking for a pregnant cougar that escaped into the woods in central Florida while being transferred to a cage. The cougar, owned by Jacob Kagan’s Jungle Adventures, escaped while being prepared for a trip to the veterinarian for a cesarean section. The cougar named Sierra is declawed, wearing a collar and in need of emergency surgery. Anyone seeing the cougar is urged to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922. The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission permits cougars as pets in FL despite public outcry against the practice. Jungle Adventures is located at 26205 E. Hwy 50 Christmas, FL 32709.
April 24, 2009 CO: A volunteer was bitten by a tiger at Big Cats of Serenity Springs located at 24615 Scott Road in Calhan. He says ge got too close to the cage while cleaning, but one has to wonder how the cat got his mouth around the man’s arm, if it wasn’t in the cage. This isn’t the first tragedy to occur there either; on June 30, 2003 two tigers severely mauled an employee of Big Cats of Serenity Springs as he entered their cage. The employee was knocked down by one tiger and suffered a mangled leg and scalp injuries. As a result, the tigers were beaten with shovels and later killed.
March 23, 2009 Wylie, TX: Two tigers and one lion were saved from starvation by USDA and placed at another sanctuary that claims it is in serious financial trouble The tigers’ teeth had been ground down, and the end of the lion’s tail was raw from the cat’s worried chewing. The big cats were seized by the USDA from Marcus Cook – who has been under the federal government’s scope for years. One concern raised was that of a video that showed a tiger biting a trainer. Cook has leased his exotic cats to zoos and theme parks. At one point, he allowed the public to pet the animals as part of the exhibit. Now, he faces allegations of abusing several of his large cats. Rescuers said the large cats are recovering from one of the worst cases of abuse they have seen. In court documents, Cook has been accused of housing tigers and lions in dangerous and filthy cages. In one case, lions were reportedly forced to live in standing water for days. In another, documents said a tiger escaped and injured a worker. Federal agents have tried to revoke Cook’s business license, but Cook has appealed, which allows him to stay in business.
March 17, 2009 Lehigh Acres, FL: David Piper says he received a call from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Investigator Lar Gregory on March 11, asking him if he would rescue and rehabilitate two female mountain lions being kept as pets at a home in Lehigh Acres. Gregory said the home did not meet spacing requirements for keeping large cats. (FL cage size only reguires 10 x 20 feet) The owner of the cats, John Wein, says he’s always had a fascination with large cats. He bought the mountain lions from a supplier when they were still kittens. He had them spayed and declawed. When they were small, he kept them in his house. But as they got bigger, they had to be caged outside. David Piper says he found the cats in unfit condition. Cherokee had an injury to her palm that had become infected. The bite had come from one of Wein’s dogs. The other, Scout, was very thin and apparently malnourished.
March 16, 2009 Sydney, Austraiia: A 9 year old lioness named Jamelia was shot dead after escaping from her enclosure at the Mogo Zoo, forcing dozens of visitors to hide inside buildings. Jamelia was shot dead. ”It’s an absolute loss, the team are still quite upset,” he added. “She was a very important animal and loved by the entire team.”
March 8, 2009 Australia: A tiger tamer wannabee needed stitches to an arm gash after being scratched by a Sumatran tiger in a play session at Australia Zoo. Zoo director Wes Mannion said the tiger was a young male called Juma, which had been hand raised at the zoo since arriving as a cub. The tiger incident follows a January scare at the zoo when a reptile handler required treatment in Nambour General Hospital after being bitten by a brown snake while he was trying to feed it a mouse.
March 8, 2009 China: A Siberian tiger at a wildlife park near Beijing attacked and killed a man who climbed into its enclosure thinking he found a shortcut down from the Great Wall. The 20-year-old man, surnamed Guo, had been hiking with two other people when the group decided to jump down to save time on the descent — unknowingly landing themselves in Badaling Wildlife World’s tiger enclosure. The tiger pounced on Guo, knocking him down and clamping its jaws around his throat. Guo was killed instantly. The two men who escaped told police they had seen signs around the enclosure cautioning of predatory animals but did not believe the warnings because they could not see any.
February 26, 2009 Lakemoor, IL: The head of a white tiger was found off a busy highway near Lakemoor and is thought to have bounced out of the back of a truck. Police aren’t saying who owns the cat, if it lived as a pet in the area or if it was killed in a hunt. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said they knew who the owner was and that it was legal to return the head to the owner. Whether it was legal to have the cat in the first place is still unclear. Jeff Squibb, an Illinois Department of Agriculture spokesman, said a federal permit must be obtained for a private property owner to keep dangerous animals in the state. Under the federal government’s Captive Wildlife Safety Act, it’s illegal to import, export, buy, sell, transport, receive or acquire certain big cats across state lines or the U.S. border. There are exemptions for certain entities and individuals, such as zoos, circuses, wildlife sanctuaries meeting specific criteria and state-licensed veterinarians. Lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and cougars are covered by the federal act, as well as hybrids of the species. But the act doesn’t ban big feline ownership. Update: A man from Hebron in McHenry County called to claim the skin and head that he intended to have made into a rug. He received it from a veterinarian who put down a tiger owned by Hawthorn Corp., a facility near Richmond that raises white tigers and elephants for circuses.
February 21, 2009 Oakley, KS: For almost 20 years Jeffrey Harsh has owned the Prairie Cat Animal Refuge. It is next door to his Free Breakfast Hotel and a junk yard. When Harsh came over to feed the animals that night, he noticed the perimeter fence was open and he heard screaming. “It (the lion) had him (the victim) by the arm. I broke him lose from the animal by whacking her over the head (with a steel pipe.) There was a major tear in his arm,” Harsh said. Thomas County Sheriff Rod Taylor says long before this attack the county has tried to shut the refuge down. The lions have bitten two other people. Due to the attack, Harsh agreed to give up the cats to avoid exotic animal charges. He says it’s probably a good time to do it because it’s getting too expensive to feed them.
February 19, 2009 New Orleans, LA: Zoo veterinarians caught a 22-pound African Serval in Uptown New Orleans, not far from the home of Wayne del Corral who was taken to court last year for keeping a Serval at his home. Corral said the cat found this week isn’t his. He said Wednesday that his own serval escaped more than four months ago in Hammond. However, authorities say its age, sex, condition, temperament and the fact that all four feet were declawed, are “eerily similar” to the animal caught last year in the same area. Heidi Heyns, 48, who lives nearby, said she saw a woman carrying a bag of raw meat and looking under houses in the area several days ago. The woman said she was looking for a lost cat described as looking like a Cheetah. “She said not to approach it, that it might not be real friendly.”
February 18, 2009 New Zealand: A 260kg tiger named Abu, at the Zion Wildlife Gardens, latched its huge jaws into Demetri Price’s knee. Dalu Mncube, the zoo’s most experienced big-cat keeper, plunged his fingers into the gap between the tiger’s 75mm-long teeth, before using a fire extinguisher to force the animal to release the 30 yr old Price. The Australian said Abu got scared while he was being moved and bit him four times. “It happened in a flash” Abu is not one of the tigers that interact with the public because of his tendency to get frightened. The park is the subject of an ownership dispute between Lion Man Craig Busch and his mother, Patricia Busch. Mr Busch was also criticised last April for failing to notify the Labour Department when a white lion bit a guide.
February 12, 2009 Hamilton Co. TX: Sheriff Gregg Bewley said the 300 lb tiger, removed from a flimsy 15 x 24 ft cage at 2842 County Road 203, is underweight and has hookworms, but is doing alright. Sheriff’s deputies determined the tiger’s cage was not up to code. The cat’s owner had not registered with the sheriff’s office as required by state health and safety codes, he said. The owner is said to be out of the country. Four charges have been filed related to keeping the tiger and failing to report it. The county judge awarded the tiger to the Humane Society who is looking for a sanctuary that can take the cat.
February 11, 2009 Omaha, NE: Dr Doug Armstrong, a 25 year veteran vet at the Henry Doorly Zoo, was bitten by an unconscious, 20-month-old, 200-pound male Malaysian tiger during a routine medical examination. Armstrong, 57, was taken to Creighton Medical Center in serious condition. The zoo’s director, Dr. Lee Simmons, said Armstrong was bitten on the right forearm — apparently as a reflex. After the tiger was weighed, workers were moving him to a sleeping cage when he turned his head, grabbed Armstrong’s arm and chomped. “The tiger bit Armstrong three times, and it was pretty severe,” Simmons said.
February 6, 2009 Staten Island, NY: A 30-pound bobcat that had been running free for weeks in Grasmere is now at a Long Island wildlife refuge. The yearling, female bobcat, which was declawed, was a pet before she was released to fend for herself. The cat is underweight and had been prowling around Brady’s Pond behind Fingerboard Road since last Thanksgiving. She was trapped by a homeowner and turned over to Animal Care and Control. Several neighborhood residents said the cat was once the pet of a couple that split up. Left with an owner that didn’t want her, the bobcat was turned loose.
January 29, 2009 CO: Sandra Lee Jacobson, 40, is suspected in a hit and run Wednesday that killed two Connecticut librarians Kathy Krasniewicz, 54, and Kate McClelland, 71 and she is facing a jury trial in March on a charge of illegal possession of a tiger cub. Authorities found a 4-month-old male tiger in a south Centennial home. Police began investigating the home after someone gave the Colorado Department of Wildlife photos taken with a cellphone showing the tiger being driven around Centennial in an SUV. Jacobson, who faces charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence, remains in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
January 25, 2009 Thailand: Ruth Corlett, 45, was at one of those pay to play schemes called Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre (like the Tiger Temple) with her family when the one year old female tiger named Pancake mauled her leg. Daniel Charman was horrified when the tiger attacked his friend and credits his large size, and leaping onto the tiger, with keeping the tiger from successfully dragging Corlett away. He hoisted Corlett onto his shoulders and out of the cage. Mrs Corlett was rushed to hospital, where she received 54 stitches on the wound. ”Pancake has never bitten anyone before, despite being played with by tourists very often,” the staff member said. Local Thai media reported that Mr Corlett is looking to sue the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre.
January 18, 2009 Ingram, TX: Kimra a 300 lb pet tiger escaped from Anke Leitner and was captured in the yard of 79 year old Mildred Crenshaw on Beaver St. The cage fell apart and the tiger hopped out at feeding time. “That’s a terrible feeling to wake up with police surrounding your house, and to look out your window and see a tiger standing there. Nobody came to my door. Nobody called,” said Crenshaw, who went on to say that Leitner’s tiger has been a cause of concern for years to nearby residents, some of whom appealed to county and state leaders to no avail. “Regardless of if she has the right permits and everything else, I don’t think anybody should have one, period,” Crenshaw said. “They’re not pets.”
January 18, 2009 Thurmont near Frederick, MD: 32-year-old Deborah Gregory of Severn was in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma unit after she was attacked by a jaguar at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, a private zoo owned by the Richard Hahn family since 1965 in Maryland that encourages up-close encounters with its animals. ”She was inside the jaguar enclosure and hadn’t secured the area where she was working,” said Harold Domer, executive director of Frederick County Animal Control. The woman suffered several bite wounds, he said, and her condition was critical Sunday evening. Two jaguars (Diego 10 and Evita 12) were in the enclosure at the time. Marc Bekoff, a retired University of Colorado professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and the author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals,” said “She’s lucky she’s alive. You’re keeping these wide-ranging carnivores in prisons. You never know what’s going on in the heads of these animals.”
January 7, 2009 Mexico City, Mexico: A tiger bit a young man who climbed over a fence and entered its enclosure at Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo. Zookeepers tranquilized the big cat, pulled the man out of the enclosure and had him taken to a hospital for treatment of his wounds. The Chapultepec Zoo is the largest zoo in Latin America. It opened in 1923, has more than 2,000 animals from over 200 species on display and is free for residents, with an estimated 5.5 million to 8 million people visiting each year.
December 26, 2008 Mexico City, Mexico: Lions and tigers were confiscated during drug raid. A gardener detained along with more than a dozen members of an alleged drug trafficking ring testified that police threatened him to feed him to lions and tigers during a raid at a Mexico City mansion. The gardener, Fernando Maya, testified that police dragged him to cages with lions and tigers and threatened to throw him inside. “They kept saying, where is he? And that they were going to throw me to the lions, they were going to throw me to the tigers, which had not eaten.” Eleven Colombians, a U.S. citizen, two Mexicans an Uruguayan were detained in the raid. Prosecutors said the gang allegedly arranged for cocaine shipments from Colombia to Mexico’s Beltran Levya cartel.
December 9, 2008 Albion, IN: Noble County 911 Director Mitch Fiandt said an18-year-old female tiger escaped from the Black Pine Animal Park. Park officials say the tiger returned to the property 8 hours later and was back in its enclosure about an hour after that. An Albion firefighter alerted authorities after spotting the tiger on his property. Authorities shot the tiger with a tranquilizer, but were not immediately able to capture it.
December 8, 2008 Hamilton TWP, NJ: Santa Claus bit by pet bobcat in Petsmart. Scratches and bites cover the hand and arm of Jonathan Bebbington, after being mauled by a pet bobcat who was brought to Petsmart for a photo session. Bebbington says, “It hurt, it had a lot of power in its jaws.” He struggled to control the cat for nearly 5 minutes while it bit him repeatedly. ”He locked on here, grabbed the skin,” he says as he points to his left hand. The cat’s owner left after the incident without providing her name, though she did tell volunteers with Penny Angel’s Beagle Rescue, which ran the event, that she had it shipped from Wyoming for $1,500. It is illegal to own a bobcat in New Jersey and allegedly this owner was keeping hers tethered in yard. There have been other cases of bobcats in South Jersey, including Mr. Peepers at the Cape May County Park Zoo, which was rescued from Bridgeton. Anyone with information about the bobcat or its owner should call the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at (609) 645 5931.
December 6, 2008 Wisconsin Dells, WI: Alan Borud was greeted by a 50 lb Siberian Lynx in his yard. Borud watched as the cat came up on the porch, stood on its hind legs, at which point it was about chest high to Borud, and looked in the window. He called DNR who took the cat to a local humane society. Big Cat Rescue called the authorities and offered a home to the cat, but Derick Duane of the McKenzie Wildlife Center said the owner, Mark Schoebel, of Timbavati Wildlife Park in Lake Delton, was coming to retrieve her. They have had issues with Mark Schoebel, and have taken our name as a placement option if the owner cannot keep the Siberian Lynx contained. The Siberian Lynx escaped while Mark Schoebel was transporting the cat to the Wisconsin Dells resort where he sets up regularly with his pay to pet and play booth. He typically uses lions and tigers for this activity as they are bigger money makers. Mark Schoebel is under investigation for illegal movement of exotic animals and plead guilty to providing bears for slaughter in the 1990s.
December 1, 2008 Cass, WV: Davide Cassell killed his pet tiger today said Hoy Murphy, spokesman for the state Division of Natural Resources. Murphy said the snowmaking crew at Snowshoe Mountain Resort saw the big cat on Monday morning. Cassell, who works at Mountain Lodge on Snowshoe Mountain, was trying to find the animal and tranquilize it, but ended up killing the cat instead. Cassell had a permit for the animal. In May 2006, an Asian brown bear owned by Cassell escaped and the 400-pound bear was not seen again.
November 27, 2008 Kansas City, KS: An exotic African cat (a Serval) roaming a Kansas City neighborhood has been shot and killed by police. Residents worried the cat was dangerous to children. But efforts to trap it over several weeks were unsuccessful, and an officer shot it Thursday with a patrol rifle. Police think the cat was dumped or had escaped from people who were keeping it as a pet. The identity of the owners is not known.
November 26, 2008 Harrisburg, PA: A Chester County farm caretaker says he thought he was shooting a bobcat in the chicken coop — then his heart sank when he saw it had a collar. The animal he killed was a Serval cat that someone was keeping as a pet. Heim says once he realized he’d shot a pet, he was sad for the animal — and angry at its owner for allowing it to be out.
November 19, 2008 Columbus, GA: Wildlife officials say a cougar killed at West Point Lake was an illegal pet. The 140-pound, 88-inch cat was shot by deer hunter David Adams of Newnan on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near the Georgia-Alabama border. Officials said the cat had not been living on wild game and had callouses indicative of living on concrete her whole life.
November 17, 2008 Miami, FL: A 16-year-old girl mauled by a 150-pound cougar required more than two hours of surgery to repair a large gash in the back of her neck suffered when the animal clenched its powerful jaws around her head. “It’s really a miracle that she’s alive,” said a family spokesman. Because the male cougar, named Chaos, was declawed, the girl did not suffer scratches to her face or body. Saturday’s attack was witnessed by the girl’s mother, who had brought her daughter to work cleaning out cages at a private wild animal sanctuary in a North Miami-Dade home to earn community service hours required to graduate from high school. The cougar lunged at the teen in the yard of the home of Alan Rigerman who keeps the animals at his home in the 17900 block of Northwest 84th Avenue. Rigerman owns a second cougar, snakes, tortoises and alligators. The girl and her mother had been brought to the home by Anthony Zitnick, 21, who after the attack was arrested on a charge of burglary of an occupied dwelling. Rigerman told The Miami Herald that Zitnick entered the property with a key he had given him after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, but that Zitnick only helped with the animals while under Rigerman’s “supervision.” Zitnick casually knew the girl’s mother and had asked her if any of her children would be interested in the nonpaying job. The girl and her mother had no idea Mr. Zitnick did not belong on the premises, which they entered with a key.
Chaos got agitated, suddenly lurched and pinned the girl, and put his mouth around her head. A neighbor who heard the girl’s screams jumped over the fence and helped free her from Chaos’ jaws by punching the animal in the face. At the time of Saturday’s attack, Rigerman was out of town at a reptile show in Tampa. Rigerman often attends public meetings of Florida’s Wildlife Conservation Commission praising them for their lax regulations and enforcement and opposing new rules that would curb his behavior. He has publicly threatened other attendees who favor tougher regulations.
November 16, 2008 Luray, VA: A 15 year old keeper lost her finger to a 5 year old tiger named Star at the Luray Zoo located at 1087 US Hwy 211 West, in Luray, Virginia 22835 owned by Mark Kilby and Jennifer Westhoff. She was showing off and petting the cat in front of visitors at the time. The Page County Sheriff’s Office says the girl’s finger was amputated as result of a tiger bite. The private zoo’s web page is covered in pictures of people petting exotic cats and behaving recklessly. The Luray Zoo has frequently employed people as young as 14, said Kilby. It is a violation of VA’s Dept. of Labor laws that teens under 18 work in any “occupation that exposes them to a recognized hazard capable of causing serious physical injury or death.” Kilby declined to discuss whether the zoo carries insurance for such attacks. Besides the tiger, the zoo’s 37 mammals include five other breeds of what Kilby terms “big cats” – two lynxes, one serval and one bobcat.
November 14, 2008 Camperdown, So. Africa: 12 lions escaped the Lion Park after a storm downed the fences. Ten lions have been recaptured and are being kept in cages, while two others are still roving about the reserve. “Two lions were found at the front gate [of the park] and this was when we first became aware that the others might have escaped,” Boswell said. A search party of about 20 Lion Park staff members, a helicopter pilot and a district official from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) conservation authority searched for the remaining 10 lions throughout the morning. The police and the EKZNW officials were notified, but were asked NOT to alert the public of the potential danger lurking in the tall grass. Boswell said that the park did not want to involve the public because they did not wish to cause public panic.
November 13, 2008 Singapore: Three white tigers mauled Nordin Bin Montong, 32, a Malaysian working as a cleaner at the zoo, to death after the man jumped into their enclosure. ”Keepers managed to separate the worker from the tiger. While waiting for the ambulance, our vets attended to him,” said Guha. “The worker tragically succumbed to his wound.” Nordin was seen behaving in an agitated manner before he fell into the moat. Terrified visitors near the section watched the vicious attack in horror and screamed, the paper said. Aziz Ansari, 16, a student, filmed the initial part of the horrific attack with his handphone. The video clip showed Mr Nordin’s desperate fight to save himself, first by trying to get up and back into the moat, then by kicking one of the two tigers.
November 11, 2008 Mexico City, Mexico: A tiger escaped from an unlocked cage at a commercial zoo and fatally mauled its caretaker before it was captured and killed. State officials said that Bioparque Estrella had closed Monday when the tiger escaped his unlocked cage and fatally attacked 26-year-old Herminio Rodriguez Palma. Some 150 police officers and zoo veterinarians began an intense search for the tiger at the 740-acre wild animal park in the countryside northwest of Mexico City. Mexico has had problems with dangerous animals escaping from their caretakers recently. In September, a five-ton elephant got away from his trainer at a circus, wandered onto a highway outside Mexico City and was fatally hit by a bus. The bus driver also was killed. Three tigers escaped from a circus truck and took shelter in a house in western Mexico last week and in August, a 500-pound lion escaped from a local lawmaker’s private zoo in southern Mexico, killing two dogs and a pig and attacking a woman and child on a donkey before it was sedated and captured.
November 11, 2008 Maddaloni, Italy: A 700lb Siberian tiger which can grow to 12 feet long prowled the streets of Maddaloni, southern Italy, for more than five hours after escaping the circus.
November 9, 2008 Junsele, Sweden: A keeper was mauled by a white tiger at the zoo. The keeper, who has worked with the zoo’s tigers for 16 years, was trapped in a cage with the big cat unti the zoo’s owner, Ulf Henriksson lured the tiger away with a piece of meat so rescue workers could get the man out of the cage and into an ambulance. The keeper was bitten in the foot and the shoulder and would be hospitalized for a couple of days to ensure against infection from the wounds, Henriksson said, noting the tiger saw the keeper more as a playmate than a threat.
November 8, 2008 Anchorage, AK: In the past week, three reports of the cat wandering near Fort Richardson and Point Woronzof, some 10 miles apart, have reached Rick Sinnott, Anchorage-area wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The cat’s reported spots and size appear to describe the serval, an African wildcat sometimes kept as a “designer” pet, he said. Possessing such an animal is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine, he said.
November 5, 2008 Mexico City, Mexico: A family in Mexico was in shock after finding a tiger, which had escaped from a circus, lying on their patio, police said. The tiger terrified the town of Zitacuaro, in western Michoacan state, as it wandered the streets for an hour and a half before entering a house. The tiger “went through the house and lay down on the patio,” the officer said. “The family was terrified and they hid.” A total of three tigers escaped from their circus cages when the doors were left open the day before.
November 3, 2008 Ratchaburi: A male Bengal tiger has been on the loose in Ratchaburi since Thursday, when it escaped from its cage at a wildlife research station after attacking a keeper. The tiger, named Silathong, attacked Bunma Thongkerd, at the Khaoson wildlife research centre as he opened the cage for cleaning. Mr Bunma was mauled but survived. The tiger slipped out of the cage and ran off.
October 29, 2008 Broken Arrow, OK: Safari’s Interactive Animal Sanctuary is home to 27 big cats. Former keepers have warned for years that the practices there of allowing contact with adult tigers would lead to injuries, escapes and death. SIAS’ website is covered in the typically ignorant photos of the President, Lori Ensign Scroggins (ex-wife of Joe Estes who runs Safari Joe’s) bottle feeding tigers and walking them on leashes. That kind of irresponsible behavior can only lead to tragedy for humans as well as the animals when they pay the ultimate price. Now the liger named Rocky may be killed for mauling to death a volunteer named Peter Getz who walked in the cage while feeding the cat a deer carcass. The mauling happened in the presence of more than 40 pre schoolers who were ushered away from the scene.
October 29, 2008 Winston, OR: Two cheetahs headed for the Memphis Zoo aboard a Delta flight made a stop at the Atlanta airport where it was discovered one of them had gotten free in the plane. The cheetahs are one-year-old sisters from Wildlife Safari Park in Winston, Oregon.
October 29, 2008Cambridgeshire U.K.:Hamerton Zoo offers ‘Face to Face with a Cheetah’ sessions but today the face to face happened with a little boy after the Cheetah escaped the zoo. The 6ft long animal was just 15 feet from 9 year oldToby when he spotted it. Toby dropped the bicycle he had been playing with and fled. As he reached the house the three-year-old, 66lb cheetah named Akea bit chunks out of the saddle and ripped the tires with his claws. Toby has since had nightmares over the incident. He said: “I panicked. It looked massive and really scary. I thought it would attack me. I ran as fast as I could.”
October 28, 2008 Latham, NY: Many attacks and escapes go unreported as those who deal in exotics do not want the bad press, but they can’t help but brag about it on what they think are private chat groups. This was posted on Phoenix Exotics by a breeder of Savannah cats: “Hell I got seriously bitten by a serval and I went to the ER and said I fell out of a tree and landed on barbed wire…” signed Deborah-Ann Milette, The home of the best known Savannah”MOTZIE” In 2005 USDA fined her and revoked her license 21-C-0218 for because she allegedly drugged and killed a tiger cub among other things. See 911AnimalAbuse.com for more.
October 28, 2008 Berlin, Germany: Rescue workers saved six tigers from a blazing 43-foot wagon by turning them loose on the highway. One tiger appeared to have suffered some smoke inhalation, but the other five were in good condition, owner Daniel Renz said. Renz said his show would go on, as planned on October 30, but the six tigers involved in Monday’s blaze — Queeni, Aschima, Lena, Sonja, Sibi and Goldi — will be given a break and some of the circus’ seven other tigers will perform in their place. The suspected cause was an overheated suspension system on the truck, said Renz.
October 14, 2008 Johannesbrg, So. Africa: Nelson Silaigwana of Three Streams Farm in Mangwe was found mauled to death by escaped lions. Two weeks ago, the eight-year-old daughter of a farmer was mauled by a lion and a lioness her father kept caged. Courtney Sparrow, who suffered a hole in her throat and serious injuries to her arms, face and head, underwent ten hours of surgery in Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg. Her father, Ron Sparrow, said he used the lions to deter attackers, but two lions broke through a weak window and the lioness attacked Courtney. A domestic worker was injured when she tried to rip Courtney from the lioness’s grip.
October 13, 2008 Fallon, NV: A volunteer named Emmie was invited to pet the big cats at Tiger Touch owned by John and Barbara Williamson. She was petting a cougar named Kicky when the cat latched onto her palm and tried to drag her into the cage. See photos of the injury and read more about the mauling HERE.
October 4, 2008 Palm City, FL: A 50 lb, declawed Siberian Lynx disappeared from 3560 SW Wood Creek Trail at about 4:30 a.m., shortly after owner Tina Love fed her on the screened patio. “She’s not the type to walk around,” Love said. “But I thought she might have just wandered off.” The property was unfenced. Love bought Simba from a breeder in Wisconsin for $2,500 after she gave away her bobcat because it was too wild. The Siberian Lynx was found again a couple weeks later, a mile and a half away, hanging out in a children’s playground. She was confiscated by authorities as the owner did not have current permits and lacked appropriate caging. Often Big Cat Rescue has to turn away cats, from irresponsible owners who are trying to dump them, because the owners refuse to sign a contract stating that they will never again fuel the exotic pet trade.
September 16, 2008 Gaveston, TX: Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough said Tuesday that a tiger is out of its enclosure from an exotic pets center. The news follows reports of a lion holed up in a Baptist church with its owner on Bolivar Peninsula. Yarbrough said, “I understand he’s hungry … so we’re staying away from him.” Hurricane Ike made landfall Sept. 13 but a week later, the tiger still had not been found. The lioness and her owner were waist deep in water in the church along with several people who had fled there for shelter. “They worked pretty well together, actually,” said the lion’s owner, Michael Ray Kujawa. “When you have to swim, the lion doesn’t care about eating nobody.”
August 20 2008 Reno, NV: Washoe County Regional Animal Services originally responded to a call about a large black dog on the roof of a home in the valley east of Washoe Lake. When they got there, they found not a dog, but two black leopards on the roof. State Wildlife Department spokesman Edwin Lyngar says the cats are exotic pets that escaped from the home of their owner Andy Kay who could not be reached for comment at telephone numbers associated with the West Coyote Drive address or the Ann Road address. Washoe County Assessor’s Office records indicate the Washoe Valley property is owned by Coyote Irrevocable Trust and that Kay is a trustee. In March two black leopards were fired on by the police after allegedly mauling a puppy 200 yards from their home. Those cats were never found and are suspected to be the same as these found on a rooftop. Regional Animal Services Center Director Cindy Sabatoni said two Siberian tigers were found in Washoe County two years ago and a bobcat was found last year in Stead. The problem in NV is so prevalent that the tigers never even made the news. The county has put forth a list of requirements that he is expected to meet by June 17th, 2009. One of the orders, is that Kay builds a 8-foot block wall around the cats’ chain-link fence enclsoure. Kay is also expected to notify animal control within 24 hours of the cats returning to his Las Vegas property. That applies in the event that he takes the black leopards out of jurisdiction. Animal control has pushed to revoke Kay’s permit, following the accusations that his cat escaped and put a neighbor’s pet in danger. “What do you do with the cat that doesn’t make it into a show? They end up somehwere. Sometimes it’s in a bad situation. You never hear about it working out great for the cat for the rest of its life,” said Andy Kay. (Why is he showing cats when he knows that showing cats is the reason so many end up unwanted?)
August 19, 2008 West Palm Beach, FL: Authorities found and sedated a missing tiger from McCarthy’s Wildlife Center. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the adult lion and tiger escaped and were loose overnight at McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary (a breeding compound and not a true sanctuary) about 20 miles northwest of West Palm Beach. Three schools, Golden Grove Elementary, Acreage Pines Elementary and Western Pines Middle, were on lock-down until the tiger was found and sedated at 11:00 am the next day. Authorities say they don’t know how the big cats escaped. A person who answered the telephone at the sanctuary on Wednesday said they couldn’t comment and abruptly hung up. Marc McCarthy houses 22 big cats on what appears in aerial maps to be about 8 lots in a subdivision. In May, McCarthy was rushed to the hospital after being bitten on the leg by one of his tigers, Sabi, on the set of a rap video being filmed in Miami.
August 5, 2008 Richmond Township, IL: Larry Dean said he was practicing a circus act at the Hawthorn Corporation farm near Richmond when the tiger suddenly became aggressive and grabbed him with its mouth. “He had numerous scratch marks and bite marks,” said Richmond Township Fire Chief Rick Gallas. “I would say that was a mauling… he was pretty bloody.” Gallas said workers told paramedics they had to beat the tiger with baseball bats to get it to release Dean. Gallas said Dean told paramedics it was the second time a tiger had attacked him at the farm, but Dean declined to comment when asked about that on Thursday and Hawthorn’s owner, John Cuneo says Dean should not have been near the tigers. Hawthorn owns about 50 tigers but only about 30 of the animals are at the farm, Cuneo said. Others are performing at circuses around the world, Cuneo said. In 2003 the U.S. Department of Agriculture accused Hawthorn of failing to care for its elephants properly. But in 2004 he agreed to give away his elephants in exchange for keeping his circus tigers. Cuneo has tried to get rid of his tigers when they won’t perform by asking Big Cat Rescue to take them, but Big Cat Rescue does not enable bad behaviour. Cuneo’s Sarasota neighbors are concerned that he plans to move his tigers to their neighborhood as he has purchased 5 acres of beach front there and asked for permits to install n 8 foot high wall. FL law requires 5 ac and an 8′ fence for people to keep tigers in their back yard.
August 4, 2008 Branson, MO: A 16-year-old boy named Dakoda Ramel is in the hospital after an attack at the Interactive Zoo and Aquarium( fka Predator World) in Branson West owned by Breck Wakefield. Rescue crews say a 16-year-old employee entered the tiger exhibit to take some photos for guests. Witnesses tell rescuers the teen was knocked to the ground. That’s when they say two other tigers joined in, dragging the teen to the water trough. “We have two puncture wounds on the neck, one big one on the leg, a big gash on the leg. His neck is bleeding,” a caller says on the 911 tape. That’s the condition in which he was airlifted to Springfield, where he remains four days later in critical condition. The father of the boy, Jim Barr said, “It was holding him down by his leg and tearing his calf off, eating it right in front of him.” A lot of people remember Predator World from last year, when some wolves, a fox and a bear escaped. The bear killed an adult tiger at the park. What this park is known for is its interactions with animals like sharks, tigers and alligators.
The family of sixteen-year-old Dakoda Wood is taking Predator World to court claiming the tiger bit Wood on the neck, damaging his spinal cord. Wood’s attorneys say the attack caused paralysis and injury to his whole body. Now Wood’s attorneys want to hold the tiger’s owners responsible for injuries the lawsuit claims will cause Wood to suffer a diminished capacity for work, labor and pleasure for the rest of his life. Wood’s attorneys say the business is responsible because the business failed to train and supervise the 16-year-old. They claim the business also failed to restrain the tiger. The lawsuit states Wood has and will pay numerous medical bills because of the attack. Attorneys claim he has also suffered anxiety of the body and mind.
August 3, 2008 Warren County, MO: A 26 year old volunteer named Jacob Barr was mauled by a tiger at the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya Animal Facility and lost his leg below the knee. The Warren County Sheriff’s Department responded, to a report of a dog attack. Staff at the compound described not a tiger, but rather a pitbull attack. ”This was not a dog attack, it was indeed a cat (800 lb tiger) attack on the person,” Sheriff Kevin Harrison said. “And that they had tried to mislead my investigators and cover it up.” The victim lost his leg below the knee and was airlifted to Barnes Hospital by Arch Air Medical. The tiger named Hercules who was said to have hopped the fence was shot to death by the owners, Ken and Sandra Smith. They then hid the body at a family member’s house. The farm is home to 50 exotic animals and has been criticized by animal protection groups and USDA. About four years ago, the USDA filed allegations against the Smiths that included not providing proper veterinary treatment and lacking adequately trained employees. The Smiths gave up their exhibitor license and later had it revoked for operating without a license. They are no longer inspected by USDA and the Sheriff’s office has no resources to devote to managing these kinds of operations. More HERE.
July 17, 2008 New Zealand Safari Park: Lisa Baxter, a 19 year old tour guide knew that if she screamed it would wake the rest of the pack and she would be killed, so she quietly worked to free her hands from the piercing bite of 18 month old Timba, the lion. Lisa, of Gullane, East Lothian, said: “I was stroking Timba’s nose when he just grabbed my hand. His teeth were razorsharp and went straight through my skin.” Later she added, “My hands were so swollen, I thought they were going to explode.”
July 10, 2008 Atlanta, GA: A serval was found wandering near 14th Street and Georgia Tech in mid-town Atlanta and picked up by Animal Services who said the problem is more prevalent than most people think. Owning an exotic cat as a pet is illegal in GA unless it is being used for “education” so when exotic cats escape their owners rarely come forward. Big Cat Rescue received a report from a neighbor saying that the owner had become fearful of the cat as he matured and turned him loose on purpose. The cat, dubbed Ozzie, has been placed in a licensed facility. GA has no accredited sanctuaries, so that probably wasn’t a happy ending for the cat.
June 20, 2008 Thailand’s Tiger Temple: In a report on the Tiger Temple released today is documented and account of a Thai woman who came with her partner to help raise funds for the Temple, put her hand into the tiger, Dao Ruang’s, cage to pet her. Dao took hold of the woman’s hand with her mouth. When the frightened woman tried to pull her hand away, Dao Ruang bit through it and held on. The woman’s partner came over and hit Dao Ruang over the head. The woman’s hand was badly torn between her 3rd and 4th fingers and required numerous stitches to close the wound. On other occasions, investigators observed tigers attacking staff and volunteers. One resulted in an injured finger, which needing suturing, another a French volunteer whose shirt was ripped, narrowly missing her neck and another a Danish volunteer who was tackled to the ground by and bitten on the leg. The resulting injury got infected and the volunteer need medical treatment at a hospital. During an interview with a journalist in January 2008, the Abbot was asked why the tigers do not bite. The Abbot said, “They want to bite and one day they will bite.” Meanwhile the Monks spray tiger urine in the cats’ faces to subdue them. Animal Planet has removed all references to the show. Read the entire report HERE.
June 19, 2008 Newton County, MO: A deputy shot and killed a 6 month old, declawed, black jaguar after being called to the home of a woman who thought she had seen a cougar. The jaguar had body fat, but no food in its stomach, and his paw pads indicated having been kept on concrete, which means he had escaped from captivity. Missouri does not regulate non-native wildlife, so the agency has no records that might have revealed where the jaguar was being kept. Last month, a declawed black leopard was shot to death in Neosho, MO.
June 17, 2008 McAllen, TX: Police said Michelle Ashton, 49, who was arrested while exchanging carriers filled with six tiger cubs in a parking lot, could be linked to a suspected tiger-smuggling ring. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Alejandro Rodriguez says it appears the cubs were bound for Mexico when they were seized. According to the feds, smuggling wildlife is a lucrative business that ranks second only to drug smuggling. “It’s a very huge problem,” Fish & Wildlife Service Agent Nicholas Chavez said. “It’s been prevalent for years. It’s something that we see definitely every week.” “You could get anywhere from probably $3000 to $25000 a piece for them depending on what color they are, what they look like,” he said. Ashton allegedly told police that she was a representative of Spring Hill Wildlife Ranch outside of Calvert in Robertson County. If convicted Ashton could face a $250,000 dollar fine and up to five years in prison for violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Wildlife trafficking earns billions of dollars annually. Smuggling wildlife products feeds into multipurpose criminal distribution networks that generate what Younger called “peripheral crime.” This includes corruption of officials, falsification of documents, intimidation and murder. “Once we start to dig into these things we find that not only are they smuggling wildlife, for example, but they’ll be smuggling
narcotics, or diamonds or gold bullion,” he said.
June 12, 2008 Shifang, China: Following an earthquake on May 12 and mudslides that caused 400 people to flee on foot, a circus turned loose many of their animals and left 3 lions and 2 tigers behind in cages. On June 3 soldiers shot one 2 year old tiger to death in his cage. One white lion had starved to death already. When Chen Qinghua, head of Wanguan Group, was informed that a tiger and 2 lions were still alive, he organized a rescue party who transported the big cats by helicopter to the Bifengxia Zoo. They had gone without food or water for 25 days.
June 7, 2008 Tokyo, Japan: Zookeeper, Atsushi Ito, was mauled to death by an 11 year old, 330 lb. male tiger while cleaning the animal’s cage at the Kyoto City Zoo in western Japan. Police suspected Ito had failed to lock a door that connected two cages.
June 6, 2008 Winnepeg, Canada: Kelly John Clarke, 38, sometimes called the Tiger Man of St. Clements has been charged with two counts of first degree murder in connection with the brutal killings of Joel Labossiere, 34, and his pregnant wife Magdalena, 33, who were found shot to death inside their St. Vital house on April 20. Clarke first made headlines in 1997 when his Midwest Exotics – a business that bought and sold exotic animals to pet stores, zoos and universities – brought to his St. Clements home Sheena, a Siberian tiger. When his trailer burned to the ground 1998, surrounding residents pressured council to bring forward a restricted exotic animal bylaw. Most of the animals were confiscated, but in August 1999, Winnipeg police seized the 250-kilogram Sheena after the tiger was spotted in a cage in the back of a van in River Heights. In December 2001 Clarke was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and a 10-year weapons prohibition for 14 armed robberies. He went on the spree to fund a $1,000-a-day crack cocaine habit. In August 2007, Clarke was arrested in Selkirk and charged with intimidation after allegedly disrupting a Winnipeg trial and following a Crown attorney while she drove home from work. These are the kind of people who have big cats as pets.
May 27 So. Africa: A man in his forties was attacked and killed by six lions on a lion farm in Setlagole, near Mafikeng, North West police said. Superintendent Koos Degenaar said the man went into the lion’s cage to give the animals water. He was then attacked by six lions. All that was left of the man were fingers and intestines. This is the sixth such incident to be reported in the province in two years. Other incidents include a 13 year old boy who was killed by lions at Tosca, two people who were killed on two different farms at Zeerust, anther fatal lion attack at a farm near Swartruggens and a fifth occurred near Potchefstroom.
May 26, 2008 South Bend, IN: A Potawatomi Zoo worker was attacked by a leopard as she cleaned the cat’s holding area, leaving her with head wounds. Zoo visitors watched Saturday as veteran zoo keeper Jeri Ellis was wheeled away on a stretcher, her head wrapped in bandages and towels spotted in blood.
May 24, 2008 Detroit Zoo, MI: Royal Oak – An animal handler at the Detroit Zoo has received stitches after being scratched and bitten by a lioness named Katie. The Detroit Free Press reports the attack happened shortly after Saturday’s 5 p.m. public closing time. Zoo spokeswoman Patricia Mills Janeway says Brett Kipley, who in his 20s, received stitches at a hospital. The newspaper says Kipley used pepper spray to fend off the animal during the attack.
May 21, 2008 Neosho, MO: A 61 year old woman was chased into her house by a black leopard. An officer on the scene said he shot the cat with a shot gun two or three times as it approched him and then fired several rounds from a .45 caliber Glock into the cat’s chest before stopping him. The cat was pawing at the door to get into the house when the police arrived. The leopard was a declawed pet that had escaped or had been dumped.
May 14, 2008 Russia: A drunken Russian zookeeper, who was mauled by a lion after climbing into its pen May 1 at a zoo in the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, died in hospital Tuesday, investigators said. The man, who had been suspended from work for being drunk, entered the animal’s enclosure while the lion slept and was attacked by the big cat as he tried to tap it on the nose.
May 11, 2008 Toledo, OH: The Toledo Zoo said that a zookeeper suffered three lacerations to the chest while caring for the tigers. The tiger’s paw made it through a double mesh barrier at an odd angle, enabling the tiger to come into contact with the keeper.
May 10, 2008 Carrollton, IL: Authorities have seized an African Serval named Max from Tammy Ruehl who was keeping it as a pet without a permit. Ruehl says she received a $75 fine. Carrollton Police Chief Mike Kiger says the state had the right to confiscate the animal.
May 9, 2008 Loxahatchee, FL: According to PR-inside.com and Palm Beach Post: “Mark McCarthy who took his tiger onto the set of rapper Rick Ross’ new video, was savagely attacked by the white tiger. The big cat, which featured in the background of one of Ross’ scenes with Nellie was being used as a prop to look like the rapper’s pet. The tiger turned on the unnamed trainer when he tried to coax the fierce creature out of its cage during filming. Reportedly agitated from being in chains all day, the tiger bit the trainer’s leg as he tried to remove it from its cage.
The tiger’s keeper suffered severe bite wounds to his right leg and was rushed to hospital after the attack. Now laid up, McCarthy had to cancel some of his other gigs. ”Won’t be the first time I’ve been bit, won’t be the last. I’ve been bit by everything from venomous snakes to tigers and leopards and monkeys and who knows what else,” said the 52-year-old owner of McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary. He said the $5,000 bonus he got for the video will barely make up for the shows he missed. ”
May 9, 2008 Muskegon, MI: Both a serval and a bear are believed to have escaped April 28 or 29. Numerous residents in Fruitport Township reported seeing the bear early this week before it was recovered. The serval, a declawed cat with no way to protect himself or hunt, is still missing. He escaped through a window in the room where he was kept. DNR spokeswoman Mary Dettloff said the agency probably will seek a misdemeanor charge against the owners for failure to report the missing bear, as required by the SPCA’s permit.
May 1, 2008 Quebec: The 70-kilogram king of the jungle, who goes by the name of Boomer, has been on the lam since he escaped last night from a house where he was kept as a man’s personal pet. The lion, which is about four feet high, was last spotted beside Highway 105, near Maniwaki, about an hour north of Ottawa.
April 18, 2008 Los Angeles, CA: Five Circus Vazquez tigers have been evicted by Los Angeles animal welfare officials because the big-cats earlier attacked and killed another tiger in their small cage. Department general manager Ed Boks says the tigers killed one of their own in Huntington Park on March 31 and the U.S. Department ofAgriculture cited Circus Vazquez for having too many tigers in close proximity to each other. Los Angeles officials went to the San Fernando Valley where the circus was performing across from the Panorama City Mall and the tigers were close together in the same cage. Boks says it was believed to be a public danger.
April 18, 2008 San Francisco, CA: Nicki Phung, 31 and Steven Tieu, 38, admitted in federal court to trying to illegally import a real, stuffed tiger into the United States. The two were caught in December when a U.S. Customs official at San Francisco International Airport inspected a box labeled “toy tiger” mailed from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and bound for the couple’s home in Hercules, CA.
March 29, 2008 Wellington, FL: Judy Berens, owner of Panther Ridge Sanctuary, was showing off her two male cheetahs, Matt and Charlie, that she says she paid $40,000.00 for in Africa, when they knocked her down and punctured her arms and back more than 40 times before volunteers were able to rescue her. Berens says she has to pay another $10,000. to the Cheetah Conservation Botswana and Cheetah Outreach as part of her deal with the US Fish & Wildlife Service who are not supposed to allow the import of endangered species unless doing so somehow enhances their species chances at survival. Many of these Cheetah conservation centers are merely breeding facilities that supply cats to zoos and private collectors. (The cats are not set free.) Berens has more than twenty exotic cats in her 5 acre back yard and said, she fashioned herself after Katharine Hepburn’s leopard-owning character in Bringing up Baby. “I figured if she can have a leopard, why can’t I..?.” Judy Berens’ comment is exactly why displaying big cats as tractable is harmful to people and the cats. If show biz had not portrayed Hepburn as a master of the leopard, Berens might not have shelled out 7500.00 for her Jaguars nor the 50,000 for her pet Cheetahs. As long as people, like Berens continue to exhibit exotic cats as if they were tame, others will say, “…why can’t I?”
March 28, 2008 Davenport, FL: Darryl Atkinson of Horseshoe Creek says the animals have to go now that he won’t be able to exhibit them for money. He has more than 30 big cats in cages that have been cited more than 40 times for being too small and too flimsy. When Big Cat Rescue called to see if they could help they were told that Atkinson was going to work with Bhagavan Antle (T.I.G.E.R.S. in SC and FL) and that his cats were going with him. There isn’t much the state or federal government can do to stop him if another dealer is willing to let him continue to operate under their license.
March 20, 2008 Ontario, Canada Bowmanville Zoo: A martial arts teacher knocked over by a lion during a photo shoot for Desi Life at Bowmanville Zoo says she is happy to have come away with four broken ribs and a bloodied lung. “To be honest, the sensation I have is a great deal of gratitude to be alive,” Gitanjali Kolanad said yesterday. In the video, one minder kicks the baby lion in the neck while the other pulls on a leash. The lion takes a second, unsuccessful lunge at Kolanad as she lies gasping, before he is hauled out the door. “I couldn’t breathe – that was the terrifying part. The muscles in my chest seized up and they didn’t relax until I was in the emergency room and they gave me a muscle relaxant.” See it here: http://www.thestar.com/DesiLife/article/347684
February 23, 2008 Miami, FL: A pet serval was turned in, no questions asked, at an exotic pet amnesty day sponsored by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. 100 owners dropped off bags full of pythons, scorpions and assorted other reptiles, birds and mammals. “This is garden-variety stuff,” said exotic pet veterinarian Thomas Goldsmith, who examined the submissions. “This is Miami. People have sloths and leopards and God knows what else.” The FWC then gave the dumped pets to new owners. One of the people surrendering her pets, Christie Lyon said, “People have no idea what they’re getting into.”
February 21, 2008 Honolulu, HI: A 245-pound Sumatra tiger named Berani was discovered wandering around an unsecured area just before the Honolulu Zoo’s opening on Thursday. A startled female volunteer reported the escape after the tiger brushed past her. Zoo workers describe 8-year-old Berani as the tamest of three tigers at the zoo. Quintal says staff members who cleaned the tiger enclosure failed to properly latch a gate.
February 21, 2008 Johnstown, OH: Ben Uditis was driving when he noticed a fire at 3159 S. County Line
Rd. Editis woke Rick Armstrong and helped him get his animals out of his garage, including a caged tiger. Firefighters arriving on the scene had to work around the big cat to put out the blaze. ( Since no one was harmed, this is not included in the totals above as an incident although the first responders would certainly call it one. )
February 13, 2008 Bracebridge, Ontario: Provincial police were forced to shoot and kill a six year old jaguar named Bhino after he broke through a chain link cage at Guhu Exotic Animal Reserve. When officers arrived, they found the jaguar with the family’s pet dog in his mouth. The dog was on a chain and therefore couldn’t escape the jaguar and had to be put down because of severe injuries.
February 9, 2008 Davenport, FL: Brenda Chapman was clawed by a tiger named Kheira while cleaning out its cage, at Horseshoe Creek said Gary Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.The incident comes on the heels of Darryl Atkinson‘s Feb. 1 arrest on charges of grand theft and signing a forged instrument. The commission said it found Atkinson accepting money from people on court-ordered probation in exchange for signing off on community service work they did not do. “That’s just not what I need with all this other stuff,” owner Darryl Atkinson said.
January 24, 2008 Seattle, WA: Two declawed, yearling servals were found wandering around West Seattle. Animal Control picked up one on Jan. 1 as it was going after some cat food left on a doorstep. Officers picked up the second one on the grounds of Madison Middle School. Officer Don Baxter suspects they both belonged to the same owner, who has not claimed them.
January 18, 2008 Mayes County, OK: The fire at Safari Joe’s Exotic Wildlife Refuge destroyed a large barn that housed big cats, monkeys, birds and reptiles. Joe Estes, who owns the refuge, says he was able to save some tigers and lions but at least two tigers housed on the property died in the flames along with about 100 other exotic animals.
Unknown Date in 2008, Panama City, FL: Jim Broaddus, owner of Bear Creek Feline Center (est. 2000) was quoted by Will Hobson of the News Herald Writer on February 28, 2009 as saying, “I probably shouldn’t even tell you this, but I was in the hospital for a while last year … Cleo (a 200-pound mountain lion AKA cougar) slapped me in the head. It wasn’t his fault, he was just doing what cats do.” The blow gave Broaddus a subdural hematoma.
December 27, 2007 Manitowoc, WI: Two cougars escaped at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Mayor Kevin Crawford said “These animals can’t survive in the wild. People who think they are releasing these animals as a service to the animals are just wrong. They still have killer instincts and could have threatened area residents. A zookeeper saw cougar tracks in snow and discovered the animals had escaped between 7 and 8 a.m., Crawford said.
December 25, 2007 San Francisco, CA: A Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped at the San Francisco zoo, killing17 year old Carlos Sousa who was in the cafe and mauled two other young men (19 and 23) before police arrived on the scene and shot Tatiana to death. All three boys were from San Jose. The zoo says they don’t know how she escaped. Tatiana’s enclosure was reinforced after the cat’s first attack two days before Christmas last year. In the attack that occurred last year, Tatiana chewed off keeper Lori Komejan’s arm during a regular afternoon feeding at the Lion House. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health later ruled the zoo was responsible for that incident, blaming poor training and the way the tiger enclosures were designed. The city, which helps fund the zoo, has been sued by Komejan and is assessing whether it is liable for the Christmas Day mauling.
The identity of the dead victim, Carl Sousa, Jr., has been made public and his parents have been interviewed on TV and elsewhere over the last couple of days. But the names of the two other victims, who are brothers and frinds of Sousa’s, were not revealed. Until 12/29/07. From a report this morning by the AP’s Jordan Robertson and Marcus Wolhsen:
The 4-year-old tiger, a female named Tatiana, went on a rampage near closing time Tuesday, killing Sousa and severely injuring the two others before police shot it to death. Brothers Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were at San Francisco General Hospital with severe bite and claw wounds. Their names were provided by hospital and law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had not yet given permission to release their names. After interviewing the brothers, police said Kulbir Dhaliwal was the animal’s first victim. As the tiger clawed and bit him, Sousa and the younger brother yelled in hopes of scaring it off him, police said. The cat then went for Sousa, slashing his neck as the brothers ran to a zoo cafe for help.
After killing the teenager, the tiger followed a trail of blood left by Kulbir Dhaliwal about 300 yards to the cafe, where it mauled both men, police said. Four officers who had already discovered Sousa’s body then arrived and found the cat sitting next to one of the bloodied brothers, police Chief Heather Fong said. The victim yelled, “Help me! Help me!” and the animal resumed its attack, Fong said. The officers used their patrol car lights to distract the tiger, and it turned and began approaching them, leading all four to open fire, she said. Read all of the stories online
December 25, 2007 Dallas, TX: A pet tiger who was wearing a collar was found shot to death alongside I-35E in a vacant lot near the Madison Point Apartments in Dallas, TX. Big Cat Rescue is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. Officials believe the tiger was illegally kept, violently killed and unlawfully dumped on a city street. “This is a horrible example of what humans are capable of,” said Louis Dorfman. “Somebody out there thought they were going to make a pet out of this animal. These are never pets.” News 8 has learned the death of the tiger was subsequently linked to a notorious west Dallas gang that kept the tiger in a house. More HERE
December 20, 2007 India: A 50-year-old man, a school teacher, was mauled to death by a Bengal tiger at a zoo in Assam, India. Two tigers who were in a cage pounced, with one of them tearing his hand and arm apart when the man extended his camera toward the cage for a better picture. The man, his wife and two children, were visiting the zoo in Assam’s main city of Guwahati when the incident took place.
December 3, 2007 Acton, CA: Chris Orr, a 40 year old caretaker who had worked at the facility for more than 20 years, was bitten on the neck and critically mauled by a 4 year old, 450 lb tiger named Alexander at the Shambala Preserve. Orr was airlifted to a hospital and is in stable condition. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing that has happened,” Hedren said, adding that many of the tigers in her sanctuary come from abused backgrounds. “Who knows what happened to this tiger? People have kept them in closets, basements. Two of them were kept in air-conditioning
systems. What makes these animals so dangerous is for no reason at all this kind of accident can happen. It isn’t the tiger’s fault. It is the fault of the people breeding these animals in the first place that leads them
to be here.”She described the tiger in Monday’s incident as a “mutt” that was probably bred in the United States as an exotic pet. The facility was established on 80 acres in 1972 by actress Tippi Hedren as a retirement home for lions and tigers that she co starred with in the movie Roar. About 70 big cats normally live there and include lions, tigers, ligers, leopards, servals, mountain lions, bobcats, a lynx and a Florida panther.
November 21, 2007 St. Louis Zoo, MO: A Cheetah cub named Zuri escaped by scaling a ten foot wall. Twenty-seven minutes later, the cheetah was found, tranquilized and returned to her exhibit. She is one of four born on Nov. 10, 2006, at the zoo. One of the cheetahs died a month later. The incident marked the third time since 2000 that a cheetah has escaped from the zoo.
November 19, 2007 Wakefield, OH: Pike County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call of a lion “attacking” vehicles on U.S. 23 found Terry and Vicki Brumfield trying to capture the 550-pound feline. Lambert had broken out of his pen in Piketon. Brumfield raises lions as an escape from depression and owns two lions, Lambert and Lacey. Although he says he loves his pets, Brumfield said he was prepared to shoot Lambert. Ohio doesn’t require permits for exotic animals, but that would change under an Ohio House bill now in committee. Terry Brumfield faces three misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, including failure to provide his two lions with a clean, healthful environment. Pike County Humane Agent John Owens says an inspection of Brumfield’s property showed that the cage where two lions were kept was caked with manure and littered with rotting animal carcasses.
November 14, 2007 New Hampton, IA: A Chickasaw County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a tiger that escaped from Joseph and Dawn Schmitt. When the sheriff and two deputies arrived, the full-grown tiger was attacking the family’s collie. The county doesn’t have any licensing laws for exotic pets and the matter has been turned over to the USDA. The family also has two cougars and a bear. Tiger news HERE
November 9, 2007 Inverness, FL: 5 tigers and a lion were seized from Susan MacKay’s home by the FWC. Witnesses and video showed the animals to be walking skeletons. She and her late husband, Wild Bill MacKay, ran a roadside tourist trap and bred tigers for sale to private owners. Reports say that the FWC was aware of the starvation for two years and had already seized another cat previously. MacKay claimed to be feeding a cut up tiger in her freezer to the living cats. The cats were sent to another private owner who has 200 exotic pets including 14 big cats in his residential backyard lot that is only 2.5 acres. That owner claims that he will find them yet another home, but zoos do not take castoffs from the exotic pet trade, so that means they will likely go to yet another ill equipped owner. Starving tiger news HERE
November 1, 2007 Mahopac, NY: An emaciated Serval seized from a squalid home. “What we’re finding now is in its feces, there’s a lot of Styrofoam,” said Ken Ross, chief of the SPCA of Westchester’s Humane Law Enforcement division. “It was eating whatever it could. It was extremely hungry.” Louis Pinto, 54, who is on parole after a drug conviction, was charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, in the serval case. The serval wasn’t the first large feline to lead Pinto to legal trouble. In 1998, DEC officers removed Dax, a 5-month-old domesticated bobcat, from his home. In 2002, Pinto was charged with first-degree criminal possession narcotics after authorities seized $1 million worth of the illegal drugs. Serval news HERE
October 25, 2007 Saginaw, TX: Gizmo the pet serval escaped through an open window Thursday night and was last seen Tuesday morning in a field near a school, rec. center and residential area. Gizmo weighs about 35 pounds and has been de-clawed. The cat was later recaptured.
October 23, 2007 Mossel Bay, S. Africa: Jurg Olsen, owner of the Jukani Wildlife Ranch and Care Centre near has had an operation to his hand after a black leopard bit him. As he was cleaning Diablo’s night house he said “a miscommunication between animal and man” led to his left hand being bitten.
September 8th, 2007, Phoenix, AZ: An African Serval cat bolted from its owner and is loose on Valley streets far from its native African savanna. The animal has been Shaw’s pet for about three weeks. She said she got it from a woman in Kentucky who had to get rid of it. ”The cat was being beaten with a belt from her soon-to-be ex-husband,” Shaw said. Shaw said the animal escaped 12 days ago while she was playing with it. ”She went straight bee-line, so fast it was unbelievable, right over that fence,” Shaw said. Details HERE
September 4, 2007 Kaxakhstan, Almaty: A lion escaped from his cage at a Kazakh zoo over the weekend. The six-year-old lion called Adam sneaked out of his cage through a door that had been accidentally left open. The lion roamed around freely for half an hour before zoo workers lured it back to safety. Just a month ago, three bears broke out of their enclosure in the same zoo in southern Kazakhstan. Details HERE
August 22, 2007 Belize: Canada Lynx dies in Hurricane Dean. Big Cat Rescue had been working with the Placencia Humane Society in Belize since February to try and relocate a Canada Lynx that had been confiscated by the government after her owners smuggled her into their country illegally. We had everything ready on our end, but despite the best efforts of the staff of the Placencia Humane Society, the veterinary community and concerned citizens, we could not get the Belize government to pay attention to the matter and process the necessary paperwork for her exportation. On August 21 Hurricane Dean slammed into Belize as a Category 5 storm, killing 42 people and the Canada Lynx.
August 8, 2997 Heritage Park, CO: A serval named Sir Sidney escaped from Ken Koster’s motorhome in Steamboat Springs while he was visiting with family. Koster lives in Wyoming. It is illegal to own a serval in Colorado, and DOW officer Haskins said Koster could face fines as a result of bringing the animal into the state. Haskins said it’s become popular to own exotic pets such as servals, describing them as the latest designer pet. (Our definition of a pet is an animal who doesn’t run away from you the first chance they get)
July 30, 2007 Xinyi, China: A zookeeper in China was killed when he forgot to move a tiger out of its cage before going in to clean it. Police shot the tiger dead after discovering the zoo’s only tranquilliser gun was also inside the cage. Zhang, a keeper in his 60s, drove a tiger into an inner cage before entering the outer cage at the zoo in a park, colleagues said, but forgot about the second tiger.
July 16, 2007 Patton Township, PA: Sgt. Frank Monroe said officers received a report Friday night of a cheetah running across state Route 550, but the animal turned out to be a serval, a medium-sized wildcat native to Africa. Police are seeking the owners of the serval, because the animal could not survive a central Pennsylvania winter, Monroe said. Police have posted fliers asking residents to be on the lookout for the animal.
July 14, 2007 San Antonio, TX: Jeff Tierney was in critical condition Saturday after a Sumatran tiger mauled him while he was inside the animal’s enclosure at the San Antonio Zoo. Around 2:30 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call about a man who had suffered trauma at the zoo, in the 3900 block of North St. Mary’s Street. As sirens wailed and visitors began to leave the park, emergency radio traffic blared that the man had suffered multiple injuries to his head and also to his body. Jeff Tierney, reportedly in his 20s, was airlifted to University Hospital. Tierney was in critical condition when he was taken into surgery late Saturday evening.
July 7, 2007 Yellville, AR: Brent Marshall was air lifted to Baxter Regional Medical Center after an attack occured while he was cleaning out the pen of his declawed cougar. Marshall reported that the cat knocked him to the ground and began biting him on the back of the neck, head and leg. His wife, Anna, ran into the pen and pushed her fingernails in the cat’s neck and made him retreat to the back of the pen. She pulled her husband out of the pen, closed the door and called 911. This happened just moments before the couple were to release the cougar to a sanctuary because they were moving.
June 24, 2007 South Africa, Morokweng village: The North West provincial government remains mum on the action to be taken against the owners of the lions who killed a nine-year-old boy on a farm near Bray last weekend. Tshepo Gaorupi was mauled by two lions when he reportedly stuck his hand through the fence of the enclosure housing the lions on Woodborrow farm. All that remained of the nine-year-old boy was a small piece of his skull. The Congress of South African Trade Unions is threatening to stage protest marches against the departments of justice, safety and security and agriculture for the failure to protect the rights of ordinary people.
June 23, 2007 Africa, Johannesburg: An 18-month-old baby girl is in a serious condition after she was attacked by a leopard through a fence at a game farm just outside Heilbron in the Free State, paramedics said on Saturday. “According to eyewitnesses on scene, the girl’s father was holding her in his arms when the leopard somehow managed to grab her through the fence,” said Beech. She said the little girl sustained serious facial injuries and was transported to the Midvaal Hospital, in the Three Rivers area. She was in a serious condition. “Her father sustained injuries to his left hand and was also transported to hospital in a stable condition,” she said.
June 21, 2007 Polokwane, South Africa: A Zimbabwean illegal immigrant was killed and his brother narrowly escaped death when they landed in a lion enclosure at a game farm in Limpopo, police said on Thursday.
June 5, 2007 Mexico City, Mexico: A tiger and lion kept in small cages on a store rooftop fatally attacked their caretaker. Mexico City police say the man was feeding them when the felines swatted at the man’s legs and pulled him down. The tiger died from complications due to sedation and shoving a block of wood in his mouth. The 56 year old owner had raised the cats from cubs and kept them on the roof of his meat packing plant. See Video HERE
May 11, 2007 B.C. Canada: A 32 year old woman named Tanya Dumstrey-Soos was mauled to death, in front of her horrified children, by a tiger owned by Kim Carlton of Siberian Magic. Witnesses at the scene said she was killed by being too close to the cage. Kim Carlton’s business puts on exotic and magic shows and offers photos with the big cats. Two years ago a vet had determined these animals’ living conditions (12 x 12 cages) were putting them in distress and the SPCA wanted to move in but had not found anywhere suitable to place them. The SPCA noted this would have been avoided by a ban on the private possession of big cats, such as many other Canadian provinces already have.
April 11, 2007 Krugersdorp on Gauteng’s West Rand, Africa: The Ngonyama Lions Lodge which was owned by Dirk Brink, is set to be auctioned off. Brink was found dead in the lion enclosure last month. He signed the mandate for the auction just hours before his death. The business will be auctioned in May. Steve Van der Berg, Aucor property’s spokesperson, says Brink made arrangements with him to sign the mandate. This has paved the way for the lodge, which houses several amenities and wildlife, to come under the hammer.
April 26, 2007: Unknown locality. This event did not make the regular news, as many of these cases do not, but was caught on tape and aired at LiveLeak.com This video of a man being mauled, to death and back, is very disturbing. Do not open this link unless you are over 18 and can handle the horrific scene. Video Here
March 20, 2007 Kenya, Africa: TV presenter Simon King was mauled by a cheetah, which pounced on the star at the Lewa Wildlife Conservatory during filming for BBC show TOKI’S TALE – in which he releases a cheetah he hand-reared for four years into the wild. King was taken to a nearby hospital after the wild beast inflicted a large wound in his arm. He was treated along with a female colleague, who was also attacked by the cheetah, and both were given anti-rabies treatment.
March 13, 2007 Podgorica, Montenegro: A Siberian tiger at a private zoo in Montenegro bit off an arm of a woman who tried to feed the animal. Slavka Sekulovic, 58, had put her arm into the cage with two Siberian tigers when one of them grabbed it and bit it off, said doctor Zoran Srzentic who admitted the woman at a nearby hospital.”The tiger just wouldn’t let it go,” he said. The tigers were brought into Montenegro last year from Bosnia. The authorities initially had detained three people on suspicion of smuggling the animals but no formal charges were
raised. The owner, Stojan Sekulovic, has claimed the tigers were a present for his private zoo.
March 4, 2007 Harare, Africa: An Australian embassy worker is recovering in a Pretoria hospital after being attacked by lions at the Lion and Cheetah Park outside Harare earlier this month. Gemma Huggins, 27, was the second diplomatic worker mauled by lions at the park and now safety concerns have been raised about conditions at the park. In 2005 a Japanese embassy employee died of her injuries in a similar attack at the same park.
February 24, 2007 Denver, CO: A 27 yr old Denver Zookeeper, Ashlee Pfaff, who has worked at the zoo for a year, was mauled to death by a 6 yr old, 140 lb jaguar named Jorge as she was working inside the animal’s cage. It is unclear why the zookeeper entered the animal’s enclosure while the jaguar was in it, said Tiffany Barnhart, a spokeswoman for the zoo. Pfaff was taken to Denver Health Medical Center but died from her injuries. An autopsy showed death was “due to injuries to the neck, including blood vessels, spinal column and spinal cord.” Zookeepers who entered the jaguar’s enclosure to rescue the injured worker shot the jaguar to death when it approached them, said Bannhart. The jaguar, named Jorge, came to Denver from Santa Cruz Zoo, Bolivia, in March 2005. More…
February 23, 2007 China: A six-year-old girl named Rui Xin was mauled to death by a performing tiger at the Kunming Zoo in Yunnan province. The animal lunged at the girl’s head when a flashbulb went off as the child was being photographed. The tiger held the child’s head in its mouth for over a minute as frantic trainers beat the animal with clubs and a chair, trying to
force it to let go of Rui Xin. She was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead with a crushed skull. Her mother was also bitten on the arm.
February 21, 2007 Napavine, WA: Paul Mason had to give up his 4 Siberian Tigers when he got evicted from his rural Lewis County home. Problems started when Paul Mason defaulted on payments on his rent-to-own property. Four huge Siberian tigers, Samson and Delilah, Romeo and Juliet lived in a divided 40-foot cage in the backyard of Paul Mason’s home. Juliet is believed to be pregnant. (Since they were surrendered they are not included in statistic summary above.)
February 13, 2007 Spain: The two year old tiger called Melody, owned by José Antonio Roca (the man in prison on remand and said to be at the centre of the Malaya corruption case in Marbella), which has, like her owner been kept behind bars since his arrest, has been moved to the Noah’s Ark animal recuperation centre in Alicante. The Málaga Animal Protection Society had said that the tiger was in danger of becoming schizophrenic if left where she was. The animal, which came originally from a circus, had been kept in a cage the size of two rooms of a house. In Alicante she is now sharing space with two male tigers, Charly and Cuqui.
February 12, 2007 Olmense Zoo, Belgium: Karen Aerts, 37, entered the cheetah cage, apparently by staying in the zoo after it closed. She was a donor to one of the cheetahs, named Bongo, and it appears that she thought they felt the same way about her, that she did about them. She was later found dead in the cage.
February 9, 2007 Bangladesh, Dhaka Zoo: Panic gripped the visitors at Dhaka Zoo yesterday noon when a Bengal Tiger attacked its keeper and escaped for about half an hour. The victim, Mujibar Rahman Sheikh, 40, narrowly survived with injuries to his arms, thighs, neck and chest. Earlier, a zoo tiger killed a visiting child in 1996 and a bear killed a zookeeper in 2004. A lion also escaped a few years ago.
February 06,2007 Edinburg, TX: A bobcat slipped silently through the front door of the Museum of South Texas History’s gift shop. “…he just sat there like he owned the place,” said Sandra Luna. The bobcat was almost certainly an escaped or released pet. “A wild bobcat would not come inside,” said John Young, a mammologist with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife in Austin. A wild one “would be going frantic to get back out.” (Because the cat could not be verified as a pet, it is not listed above in the totals of exotic cat incidents.)
January 21, 2007 San Angelo, TX: A woman was bitten by a lion cub at a mall and treated at the Emergency Room for punctures. The lion cub was being used for photo ops by a traveling magic show. After the victim demanded that the cub be destroyed, it was picked up by San Angelo’s Animal Services.
January 19, 2007 Novosibirsk Zoo, Russia: An unidentified man, fuelled by booze, decided that it would be a really good idea to climb into the tiger’s enclosure and give him a hug. The tiger didn’t think so and bit him on the arm. Director Shilo denied that the zoo was able to prevent a determined person from getting into the animal cages.
January 8, 2007 Center Point, IN: A cougar scaled a 14 foot high fence and escaped Joe Taft’s Exotic Feline Rescue Center about 50 miles west of Indianapolis. The non-accredited facility currently holds nearly 200 big cats. According to media reports a month later the cat has still not been found.
December 23, 2006 San Francisco, CA: “The tiger ate her hand. It slowly proceeded to eat the rest of her arm.” That’s how Vikram Chari described the horrifying spectacle that he and his
6-year-old son witnessed. A 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana attacked her keeper at the San Francisco Zoo during feeding time Friday afternoon as dozens of visitors looked on. The keeper, who sources identified as Lori Komejan, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. ”The right arm was in the tiger’s mouth,” said Chari “The left arm was just being held there (in the claws) and the right arm was being eaten. She was screaming and flailing away.” This same keeper appears in the 2005 episode of Dirty Jobs called Cheese Maker (available on DVD from Discovery Ch.) In the episode, she is in the lion house, and in front of visitors and the camera, she repeatedly reaches her arms into the lion and tiger cages, hugging, scratching and kissing
them and invites her host to do the same. While feeding you can see her stick her whole arm into the cage while tossing horse meat and a whole rabbit. The Cal-OSHA report said zoo officials knew the Lion House posed a hazard, because the cats were known to be able to reach through the bars. It also found officials were remiss for not training workers in safety procedures, such as a buddy system or the use of specialized equipment. More HERE
December 22, 2006: Washington, DC: The National Zoo was briefly shut down Friday after a clouded leopard was discovered missing from a wire-mesh enclosure. Mook, a 5-year-old, 24-pound female, apparently escaped overnight, zoo spokesman John Gibbons said.
December 20, 2006 Searcy, AR: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission thinks the marauding Mountain Lion is a former pet who has killed three calves, chased a girl into her home, clawed a tractor as a farmer was trying to flee and chased after a woman walking her dog. “We don’t have mountain lions in Arkansas,” said Keith Stephens, assistant chief of communications for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “There are probably some feral ones, which would have been a domestic animal at one time, someone’s pet. It might’ve gotten too wild. When they get them as kittens they are lovable and playful, but when they get to be 100 pounds, they overwhelm a person, and they just release them into the wild.” Sasse agrees with Stephens, that what is being seen in Arkansas are mostly released pets stating “There was one owned by a drug dealer in Arkansas a few years ago, and he basically let it run free.”
December 18, 2006 Kiev, Ukraine: (AP) A tiger bit off the ear of a 33 year old man who fell into her enclosure at a zoo in southern Ukraine. The tiger attacked the man, biting off his ear and scratching his neck. He was hospitalized in a serious condition. “The man, his sister and their friend drank a bottle of vodka and then came to our zoo for entertainment,” Kyrychenko
told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
December 11, 2006 Jacksonville, FL: Julie Johnson’s fears were eased after a man rescued her pet bobcat, who got himself stuck in a tree a week ago and would not come down. She was concerned that with recent freezing temperatures and no food or water, the 7 month old bobcat’s life may have been in danger as he precariously clung to a small branch 80 feet above the ground.
December 7, 2006 Coral Gables, FL: Goya Foods executive Francisco Unanue hired Corinne Oltz of Wild Animal World to bring a 62-pound cougar to entertain his 7 year old and their guests. The party ended badly when the cougar mauled a 4-year-old guest. An investigator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Herald that the cat’s bite “was
a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem. That would have killed the kid instantly.” The Kendall-based Wild Animal World — who has been cited in two similar past attacks — faces a misdemeanor charge of allowing injury to the public. The girl suffered severe lacerations to her eyelid, left cheek and ear. Doctors sewed back part of her severed ear. Georgia, the cougar, was euthanized last week as part of a rabies test. In 1999, Oltz was cited in a similar attack, also in Coral Gables. In 2001, a Wild Animal World leopard attacked a child at a company picnic in Broward County. “That one was a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem.” remembered FFW Lt. Pat Reynolds, who is investigating the Coral Gables attack.
December 6, 2006 Beijing, China: A leopard was shot dead by local police after escaping from its cage the Yuanyangchi Zoo. The zookeeper failed several times to shoot the leopard with a hand-made bow and anesthetic arrow before being attacked and injured by the irritated animal. The police then shot the leopard dead. The zoo did not have a valid operation license. The animal keepers were also found to lack official qualifications for raising wildlife.
December 3, 2006 Zafra, Spain: A circus tiger in Spain ripped off the left arm of a 31 year old Polish man when he moved closer to have his picture made. Hospital officials in Zafra said the man was in a serious condition.
November 24, 2006 Ontario, Canada: The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals removed a lion, eight dogs, six cats, two cockatoos and one turtle from the Kerwood Wildlife Education Centre after receiving complaints about animals in distress. “The (lion’s) pen was built into the wall,” Grandel said. He was in his own filth and the stench of dead flesh could be smelled from the road, more than 30 metres from the home.
November 19, 2006 Nashville, TN: Wildlife Coordinator Walter Cook says the animal spotted at large near Warner Park is either an African caracal or a Eurasian lynx and not a cougar as was thought previously. Both animals are legal to own as pets without a special permit and are often turned loose when they are no longer wanted.
November 15, 2006 Gulf Breeze Zoo, FL: For the second time in less than a week, The Zoo in Gulf Breeze has had difficulties with its large cats. The compound was closed after two cougars escaped from their pens for several hours. About 30 visitors had to move to secured areas while a search was conducted. According to news reports, an opening in the animals’ enclosure was big enough to allow them to slip away. One cat was recaptured after about an hour, but the second cougar took a little longer to find. It was hit by two tranquilizer darts, but hid until an Escambia County Sheriff ’s Office helicopter used infrared cameras to find it.
November 13, 2006 Gulf Breeze, FL: Nineteen-year-old Adrienne Leopard, a zookeeper at the Zoo of Northwest Florida, was taken to a local hospital after she was injured by a leopard. “She was too close to one of our big cats,” said Doug Kemper, executive director of the zoo. The leopard snagged her sleeve with one of its claws and pulled her arm inside (the cage). “He was just being playful,” Kemper said. “But even when they don’t intend to hurt us, they have all the tools to do so. (Our bodies) just can’t stand up to it.” The Zoo of NW FL is located at 5701 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida.
November 11, 2006 Berlin, Germany: A Persian leopard attacked and killed a zoo worker who was cleaning its cage. The zoo director found the 23-year-old dead from a bite to the neck. A door between the stall and an outdoor cage for the Persian leopard appeared to have been accidentally left open.
November 7, 2006 Aurora, OR: A three year old male Serval escaped from Crystal Bacon’s home in the 12000 block of Fargo Road NE and remains at large. Deputies found the cat about 1:30 a.m. today, and Bacon came to get it but she told deputies the animal got away again on her way home.
November 1, 2006 Plymouth, England: The new owners (Mee Family) of a Devon wildlife park faced a serious challenge when a jaguar escaped. Big cat Sovereign found a way out of his pen and into a tigers’ enclosure at the Dartmoor Wildlife Park before he was sedated by keepers. Campaign group, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS), said the escape was “not acceptable”. The escape, believed to have been caused by human error, is being investigated by South Hams Council.
October 25, 2006 Coply, TWN, OH: USDA inspector, Norma Harlan, was attacked by a white tiger during an inspection at Summit County’s L&L Exotic Animal Farm owned by Lorenza Pearson. The 14 year old female tiger reached out and pulled her toward the cage, then managed to get her arm into her mouth. Harlan was treated at Akron General Medical Center. She previously had inspected the farm on Oct. 12 and was concerned about two tigers and one lion cub. In 1983, Pearson’s 2-year-old son was killed by a Bengal tiger. In 1997, his 2-year-old
grandson was attacked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Pearson for 900 violations. Witnesses described Pearson’s farm as largely unsanitary, lacking in federal safety measures and nutritional standards, and extremely lax in veterinary record-keeping regulations.
October 16, 2006 Fleetwood, NC: Susan Thomas received severe injuries at the New River Zoo when she crossed the safety barrier fence and put her arm into a leopard’s cage. Owner Keith Stroud, after a short struggle, was able to get the leopard to release Thomas’ arm. The recommendation from the state was that the leopard be euthanized which has already occurred. “This
is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. My hands were tied after the state made their recommendation and I had no choice. I was unable to save the cat’s life” said the Animal Control officer. Susan Thomas told authorities that the zoo owner, Keith Stroud was with her and encouraged her to cross the barrier and pet the leopard. As a result, the zoo has been closed pending a full investigation.
October 9, 2006 Red Rock, NV: The owner of a bobcat that mauled three dogs in Red Rock has been found. The escaped bobcat’s name is Katrina, and she is thirteen months old. The Antelope Valley owner told county workers she was tied up on a leash Thursday night, and somehow got away. One dog, Ace, was put down after suffering life-threatening injuries.
October 8, 2006 LaFollette (Wate) TN: Police arrested Jerome Love on 87 counts of animal cruelty after discovering nearly a hundred pets in his yard. Officials describe the animals living conditions as deplorable. An African serval was confiscated as part of the exotic menagerie.
October 7, 2006 Los Angeles,CA: Tiger Escapes Handler Before Photo Shoot in Hesperia. The tiger got loose at the Cinema Safari Zoo, a facility at which animals are trained for film and educational programs. Officials said a handler was preparing the tiger for a photo shoot when it tried to attack a donkey. The tiger was shot with a tranquilizer and officials surrounded the animal. Officials from the Hesperia Zoo repeatedly declined to comment, stating that the zoo is private property and the media is not welcome.
October 4, 2006 Beijing, China: A circus lion startled by the audience at a show in eastern China leapt a two meter high barrier and plunged into the crowd, injuring three people including
a woman who suffered a miscarriage. The lion was performing for a small roaming circus. Frightened by noise from the 200-strong audience, it lunged into the panicked crush of spectators. “One pregnant woman was crushed and suffered a miscarriage from the shock,” the report said. “Because the lion was rented, it didn’t trust the trainers,” it added. Circus staff and police chased the escaped lion as it jumped walls and rooftops, but nets and anesthetic dart guns failed to catch it, and police shot the animal dead.
September 27, 2006 Las Vegas Zoo, NV: A sick and starving mountain lion was dropped off at the Las Vegas Zoo. The 50 lb, declawed, neutered cub was obviously a house pet, but wore out his welcome when he started to get bigger. The zoo director says the one year old was dropped off in the middle of the night, found in a wire cage at the front entrance. Staff members say he’d clearly been starved and was severely malnourished.
September 22, 2006 Alaska Hwy B.C.: Police and conservation officials caught a Siberian tiger that escaped from a truck during an accident in northeastern B.C. The accident left one person in hospital with serious injuries. The crash occurred near a former exotic animal petting zoo, where the tiger continues to live. The feline was being taken from his home when the accident occurred.
September 13, 2006 FL Hillsborough County, Balm: Lancelot Kollmann stumbled inside a cage with a 250-pound tiger named Rula. He paid in blood. The last in a long line of lion tamers escaped the cage with cuts on his left shoulder and a gash on his lip that took stitches to close.
Kollmann’s family has been in traveling circuses for more than 200 years. His grandfather was a lion tamer. His father and uncles owned big cats. He is licensed by the state of Florida and USDA to exhibit exotic animals, including two leopards, four jaguars, one elephant, five lions and 14 tigers.
September 8, 2006 Queensland Zoo, Australia: Tim Husband locked 30 staff into a lodge on the Out of Africa Lion and Animal Reserve while he threw rocks at Goldie the 2 year old lion and shouted at him until the big cat eventually crawled back through a hole in his enclosure at the zoo that was caused by a grass cutter.
September 7, 2006 Davenport, FL: Darryl Atkinson, founder of the Horseshoe Creek Wildlife Foundation was arrested on charges of keeping a Bengal tiger in a cage that is too small and unsafe, said a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrest report. Since 2003, Atkinson has been cited more than 20 times for not having large enough cages for animals kept on the animal farm west of Davenport. He was cited an additional four times in December 2005 on the same charges, the wildlife commission said. The citations usually result in a fine, but Atkinson faces 11 first-degree misdemeanors because of the numerous previous charges he has racked up over the years.
August 26, 2006 Chippewa Falls, WI: A bobcat was killed at the Irvine Park Zoo in Chippewa Falls after it wandered into the cougar cage. A keeper had left the door open, but officials
also say that the antiquated cages were partly to blame.
August 22, 2006 Tampa, FL Lowry Park Zoo: An open cage at Lowry Park Zoo led to Sumatran tiger named Enshalla being shot to death by the zoo’s chief executive officer Lex Salisbury. The CEO had recently fired a long term keeper who was considered too concerned about the animals’ welfare in favor of hiring staff who would not speak up for the animals. A keeper with only two weeks of training with tigers was left by himself in charge. AZA, USDA and the FWCC all acknowledged that there is no standardized training required. To view a list of all of the incidents
reported in the press about Lowry Park Zoo click HERE
August 22, 2006 Peterborough, Ontario Peterborough’s Riverview Zoo: For the second time in a year a bobcat has escaped an open cage at the zoo.
July 18, 2006 Saratoga County Fair, NY: A white tiger owned by the the Ashville Game Farm scratched 4-year-old Riley Willard of Milton at the fairgrounds. The boy suffered a gash about an inch long and needed 14 stitches to close the wound. He was sitting on a bench positioned in front of Calcutta the 2-year-old white tiger on display as part of the backdrop for pictures of kids holding exotic animals. The game farm’s owner, Jeffrey W. Ash, of Lick Springs Road, was charged with a misdemeanor and was cited for a violation after the incident, according to the DEC. The Environmental Conservation Police charged Ash with failing to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by a wild animal that caused bodily harm. The charge carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $500 fine. Ash was also ticketed for violating a condition of a DEC permit that states he must maintain the tiger in a cage that is not in contact with humans. The violation is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of $250. Ash was in court Jan. 2007 to answer a felony forgery charge in connection with providing a forged insurance certificate to the Saratoga County Fair last summer, officials said.
July 12, 2006 Dublin Zoo, Ireland: A teenage girl has been savaged by a rare tiger in a zoo. The 19-year-old put her arm through a wire mesh fence where two Amur Siberian tigers were resting. Parents and children looked on in horror as the tiger lunged at her and grabbed her arm trying to pull her through the fence. She was taken to James Connolly Memorial Hospital where her condition was described as stable.
July 2, 2006 Moscow Circus: Doctors used nearly 100 stitches on Artur Bagdasarov for slash and puncture wounds when a tiger named Caesar attacked during a performance. “The tiger attacked him and started to maul him. I rushed in and shot (a stun gun) into his jaws, and he pulled back.” said a co worker. “This tiger is just four years old and he’s been in our troupe since birth, so no one ever expected this kind of event to happen. But, if we were to shoot every tiger that attacks us, there wouldn’t be any remaining,” his sister said. Read more HERE
June 26, 2006 Atlanta, GA: An African serval escaped from its pen at a Buckhead home about a week ago. The wildcat weighs about 30 pounds and belongs to a licensed breeder, who has taped “lost serval cat” fliers to mailboxes in the area. The cat, named Webbie, is declawed, according to fliers posted by her owner, Fred Boyajian, around the Mount Paran neighborhood.
Boyajian is the same breeder who last year had a lynx escape from his Buckhead property. That wildcat was recaptured after a two-week period.
June 21, 2006 Kaufman, TX: A tiger chased down and mauled Donnie Roberts at Zoo Dynamics when a 300 lb Bengal tiger jumped a fence. He says the tiger threw him down on his hip and got on his neck. Roberts says he thought the tiger would kill him, but managed to stay calm. The tiger ripped off his ear and left claw marks over his body. Roberts says he believes he has about two thousand stitches.
June 5, 2006 Fayetteville, NC: Animal control officer, Christine Gallagher, found herself dealing with a serval, a cheetah look-alike native to East Africa pacing nervously in a neighborhood.
The big cat was rounded up and taken to Cumberland County Animal Shelter.
June 4, Kiev, Ukraine: A lion killed a man who climbed into its enclosure at the Kiev zoo. He used a rope to climb down into an enclosure with four lions. Witnesses said the man told them that he believed God would not allow the lions to hurt him.
May 16, 2006 Little Rock, AR: Michael Haney was forced to turn over his pet mountain lion to an animal shelter by the Game & Fish Department because Haney refused to apply for a permit to keep her. Haney says it would have never hurt anyone. He even has pictures of his daughter playing with the lion. “When she was little, I couldn’t keep her out of the bed with my kid,” says Haney. “She’s going to Gainesville, Fla.,” he says. “I’ve got to have a kidney transplant and I don’t have anywhere to keep her anymore.”
May 14, 2006 White Hills, AZ: Jonathan Kraft runs Keepers of the Wild animal sanctuary. He told long-time friend Linda Faso that two of his tigers — Zeus and Nico — attacked a woman this month sending her into surgery at University Medical Center. USDA spokesman Darby Holladay stated, “There is an open investigation against Keepers of the Wild.” Holladay also said the agency started investigating this week. “Suspension of license. Revocation of license or civil penalty or monetary fine,” he continued could result.
May 7, 2006 Johannesburg, Sun City, South Africa: Tiger nearly rips arm off 5 year old girl at Predator Park. Helen Catherine Grant, 5, from Rustenburg, was injured after she had tried to stroke the tiger while on a family outing to the park. The tiger got hold of her hand and then her arm. Her uncle had to kick the tiger, Ruby, in the face before she let go of the girl. The arm was attached only by a piece of skin on the upper arm by the time the tiger let go. Last Friday doctors were worried that the arm was too cold, and they feared that veins might have collapsed. “The arm is making good process and the surgery was successful. We don’t know yet if follow-up surgery would be necessary and how long she will have to remain in hospital,” said Grant.
May 7, 2006 Bulgaria: A tiger has managed to escape its cell in the Varna zoo, on the Black Sea coast. Soon after that, however, the beast was caught and fetched back to its house, local media informed. The Varna zoo is located literally on the premises of the unique Sea Garden of the city, where hundreds of families take regularly a weekend walk.
April 21, 2006 Shanghai, India: Lions at the Shanghai Zoo scratched a man who was teasing them by sticking his leg through the bars and wiggling it around. He admitted to having done so daily for three years before getting caught.
April 20, 2006 Gonzales County, TX: After a 7 year battle to rescue 2 tigers and 11 bears from living in transport cages on David Richtman’s farm authorities were finally able to seize the animals under cruelty charges and failure to register and place them in accredited sanctuaries. The tigers were living in 4 1/2 x 8 foot enclosures for the past 9 years and the bears could not even stand up in their cages. Read more…
April 6, 2006 Duxbury (15 Mi. E. of Sandstone) MN: Cindi Gamble was mauled to death by one of her tigers at the USDA inspected Center for Endangered Cats that she had co owned with Craig Wagner who was wanted for animal abuse in WI. Wagner now runs Great Cats World Park in southern Oregon. The sheriff said one of the drop doors was apparently left open, leaving Gamble exposed to the tiger. Investigators said the tiger was so out of control that they had to kill the cat to get to the body. Vet reports revealed that the 10 year old tiger only weighed 260 lbs; half of what it should because it was starving. Read more…
March 19, 2006 Palatka, FL: The Putnam County Fair will still open Monday even though a fair worker was bitten by a tiger in an exhibit there the day before. Josip Marcan’s traveling
side show of white and tabby tigers has had a fair worker mauled. According to reports a tendon was severed and the worker was rushed to Shands hospital. The state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission inspects every traveling exotic exhibit like this one. This particular show passed a state review just two weeks ago, Officer Kelley said. That is precisely the problem. Read more…
March 25, 2006 Santa Barbara, CA: State of California orders Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to be shut down and now Jackson is selling off his exotic animals, including elephants,
tigers, orangutans, crocodile, and giraffes. A later report states that Jackson’s tigers went to Shambala but that he never paid for their care. (The Daily Record)
March 9, 2006 Point Breeze, PA: A 42 pound African Serval named Mr. Bigglesworth was confiscated from Mark Nernberg after his second escape. The bottle raised pet had been loose for over a month back in August (eating what?) and was returned to his owner with the understanding that the owner aquire a permit to keep him. At the time of his second reported escape the
owner had failed to obtain a permit and so the animal is being held pending the outcome of the case. To see video of people who advocate the keeping of dangerous animals as pets, while downplaying the escapes and risks involved, visit this link CLICK HERE
March 4, 2006 VA: Marc Bradley, of the Snowflake community, was charged with importing and possessing an undesirable and predatory animal. The lion is 7 months old and is still considered a cub, but it weighs about 100 pounds and “is big enough to put a hurtin’ on somebody,” said Julia Dixon, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The cub was confiscated pending trial.
February 26, 2006 Moscow Zoo: Girl loses Finger Stroking “Cuddly” Leopard. A snow leopard in the Moscow Zoo bit a finger off a girl’s hand and ate it when she tried to pat the animal that she thought looked cuddly. A 19-year-old student, Elena, was walking in the zoo with her friend, Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported on Sunday. Passing the big cats section, she was delighted to see the beautiful snow leopard, or ounce. The animal looked so peaceful that Elena decided to touch it through the cage and it instantly clawed hold of her and would not let go. Elena managed to free her hand, but half of her right-hand middle finger remained in the show leopard’s mouth. The animal swallowed its prey in a second. The girl’s friend called an ambulance, and the doctors took the victim to the hospital and attended to her wounds. In a day she was able to leave hospital. http://www.mosnews.com/news/2006/02/26/fingeroff.shtml
February 25, 2006 Devon Zoo, UK: A Devon zoo maintenance worker had his hand punctured by a lion while trying to mend a fence. Indu, a two-year-old Asiatic, bit the worker’s hand as he replaced a fence separating the lions from tigers at Paignton Zoo. ”A first aider was able to help until paramedics arrived.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/4735920.stm
February 15, 2006 Birmingham Zoo, AL: A worker at the Birmingham Zoo is being treated for scalp wounds Wednesday after being attacked by a lion. Dr. William Foster, director of the zoo, said Melissa Wright was taken to UAB Hospital. Foster said she was conscious and talking. The attack happened as zoo workers fed animals and moved them from their overnight holding area to their outdoor exhibit area. http://www.nbc13.com/news/7085199/detail.html#
February 1, 2006 Willmar, MN: The 80-pound female cougar was spotted Tuesday morning near Kennedy Elementary School. Police and local animal professionals tracked the cat around
the neighborhood for two hours, shot it with four tranquilizers and finally corralled and caged it around 10 a.m. Since then, nobody has come forward to claim the cougar, but officials believe it isn’t wild. “This is not a releasable animal,” said Dr. John Baillie with the Wildcat Sanctuary. “This is not a wild animal that strayed there. This is someone’s pet.”
January 10, 2006 Wellington Zoo, New Zealand: An unlocked door allowed two lions to get into an enclosure at Wellington Zoo while their keeper was laying out their food. When keeper Bob Bennett tripped trying to escape, they mauled him as patrons watched. He suffered 20 puncture wounds to his arms, back, shoulders and neck, and spent three days in hospital after the 20-minute attack. “I remember those canines sinking into my shoulder, and I thought my days were over,” said Bennett. You can watch that video of the mauling HERE
January 6, 2006 Center Hill, FL: Girl mauled when cougar escapes at Robert Baudy’s Savage Kingdom. A teenage volunteer was mauled by a mountain lion when he escaped after she left the door open. It is alleged that alcohol and drug abuse is to blame for the continued decline of Savage Kingdom and that the facility’s owner tried to keep the press and authorities from knowing about the incident by treating the mauled young woman with expired antibiotics. A tree worker managed to get ropes around the escaped cat’s throat and he was strangled to death. The girl ended up in the hospital and Florida’s Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the matter. More about Savage Kingdom.
December 18, 2005 Zoo tiger kills man who was fleeing arrest. Gerber said the man was naked when he was found. His clothes had been ripped from his body and the shreds were found in the enclosure too. The man fell about 10m into the tigers’ den. Marks indicated that the body was dragged. More…
December 13, 2005 NJ: Bergen County Zoo’s escaped ocelot is recaptured. Zookeepers believe she had been wandering in and around the zoo’s property, feasting on field mice and squirrels for two weeks. Last week’s snow may have cut off the food supply, forcing the ocelot back toward home, said Tim Gunther, the zoo director.
December 9, 2005 Foley, AL: Joe Higginbotham, owner of Kids Country Zoo said the 2-year-old male tiger became unruly so he killed him. The tiger’s body has been send to a taxidermist for mounting and will be on display here at the zoo,” Higginbotham told the Mobile Register.
December 1, 2005 Greensboro, NC: Sabre’s owner, Megan Morris, could be cited by animal control if the loose Serval turns out to be Sabre again. The feline would then be given to a humane society or wildlife refuge or euthanized if no appropriate home can be found.
November 30, 2005 Delmont, SD: A declawed mountain lion was shot by a hunter. That indicates the cat probably was raised in captivity. (duh) “The hunter claimed it just stood there about 10 feet away from him,” he said. Vandel said it might be difficult to find out where the cat came from because the GF&P does not regulate captive wild animals. “A lot of times, unless there are some local ordinances, they may exist as somebody’s pets – we don’t find out about them for a long time,” he said.
November 19, 2005 Greenwich, NY: Jeff Ash, owner of the Ashville Game Farm was cited by the DEC in 2004 after a wolf escaped from the zoo and was never found. Ash pleaded guilty to
a charge that he didn’t provide proper housing for the animal. After Tahan, a 300-pound golden tabby tiger, broke out of her cage the DEC issued Ash a ticket for the same violation. Tahan was sedated with a tranquilizer dart about two miles away from the game farm after she broke through the roof of her cage. PETA sent a letter to the USDA calling for the agency to investigate Ash referring to USDA reports from 2002 and 2003, in which PETA called Ash a “chronic violator of the Animal Welfare Act” because of accusations he failed to maintain clean cages, allowed water troughs to freeze over and failed to keep accurate records.
November 11, 2005 Lisbon: A circus tiger tore off a woman’s arm when she put her hand into its cage to stroke it, a newspaper reported. The 24-year-old Romanian woman worked at the Circo Atlas circus but was off-duty when the attack occurred. Her arm could not be re attached.
October 23, 2005 Knox County, OH: Siberian Tiger Bites Boy at road side zoo. A 10-year-old Columbus-area boy got too close to a Siberian tiger that bit him Knox County Sheriff David Barber said. Ethan Newman of 1011 Colony Way in Perry Township was bitten on the leg in a fenced compound at the Siberian Tiger Foundation off Deal Road, Barber said. The park is 2 miles southeast of Gambier. The foundation is owned by David and Diana Cziraky who charge customers for a “close encounter” in which they enter a compound with Siberian tigers chained to posts, the sheriff said. The boy and his father, Robert, were in the compound with a trainer for a close encounter when the incident occurred.
October 7, 2005 Deluth, MN: A Lake Superior Zoo’s keeper was bitten by a 400-pound Siberian tiger was hospitalized with puncture wounds. The zookeeper was bitten Thursday while he helped move the tiger to its cage from the Lake Superior Zoo’s animal care center. “If you’ve got a tiger attached to your arm, (30 seconds) is a long time. “Getting a tiger to release when it’s semiconscious is quite challenging. The jaws go into a lock position. He’s not about to let go.” The zookeeper who was hospitalized was being held overnight at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth . Doctors cleaned out his wounds and were monitoring him for nerve damage, Janis said.
September 28, 2005 Alfred, Canada: A tiger was found wandering down the highway. The zoo is trying to figure out how the tiger was able to leave its enclosure. The family-owned and operated Papanack Zoo has been breeding exotic animals and birds since the early 1980s.
September 23, 2005 Shelbyville, IN: DNR is poised to seize 24 tigers, 6 leopards and 1 mountain lion from Dennis Hill’s Flatrock Exotics because the conditions they reported as being horrific. Dennis Hill was the breeder of Shere Khan. The tigers were found living in a six-inch deep mixture of mud, feces and urine. Free Online
September 16, 2005 Dallas, TX The 4-month-old male tiger was found darting in and out of traffic near the Leary exit on Interstate 30. How the cub ended up on the interstate was a mystery until Thursday. Horn said the tiger’s owner was driving through Bowie County on his way to the Dallas area when the animal escaped from a kennel in the back of the owner’s truck. “The tiger jumped out while the truck was moving.” The owners passed through Bowie County about 1:30 a.m. Monday and did not realize the big cat was missing until they reached Dallas.
September 14, 2005 San Diego, CA: Officials with the San Diego Zoo had some anxious moments Wednesday when one of its more exotic cats got out of its enclosure. A caracal, a reddish
brown wildcat native to Southwest Asia and East Africa, escaped when a zookeeper was cleaning its cage and a hose got caught in gate. Zoo officials told NBC 7/39 that animal-care staff then surrounded the caracal with nets, cages and tranquilizer guns. About 45 minutes after it escaped, a zoo worker grabbed the caracal and it was quickly returned to its cage.
September 5, 2005 Coal Valley, IL: A male lion cub born in June at the Niabi Zoo here died Saturday after a door to his exhibit area malfunctioned and fell on him. The cub was half-way
between the indoor and outdoor portions of his exhibit area, he said, when a pulley on the 80-pound door that separates the areas broke, causing the door to fall on him. “We are not sure why it broke. We are investigating,” he said.
August 22, 2005 Zimbabwe, Africa: A 50 year old Japanese diplomat was visiting a 49 acres Lion and Cheetah wildlife park when she was attacked and killed by a hungry lion.
August 18, 2005 Mound Valley, KS: (AP) – A Siberian tiger attacked and killed a teenage girl who was posing for photos at a family-run animal facility called Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary. Free Online Update: 11/18/06 Lost Creek Operators Doug and Keith Billingsly cannot engage in any activity for which a license under the Animal Welfare Act is required, until 2011 according to the ruling from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. That includes, breeding and selling, exhibiting or any public use of the big cats. In its 10-page decision issued Nov. 3, the Agriculture Department cited several violations of the Animal Welfare Act at Lost Creek, including allowing the public to have direct contact and pose for photographs with adult tigers. It also did not establish and maintain a program of adequate veterinary care to prevent and control injuries, the ruling stated. The ruling says there were not adequate methods of tranquilization available at the facility. Doug Billingsly’s nephew and authorities had to shoot and kill Shakka after the animal attacked Hilderbrand. The ruling also alleges that the Billingslys did not allow officials with the Agriculture Department’s animal inspection service to inspect the operation on four separate occasions from September 2004 to January 2005, months before
the Siberian tiger attacked and killed Hilderbrand. Under the terms of the probation, the Billingslys can be fined $12,600 each if they violate the Animal Welfare Act again. They also were ordered to get rid of all animals subject to the act.
August 15, 2005 Clackamas, OR: Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a pet lynx after it pounced on a six-year-old girl and began clawing her head. Deputies said the owner reported the pet missing Friday to a Clackamas veterinary clinic, which contacted the sheriff’s office. Attempts to trap the animal had failed. http://bigcatescapesmaulings.blogspot.com/
August 6, 2005 Mayfield, NY: A baby Siberian tiger was confiscated by NY DEC from Steve Salton. The cub was purchased in OH for $1000.00 and declawed and spayed but the owner
was in violation of NY license laws and the state is waiting for the cub to heal before placing her in a sanctuary.
August 1, 2005 Brit Spaugh Zoo, KS: Bart the cougar walked through an open door on his cage in the North American section of the zoo and came face to face with a family.
July 23, 2005 Africa: The owner of the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch, Lourens van Straaten died after being mauled by a lion that he had bottle raised. Van Straaten, a taxidermist by trade, was given a suspended fine in 1994 for trading in rhino horn. He was also at the centre of controversy in 2004 when allegations were made about the condition of his lions and whether he had the necessary “performing animal” permits for the public handling of lion cubs. Van Straaten is not the first Eastern Cape lion breeder to fall victim to his charges. In 1996, Shumba Safaris’ owner, JP Kleinhans, was mauled to death by one of his lions at his lodge near Patensie.
July 21, 2005 Pelican Rapids, MN: Dr. Roy Alexander Cordy is in violation of his order to remove all of the exotic animals from his farm and the tiger will be confiscated and killed if he doesn’t find a place for the cat. Cordy, 43, pleaded guilty last year to depriving an animal on his farm of necessary food, water and shelter.
July 6, 2005 East London: Lion Park A bottle raised yearling tiger attempted to rip out the jugular of a 17 year old girl visiting him at the zoo. She was stabilised at the scene and taken to
St Dominic’s Hospital where she underwent a two-hour operation to repair the damage to her throat. Free online …
July 1, 2005 Richmond, IA: Craig Perry, 42, of Center Point, Iowa, said a tiger mauled his left leg moments before he was to pose with 14 of the animals for photographs at an arena on
Hawthorn Crop.’s property, at 9819 N. Solon Road, Richmond. Perry is the owner of Iowa-based Perry’s Wilderness and Zoo Inc. The facility where the alleged attack occurred is the Hawthorn Corp. which was charged in April 2003 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with 47 violations of the Animal Welfare Act after 16 of its elephants were exposed to a human strain of tuberculosis. In May 2004, Hawthorn Corp. admitted to 14 animal-welfare violations and agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and remove the elephants from the property.
June 27, 2005 Punta Gorda, FL: Charlotte County gives Lions, Tigers and Bears 6 months to leave or get rid of their lions, tigers and bears for violation zoning laws. Free online…
June 25, 2005 Little Falls, MN: AP- A lion and tiger, two of ten caged cats at Best Buy Auto, owned by auto mechanic Chuck Mock bolted from their cage and pounced on a 10-year-old boy leaving Russell Lala of Royalton, MN., fighting for his life at Hennepin County Medical Center. The child is now a quadriplegic and on a respirator due to the severe injuries to his spinal cord and brain. Free Online…
June 22, 2005 TX: Two rare white tiger cubs seized from a man trying to drive them into Mexico have found a new home in Wise County.
June 21, 2005 OH: Heaven’s Corner owner Kord McGuire recalls the day a run-in with the 200-pound cougar almost cost him his life. “I was transferring Zeb, who I bottle-fed when he was a baby, to my traveling van to go to an educational program for some Cub Scouts in Camden . Suddenly Zeb leaped up and took my arm in his mouth. He also bit me on the side, narrowly
missing my kidney. As I fought him off, he went for my foot, shredding the brand new Nike tennis shoe I was wearing. I finally escaped by climbing on top of the cage.”
June 14, 2005 Conway, AR: An unemployed sheet metal worker, facing an order to appear in court and a possible fine, says he’ll go to jail before he gives up his aging pet cougar because of his violations of the exotic pet regulations.
June 11, 2005 Lima, OH: Perry Township resident Bradley Craft, 33, was attacked June 11 by his 3-year-old, 160-pound pet mountain lion, Niko. Health Commissioner David Rosebrock said Craft grabbed the cat’s tail to prevent it from attacking his mother. Niko then turned on Craft, who was building an enclosure for the exotic pet at the time. Craft was bitten in the leg by the animal, Ellis said, adding that he had treated other animal attack victims at his practice. One of those lost a foot because of a pet bear.
June 11, 2005 Underwood, MN: Acrhangel Lion killed after escaping from cage in Otter Tail County. Attempts to contact the owner Mrs. Mears, were unsuccessful. On May 28th she was given 10 days to find homes for the 9 tigers and the lions in the basement her boyfriend David Piccirillo had left behind when he took tiger cubs to Florida for photo ops.
June 7, 2005 Beaverton, OR: Deborah Walding admitted buying and selling of endangered ocelots as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. As part of her guilty plea, Walding agreed to pay a $25,000 fine, cooperate with investigators probing animal trafficking and, in a unique twist, to speak publicly about her conviction at two upcoming national exotic cat conferences.
June 6, 2005 Johnson City, TN: A bobcat escaped after his owner died and is being sent to a wildlife rehabilitator in Unicoi county.
June 2, 2005 Princeton, NJ: “I could feel the bones cracking and the warm blood in my eye,” Blakney recalled. “After some time, I decided he finally has me and I should play dead before I pass out. He remembers that the right side of his lower jaw was in about 17 pieces and that a doctor told him it wouldn’t work to try putting them back together. So instead, surgeons made a metal jaw. Blakney quickly pointed out that he didn’t feel the attack was the mountain lion’s fault. “He was just playing out his instinct and was a very good lion through all my years with him,” “I raised him on a bottle from the age of six weeks said Blakney. He had the lion killed so that he didn’t have to have rabies shots and had the mate killed as well so that she wouldn’t hurt anyone, despite the fact that she was not involved. He sold their pelts to his neighbor. More…
June 1, 2005 Long Island, NY: A Long Island man accused of chaining and beating his wife as two leopards crouched nearby had created a zoological horror show at his home. In the house were stuffed endangered animals and rotting animal carcasses. Suffolk police busted Anthony Barone on Sunday for the May 20 assault on Anastasia Barone, 33, and in the process discovered the leopards in a dank, feces-laden room. In an unplugged freezer investigators found the rotting carcass of a lynx. Anastasia Barone told authorities the lynx mauled the couple’s 8-year-old son last winter. After the attack, Anthony Barone chained up the lynx, until it strangled to death. Barone was in the process of buying two black leopards, describes himself as a “big-cat trainer, animal lover”. More…
June 1, 2005 Salisbury, NC: Rowan County Park told 6NEWS a veteran employee was feeding the animals when he was bit on the left leg by one of the park’s new bobcats. The worker was treated and released from the hospital.
May 28, 2005 Underwood, MN: Underwood woman must get rid of 9 tigers and lion after three people were bitten by cats at her animal farm called Arcangel Wildlife. Mears has 10 days to find homes for the cats or the county will confiscate them.
May 19, 2005 Omaha, NE: A serval on the loose has found a new home. The big cat was captured Wednesday at 59th and Franklin.
April 30, 2005 Minneapolis, MN: Tiger attack victim remains in hospital after being attacked by the animals, whose owner, Grant Oly, was in jail on charges he failed to register them. In 2003, a tiger at the site was euthanized after it bit a 31-year-old pregnant woman.
April 25, 2005 Lacey, WA: Serval lost and hybrid found. Donny Roder reported loosing his 40 lb Serval and authorities nabbed a Serval hybrid while looking for the lost pet, but this cat was larger and no owner found.
April 23, 2005 Coon Rapids, MN: A Serval was discovered in the rafters of a garage and taken to the Humane Society. No owner has come forward.
April 21, 2005 Branson, MO: Animal control officials are trying to track a black panther that apparently has been roaming southwest Missouri . McRoy suspects the panther is someone’s pet. Wildlife biologists confirmed from the video that the panther is not native to the region, McRoy said.
April 18, 2005 Jinan, China: A tiger forced out of its pen and mauled a zoo worker to death Sunday in Laizhou city of east China’s Shandong Province, zoo officials and hospital sources
confirmed on Monday.
April 12, 2005 China: A desperate father fought in vain to save his eight-year-old son from being mauled to death by a tiger at a zoo in Changde, Central China’s Hunan Province . Mei Changhua climbed over a 3 foot-high barrier to get a better view of the big cats, when a tiger attacked him through the bars of its cage. Despite his father’s efforts, Mei bled to death before reaching hospital.
April 12, 2005 Thackery, IL: A 4-year-old McLeansboro girl is recuperating from injuries sustained Saturday evening when she was bitten by an adult cougar. The animal’s owner, Terry Biggerstaff, 58, shot and killed the animal. Holly Higgins was taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital where she was treated for a broken arm and lacerations to her hand and arm. Her parents said it took numerous stitches to close the wounds. An emergency room physician asked Holly if she was allergic to anything and she replied, “nothing but big cats”.
March 10, 2005 KIEV: An Amur tiger at Kiev zoo mauled a keeper to death who mistakenly walked into her enclosure.
Mar. 6, 2005 Dent, MN: (AP) Stephanie Truesdell said she was petting a large tiger through the bars of a cage at the Arcangel Wildlife farm near Underwood when the cat gave her a “playful” swipe with its paw and snagged her hand with its claw. Doctors closed the cuts with about a dozen stitches. Since then, an infection set in that required operations to drain the infection, re-close a wound that didn’t heal properly and graft healthy skin to the area. Archangel’s owner, David Piccirillo abandoned the adult cats and headed to Florida to make money off photo ops with the cubs, but was busted at a Motel 6 for not having a FL permit. He left behind his girlfriend with 9 tigers in the yard and lions in the basement in MN.
February 26, 2005 Palm Beach County, FL: A 500-pound tiger escaped from its cage at Panther Ridge Sanctuary located at 14755 Palm Beach Pointe Blvd. Wellington. Judy Berens, the sanctuary owner, stated that Tristan was not her cat and that he was being boarded and cared for by his owner Gail Laviola, who was solely responsible for the escape and that it was
Laviola who was cited for escaped captive wildlife, a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by 60 days in jail or a $500 fine. Panther Ridge has 16 large cats, including Amos, a black leopard,
and Eros and China, two spotted leopards. Some were left with her; others Berens bought. Video Tristen, the escapee & conditions. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel )
February 23, 2005 Sima Valley, CA: A 400 pound tiger was shot after being tracked for 8 days across 29 miles of heavily populated areas of Ventura County. Abby and Emma Hedengran, owners of Wild World/Tiger Creek Foundation were licensed with a 10 year permit to possess 30 big cats as of 2004. When the permit expired they could not renew and had to move with 25 cats to the Moorpark area where they rented a trailer and barn and had all of their cats in transport cages and carriers until Ventura County sent them packing. Federal authorities said charges were filed relating to the possession of exotic cats by Gert “Abby” Hedengran, 56, and his wife, Roena “Emma” Hedengran, 52 in the escape and death of Tuffy the tiger. Their cats were confiscated and relocated to NV. Free Online.
February 12, 2005 Oldsmar, FL: Marcus Cook of Zoo Dynamics, fka Zoo Pros was cited with unsafe handling of captive wildlife, resulting in injury to Sandra Hopps-Caraballo when a white tiger cub he was using for photo opportunities with people and their children bit her on the hand. Cook said the cubs belonged to Ken and Nancy Kraft of Bearcat Hollow who had been indicted on 55 counts of violating the Endangered species Act and the Lacey Act. Marcus Cook was also charged in this grand jury indictment for his involvement. After the cub bit the woman FWC ordered Cook to remove the baby tiger from his public petting routine while in FL. Cook said he was sending the cubs back to the Krafts who have relocated from Racine, MN, to SD where the laws are less strict, but his handler said the cubs had been shipped off to a show in Las Vegas. Two children were reported to have been bitten by Cook’s tiger cubs while he was traveling through TX and one of the cats in his side show was reported to have killed a woman by ripping her arm off. ( St. Petersburg Times )
February 12, 2005 Cut and Shoot, TX: Woman mauled in leopard attack at 6912 Dusty Lane at Wildlife Extravaganza, owned by Reginald “Lefty” Parr. Parr owns two leopards, a cougar, several tigers and a lion. There have been two prior incidents where cats escaped from Parr’s facility. In 1998, two tigers escaped from their cages after a trainer had left them open. Both tigers were later shot. In another incident, two cougars escaped from their cages. At that time, the animals were just housed in cages, which violates the Animal Welfare Act, she said. Following the second incident, Parr lost his exhibitor license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also was found guilty of several violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including constructing and maintaining housing facilities for animals that are not structurally sound and in good repair, failing to utilize a sufficient number of trained employees to maintain the prescribed level of husbandry practices and failing to establish and maintain programs of disease control and prevention, euthanasia and adequate veterinary care under the supervision and assistance of a veterinarian.
February 7, 2005 Baton Rouge, LA: Eric Drogosch is accused of violating the Animal Welfare Act for denying USDA inspectors access to his facilities, animals and records; providing insufficient housing and care to the animals; and failing to “handle tigers carefully,” which led to a child being injured. “The gravity of the violations alleged in the complaint is great,” the order says. “(Drogosch) has continually failed to comply with the regulations and standards, after having been repeatedly advised of deficiencies.” After five years and the deaths of several tigers USDA finally revoked his license. Free online.
February 4, 2005 Sacramento CA: Sacramento zoo lion kills mate of 15 months. In a zoo there is nowhere to run. Zookeepers describe such killings as rare, but on a national scale, they cannot say how rare. No one, either in industry groups or among federal overseers, keeps nationwide records on captive animals that kill their fellows – or on virtually any other cause of captive animal deaths.
February 1, 2005 Vero Beach, FL: The large golden African Serval, scared and lashing out, was dragging its left leg through the underbrush due to a broken back. Sadly, the animal had to be euthanized. Dangerfield estimated that it was about 2 years old and said it had not been declawed. The cat may have escaped from someone’s private collection, said Dangerfield. (www.tcpalm.com )
February 1, 2005 Winfield, IN: Video and still pictures of the animal aren’t clear enough to determine what it is, Davis said, but the tracks show it’s a feline. Davis estimated it may weigh about 25 to 35 pounds, similar in size to a bobcat – and much smaller than a cougar, which can weigh up to 150 pounds. The animal appeared to be black. Last summer, Davis said, the DNR captured a mixed-breed cat of about the same size and proportions in Hobart , north of Winfield. A dead bobcat was found near Indiana 49 near Chesterton earlier this month by the DNR. The department did not know if it was a wild feline or a former family pet. People sometimes buy exotic animals and then find that they don’t make good pets, he said.
January 30, 2005 Los Angeles, CA: Hollywood Hills residents were under warning today that a serval — a spotted, long-eared African cat that apparently escaped from whoever was keeping it as a pet — is roaming their area. “Keep small children and small pets indoors. Do not leave small children unattended outdoors,” said a Los Angeles Department of Animal Services statement.
January 29, 2005 Sioux Falls, SD: A critically endangered tiger might have to be killed after a man reached through a chain-link fence Tuesday at the Great Plains Zoo and was bitten by the animal. When people are bitten by wild animals, their heads have to be cut off to be tested for rabies, because there are no rabies vaccines approved for use in animals other than cats and dogs.
January 28, 2005 Toronto, Canada: A stripper mauled by a tiger in a Canadian safari park sued for $8,000,000.00 in damages (winning 838k) because her scars meant she could no longer work. Her musician boyfriend, David Balac, won $1.78 million because his injuries left him unable to work as an accordion player. African Lion Safari, near Hamilton, Ontario, west of Toronto, said it is reviewing the ruling, but it insisted the park was safe.
January 27, 2005 Moorpark, CA: Abby and Emma Hedengran, owners of Wild World/Tiger Creek Foundation transferred their cats from a Temecula facility to their new residence and facility in Moorpark. During the move, a Siberian lynx and an adult male Siberian tiger escaped. The lynx was found on the porch of a home near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and tranquilized. The tiger was later shot and killed.
January 13, 2005 Petal, MS: A bobcat is on her way to a sanctuary. The adult bobcat was emaciated and infected by buckshot wounds. Her collar was so tight it embedded in her fur. She was spayed and declawed and trailed a chain, adding to the theory that someone illegally kept her as a pet. Unable to hunt without her claws, Rose nearly starved before someone grabbed her chain and turned her over to a local rescue group. Most animals in her situation don’t end up getting placed like she did. Only one out of 20 or 30 avoid being euthanized.
January 11, 2005 Sacramento, CA: A 400 pound DEAD tiger escaped from the back of a truck as the vehicle swerved on Highway 99 in on the way to a lab for a necropsy.
January 9, 2005 Charlotte, Kings Mountain, NC: Two 75-125 pound tiger cubs were found wandering in a neighborhood full of children. These cats are banned in this area and even after the media has shown their pictures all over T.V. no one has stepped forward to claim them. One cub suffered a broken tail and the other a dislocated pelvis when they were apparently thrown from the back of a moving vehicle with electric cords tied around their necks. The cubs were separated and sent to separate animal shelters that are only equipped for dogs and cats. More.
December 10, 2004 Cassville, MO: At 1:14 p.m. Wednesday, Lisa (no last name) at St. John’s Hospital reported a man with a cougar bite.
December 7, 2004 Copenhagen, Denmark: (AP) A rare Siberian tiger was shot and killed Tuesday after it escaped from a downtown zoo by climbing over a 16-foot electrified fence in southern Denmark.
December 5, 2004 Laredo, TX: Texas circus worker bitten by Bengal tiger. A circus staffer working at a show in Texas was injured after getting too close to the tiger cage. The worker’s hand was bitten and mangled by a Bengal tiger. The tiger belongs to the Great Circus of China. Circus managers say the tiger was properly caged at the time. They added that workers know not to go into the cages.
November 20, 2004 Branson West, MO: An 18-year-old volunteer at Predator World spent the night in the hospital after being bitten on the arm by an 80-pound black leopard as he stood next to the cage
November 20, 2004 St. Augustine, FL: (AP) A 14 year old boy was mauled by a 450 lb tiger that was being walked on a leash at the St. Johns County Fair by the cat’s owner, Curt LoGiudice, owner of the Catty Shack Ranch at Jacksonville. The boy and some friends were watching the tiger being moved to the truck when the tiger went for the boy, hooking the boy’s thigh and pulling the boy under him. That’s when the deputies shot the tiger with the Tasers. The handler tried to get between the tiger and the boy, and after the tiger released the boy, it then bit the handler around his neck and head, Suchy said. At one time, the handler’s head was in the tiger’s mouth, Suchy said. LoGiudice has been questioned four times for attacks: One of his cougars bit a 19-month-old in 1999, while an elderly woman was bitten on the arm by a tiger cub in 2000, a trainer suffered 23 puncture wounds from a cougar and a woman sued LoGiudice after the same cougar attacked her, but Florida Game and Fish officials say that these attacks will not cause Curt LoGiudice of Catty Shack Ranch to lose his license to exhibit the cats. ( Associated Press ) Free Online.
November 10, 2004 Gentry, AR: A tiger pulled the flesh off the right middle finger of Angela Pruitt, 36, of Vian, OK at the Wild Wilderness Drive Thru Safari. The owners of the safari refused to comment on the woman’s injury or provide safety tips for visitors attending the park.
November 10, 2004 Columbia, TN: An 19 month old Serval named Nyla escapes while her owner, Talisa Bowers is out of town when the family dog forced open her gate to get to her food. Nyla had eluded recapture for more than a month last October when she escaped by pushing the door open herself. At this time the declawed Serval is still on the loose with only domestic pets to feed on since she is incapable of capturing real prey. Free Online.
November 3, 2004 Taipei City Zoo: A man who suffers from a mental disorder jumped into the lion’s pit at the zoo. The man climbed the two-story high concrete wall and jumped down into the animal’s home. He suffered only minor bite wounds, unlike the innocent lions, who were anesthetized and quarantined. Free online.
October 2004, CA: Saugus High School hosted a display by Sid Yost of Amazing Animal Actors, who took a lion to a homecoming assembly at the school. Yost has been repeatedly cited and was fined $2,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act-including failure to handle animals in a way that ensures public safety and the welfare of the animals-after one of his chimpanzees bit someone.
October 29, 2004 Shawnee County, KS: The Wichita Eagle: A mountain lion was found dead shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night in Shawnee County. “It was a young one, only 50 to 60 pounds, and had been declawed and its canine teeth had been filed down,” We have not been able to verify if this animal belonged to a few people in the area who have permits for mountain lions or if it might have belonged to someone who was keeping one illegally without a permit and then dumped it there,” Ladner said. “They did try to make it appear like the animal was crossing the road.” Free online.
October 22, 2004 Bangkok, Thailand: (Reuters) The bird flu toll among tigers at a Thai zoo has risen to 83, but the keepers who looked after them are free of the deadly disease which has killed 31 people in southeast Asia this year, officials said on Friday. http://bigcatescapesmaulings.blogspot.com/.
August 31, 2004 Ft. Polk, LA: AP 40 soldiers, several trappers and others searched a military installation and surrounding area for a 100 pound, collared pet tiger for several days. Free online.
August 19, 2004 Punta Gorda, FL: (AP) Two lions were running down Highway 17 in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley.
August 23, 2004 The big cat crises was the August 23, 2004 Cover Story of TIME Magazine. Read more in that issue by clicking on the cover. Articles cover the threats of vanishing habitat, their endangered status and the problems associated with them being kept as pets.
July 30, 2004 Queens, NY: 450 pound Cole Brothers Circus Tiger Escapes in New York. Sighting of the tiger walking along the road and through a park causes multi-car accident that resulted in injuries
to four adults and a child. The city was sued for 3.5 million by the victims of the wreck. The circus was restrained from bringing their big cats and elephants to their next gig.
July 27, 2004 Bullitt Co., KY: A two year old Snow Leopard escaped in Shepherdsville, Kentucky from his private owner and has been missing for days. The owner says he would probably run from people, but that kids and pets shouldn’t be let out.
July 12, 2004 West Palm Beach, FL: Tiger escapes private owner in West Palm Beach and eludes authorities. In February 2002, Bobo, the 750-pound tiger mauled a woman who was helping Sipek during a photo shoot at his compound. She was bit on the head. After eluding capture for two days, Bobo was shot and killed.
June 14, 2004 Elgin, Canada: A 10-year-old Toronto boy is in London hospital with serious neck and head injuries after being attacked by a tiger. The owner was showing the visitors his 160-kilogram Siberian tiger and led the tiger out on a leash. When the tiger lunged, the boy turned to run and was attacked in the back of the head and neck, suffering injuries that sent him to Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario in London.
June 9, 2004 Copley Twp. OH: Trucks haul away 29 exotic animals. Pearson’s L&L Exotic Animal Farm loses bid to keep lions, tigers, leopards. This is not the first time the farm has drawn attention from the law and from the media, reported Costen. In 1983, tragedy struck when a 250-pound tiger killed Pearson’s 2-year-old son. 2006 Update: The U.S. Department of Agriculture filed a complaint against Pearson and the L&L Exotic Animal
Farm in 2002, but the process to revoke his license stagnated after the hearing was temporarily halted in September 2003. When the hearing resumed Pearson faced 953 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, from February 1997 through February 2006.
May 30, 2004 Chillicothe, OH: (AP) A man whose pet lioness attacked his daughter has given away his second big cat. Charles Peters had to shoot and kill Sheba on Friday evening after the lioness wouldn’t let go of the arm of Peters’ 33-year-old daughter, Lisa Peters. Charles Peters, who lives about 10 miles east of Chillicothe in southern Ohio, said he has kept big cats off and on for about 20 years without a problem. “I had a tiger that used
to pull my granddaughter around by the diaper,” he said. “Gentle as could be.” But now he and his wife, Marty, say they’re done keeping big cats. Ohio has no state prohibition on keeping big cats as pets. More here.
May 15, 2004 Albuquerque, NM: (AP) A frequent Albuquerque zoo visitor whose finger was found bitten off outside the jaguar exhibit has been banned from the zoo for life. The victim denied missing any fingers. But Darnell says a print lifted from the detached finger said otherwise. He says police went to the man’s house and visually confirmed he was the right person.
May 1, 2004 Bangkok, Thailand: A teenage worker at a Thai zoo died on Saturday after being mauled by six tigers in front of more than 100 shocked tourists, an official said. The zoo hit Thai headlines last year after its sale of 100 tigers to China raised suspicions the animals were butchered and used to make traditional medicine.
April 15, 2004 Hollywood, CA: Elisha Cuthbert was bitten by a cougar and had to be rushed to hospital while filming the hit American TV series 24. She says, “My stunt double was petting the animal, so I put my hand out to stroke it and it bit me, it almost ripped my thumb off. I was rushed to hospital with two puncture wounds, one of which went right through my hand, I had a brace on my hand for five weeks.”
April 15, 2004 Indio Hills, CA: Tiger escapes attacks owner. Police say a man called to say that his 200 lb pet tiger knocked him down and pinned him to the ground. We’re told the man is not hurt, but afraid the tiger could get out again.
April 8, 2004 Long Island, NY: Suffolk County Police are Looking For Exotic Cat On Long Island . The 40 lb. Serval Martha Wentz kept in the basement broke out of the window and has been on the loose while Wentz was vacationing in FL.
April 7, 2004 Knoxville, TN: A woman’s pet bobcat escaped from her home in East Knoxville. The bobcat’s owner says he escaped through the kitchen window of her home. This is the third time she has asked authorities to help her find the exotic pet she calls “Brambles.” “I thought it would be pretty neat to own one,” says Harrison . “As I’m finding out, he’s getting me into a lot of trouble.”
March 31, 2004 Cosby, TN: Michael Pulley has been forced to surrender the lion. Michael Pulley owns a nine-month-old lion named Mischa. He says he didn’t know he needed a permit to have her, but the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says the law is clear. Pulley faces charges and possible jail time.
Mar. 17, 2004 Massena, NY: (AP) A 4-year-old was hospitalized after her grandmother’s caged cougar mauled her at the woman’s home in northern New York. The girl told her mother the 160-pound male cat reached through the cage and grabbed her. Aubrey Swart was treated Saturday evening at Massena Memorial Hospital for cuts, bruises to the head and an eye injury, and transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlngton , Vt.
Mar. 10, 2004 East Limestone, AL: (AP) A cougar, named Dracula, got out of its cage and spent the night on its owner’s 120-acre farm in Limestone County before being sedated and returned to a pen. Owner, Doug Wells, said Dracula ran out of the pen Sunday when a beef shoulder roast bounced out of the cage at feeding time. Dracula ran past Tom Cahall, who helps Wells on the farm, and when Cahall grabbed for the cat’s nape, it bit Cahall’s arm, requiring stitches.
March 5, 2004 The Star: The SARS corona virus initially jumped to humans from the weasel-like civet cat and other exotic animals. “We saw examples where patients were able to transmit it to a large number of people with minimal contact,” A year later – after 8,098 people in 29 countries contracted the disease and 774 of them died, including 44 in the Toronto area – much about SARS remains unknown.
February 20, 2004 Volusia County, FL: Florida Wildlife agents busted a group traveling with lions, tigers, snakes and alligators Friday for not having a permit for the dangerous animals.One man is jailed and the other, James Garrettson, is escorted out of the state.
February 20, 2004 Red Wing, MN: A jury found a Red Wing man guilty of violating a zoning ordinance for keeping up to eight Siberian tigers at his rural residence. four people had been bitten and one cat killed after biting a pregnant woman.
February 19, 2004/Beijing, China: A rare Siberian tiger which escaped from an animal park in China’s northeast, mauling a man on the way, returned by itself after eluding authorities for two days.
February 17, 2004 Dade City , FL: “Pet” cougar is found lounging near neighbor’s pool 3/10ths of mile away from his home. Animal’s possessor retrieves animal without incident, but she will have to appear in court for allowing cougar to escape. ( Tampa Tribune )
February 14, 2004 Lake County, IL: Animal control officials are investigating sightings of what might be a cougar on the loose that is thought to be an escaped pet.
February 13, 2004 Elizabethtown, IL (AP) — A Hardin County man who kept exotic animals was apparently attacked and killed Thursday by a pet African lion, authorities said. Meanwhile a tiger was confiscated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It came from a guy who had a tiger for a pet. He pulled up to a stop light in Sandwich with his tiger in the back of his pickup truck. An elderly woman was behind him and she called police. The tiger ended up going to a big cat rescue organization in Colorado. It was 10 months old and weighed 220 pounds.
February 9, 2004 New Orleans, LA: A leopard the family had raised from a cub attacked his owner. The leopard was shot three times by the police, but continued to attack until a relative killed him with a shot gun. More below.
February 6, 2004 Roanoke, VA: Couple’s big cats violate county law, jury decides. District Attorney seeks 2000.00 a day fines.
February 6, 2004 Palm Beach, FL: The Palm Beach Post proclaims that McCarthy’s Wildlife Center may have to close due to lack of support.
February 4, 2004 Omaha NE: Serval is found wandering in a neighborhood. Owners try to convince law enforcement that it is a legal hybrid.
February 4, 2004 Shenyang, China: (Xinhuanet) A wild Siberian tiger has been found dead in Manchu Autonomous County of Xinbin, Fushun City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Died from near starvation and then caught by poachers.
February 1, 2004 Fort Wayne, IN: A 150-pound mountain lion that had escaped Saturday night from its owner’s car following a minor traffic accident was shot and killed by police after it became agitated and tried to jump on an officer. Judge orders man to give up cats, but mortgage holder forecloses and man skips town with cats. Judge Stanley Levine ordered Dutcher to pay about $7,400 in attorneys’ fees incurred by the Still Water Place Community Association.
February 1, 2004 Otter Tail County, MN: Authorities are trying to determine what killed several large exotic cats and a camel found dead. The owner of an exotic animal farm says the four tigers and one camel found dead on his property Tuesday weren’t neglected.
January 27, 2004 Zeeland, MI: City Attorney James Donkersloot said it was illegal for Jarnigan to have the bobcat. “If she didn’t have a license, she was violating the rights of everyone else in the state. They have laws for a purpose and people should respect the laws.”
January 25, 2004 Surry County, IN: LOWGAP A 14-year-old Surry County girl was mauled by a tiger kept in a cage behind the family’s trailer and seriously injured less than two months after a tiger killed a 10-year-old
boy at his uncle’s home 40 miles away in Wilkes County.
January 22, 2004 Kent County, DE: A family relinquished a bobcat on Jan. 22, after it reportedly bit another human. Because the cat wasn’t vaccinated, it had to be euthanized for a rabies check.
December 14,2003 Millers Creek, NC: Ruth Bynum’s 400-pound Bengal tiger fatally mauled her 10-year-old nephew after pulling him under a fence and into his cage, authorities said. Cat was kept behind the family’s home in a cage that allowed the family dog to run in and out of the cage. The boy, Clayton James Eller, was shoveling snow Sunday afternoon near the tiger’s cage, an enclosure made of chain link “This little boy got too close,
and it pulled him under the fence,” Coroner Howard Laney said. The boy’s uncle, James Marshall Eller, heard Clayton scream and saw the tiger dragging the boy into its cage. Sheriff Dane Mastin said Eller tried in vain to get the tiger off the boy, then ran and got his gun and shot the tiger to death. But it was too late to save the boy. The boy’s mother, Angela Eller, had left the boy in the care of her sister Ruth Bynum, the tiger’s owner, while she went to work, Mastin said. James Eller is the brother of the two women.
Oct. 4, 2003 New York, NY: A 400-pound tiger, along with a 5-foot alligator, was found in a New York apartment owned by Anthony Yates. The tiger had attacked its owner, who was listed in good condition. The Siberian-Bengal mix had been kept in the apartment since he was a cub, authorities said. The owner and his 68 year old mother potentially face 7 years in jail for reckless endangerment.
Oct. 3, 2003 Las Vegas, NV: A 600-pound white tiger dragged Roy Horn, 59, half of the famed duo, offstage by the neck after Horn tapped its nose with a microphone for ignoring a command. He was in critical but stable condition Sunday at a Las Vegas hospital. Five months pass before Horn takes his first steps to recovery.
September 20, 2003 Baghad, Iraq: A U.S. soldier shot and killed a tiger at the Baghdad Zoo after the tiger bit off the finger and clawed the arm of another soldier who was feeding him through the bars of the cage.
September 4, 2003 Alexandria, Egypt: A tiger pounced on a circus trainer during an act, causing deep cuts to his face and a broken jaw.
August 21, 2003 Whetstone Township, OH: A chained 180-pound “pet” cougar snapped his collar, escaped, and attacked a neighbor’s dog, causing more than 100 lacerations.
August 14, 2003 St. Louis, MO: A cheetah at the St. Louis Zoo escaped from her enclosure–by going through a 12-foot wide moat and over a 12-foot high wall–and walked among visitors before being recaptured.
August 8, 2003 Dhaka, Bangladesh: A zookeeper fainted when a tiger escaped from his cage at the Bangladesh Zoo. The tiger roamed freely for an hour.
July 29, 2003 Chisinau, Moldova: A tiger at a zoo bit off a 10-year-old girl’s arm when she reached into the tiger’s cage and tried to pet him.
July 18, 2003 Chihuahua, Mexico: A 12-year-old New Mexico boy, vacationing in Mexico, nearly lost his finger when he was bitten by a jaguar at a petting zoo. The child’s finger received 42 stitches.
July 3, 2003 La Crosse, WI: A tiger mauled circus trainer Bruno Blaszak in front of 400 people during his show at a festival. The tiger charged at Blaszak, knocked him down, and clawed him. His right leg required 30 to 40 stitches.
June 30, 2003 Calhan, CO: Two tigers severely mauled an employee of Big Cats of Serenity Springs as he entered their cage. The employee was knocked down by one tiger and suffered a mangled leg and scalp injuries. As a result, the tigers were beaten with shovels and later killed.
June 23, 2003 Crossett, AR: A firefighter visiting the Crossett Zoo suffered a deep laceration and lost part of his thumb when he was bitten by a tiger.
May 28, 2003 Nampa, ID: At a roadside zoo called For the Birds, where visitors are allowed to pet tigers, a toddler was jumped on and licked by a 170-pound tiger. Other zoo visitors and employees have been jumped on and bitten by tigers.
April 28, 2003 Russia: Two lions escaped from their cage, which had been left open, and killed a circus trainer. Police shot and killed the lions.
April 23, 2003 Colmenar Viejo, Spain: A tiger with the Italian-owned International Circus bit off the right arm and caused serious injury to the left arm of a man who approached the his cage.
April 23, 2003 Tokyo, Japan: Several lions attacked and killed an animal handler who was patrolling the grounds at a drive-through facility called African Safari Park.
April 22, 2003 Colton, CA: On Earth Day California Department of Fish and Game representatives found the bodies of 30 tigers and other big cats and 58 dead cubs during a raid on Weinhart’s Glen Avon home, evidently used by his nonprofit organization, Tiger Rescue. The Department of Fish and Game also seized 13 tiger and leopard cubs, ranging in age from a few weeks to a few months.
April 2, 2003 Adair, OK: Several tigers belonging to the International Wildlife Center of Texas and boarded at Safari Joe’s Rock Creek Exotic Animal Park attacked and killed a handler. One tiger grabbed her arm and pulled her into the cage as she was giving them water, and other tigers in the cage pounced on her. Another keeper tried to help, but things got only worse. ”The first one grabbed her and the rest of them joined in,” says Mayes County Deputy Charles McGuire. “The other girl who was there grabbed a shovel and joined in and beat the tigers to get them away from her and that’s when they removed the deceased’s left arm.” Bracket was brought to Tulsa for treatment, but she died. These tigers were later reported to be included in James Garretson’s traveling side show called Killer Cat Show which is based in Florida. The tigers were displayed at fairs and used in photo ops with the public.
March 31, 2003 Hennepin, IL: As he entered their pen to shift them to another enclosure, a man was mauled to death by two tigers he kept in a backyard menagerie. Police shot and killed both tigers in order to retrieve the body. This was the second incident at the Second Nature Exotic Cats Sanctuary (see May 26, 2002/Hennepin, Ill.).
March 23, 2003 Sacramento, CA: A keeper at the Sacramento Zoo was hospitalized and treated for puncture wounds to his neck, right shoulder, and left leg after he was attacked by a 325-pound tiger while he was preparing to feed the animal. Another worker beat the tiger on the head with a shovel to stop the attack.
March 16, 2003 Dehiwela, Sri Lanka: A leopard at the Colombo Zoo reached through the bars of his cage and attacked an infant, causing severe head injuries.
February 3, 2003 Jacksonville, FL: A 450-pound tiger with UniverSoul Circus escaped while the cage was being cleaned. The tiger climbed a car, jumped over a fence, headed down an alley, frightened employees at a nearby restaurant, and was recaptured 10 minutes later. 100s of people witness Chad ‘s escape. ( Associated Press, The Florida Times-Union, WjXT-TV Channel 4 ( IND ) Jacksonville )
January 30, 2003 Benimantell, Spain: A lion bit off a British woman’s arm at the elbow as she attempted to pet the animal while touring a zoo.
January 24, 2003 Albert Lea, MN: A malnourished tiger cub was seized from a home in a residential neighborhood after school officials learned that scratches and bite marks on a fifth-grade boy were caused by his father’s “pet” tiger.
January 17, 2003 Hubei Province, China: Two lions at Wuhan Forest Safari Park mauled a keeper to death as he entered their cage to feed them, then escaped and ran loose for hours before being recaptured.
January 15, 2003 Miami , FL: Exotic cat is found along Florida highway. Cat’s “owner” claims animal was stolen ( WSVN-TV Channel 7 (Fox) )
January 8, 2003 Laurens, SC: A 200-pound “pet” cougar was recaptured in a residential neighborhood after he had escaped from a pen 5 miles away and roamed freely for three days.
December 15, 2002 Leesburg, VA.: Animal control was called to help recapture an 80-pound tiger who escaped from a petting zoo and was on top of a car in a parking lot.
December 2002 Malibu Hills, CA: Television star Elisha Cuthbert was treated at a hospital for deep puncture wounds to the hand after she was bitten by a cougar while shooting a scene for the TV show 24.
November 29, 2002 Kaohsiung City, China: A tiger from an American circus based in Las Vegas bit off a woman’s hand as she tried to pet him during a parade to advertise circus performances.
November 14, 2002 Detroit, MI: A tiger who had been beaten to death and dumped in a field was found by local residents.
November 3, 2002 Guatemala: A leopard with the King Gitano Circus attacked and killed a 2-year-old girl after she wandered near the animal’s cage. The leopard reached out, grabbed her with his claws, threw her against the cage, and bit her. She died of a fractured skull.
October 28, 2002 Las Vegas, NV: Neighbors became frightened and alerted animal control when they spotted two tiger cubs running loose on a neighbor’s rooftop. The cubs had escaped from the homeowner’s private menagerie.
October 17, 2002 Southport, FL: A 500-pound African lion pounced on, dragged, and mauled his owner at a roadside zoo called 77 Zoological Park as the owner stepped into the cage to pose for a picture. The lion ripped a hole in his throat, pulled his right eye out of its socket, severed tendons in his neck and chest, tore his skin, and bit through his flesh to the bone. The man spent weeks in the hospital and was in critical condition for 11 days. He loses 80% of eyesight. He has trained large animals since age 12 when he began training bears in circus in Europe . ( Associated Press )
October 11, 2002 Jackson, NJ: The 70-year-old husband of “tiger lady” Joan Byron-Marasek was suddenly attacked by a tiger at her controversial preserve as he was feeding the tigers. He suffered head injuries, and his arm was nearly severed.
October 9, 2002 Potsdam, Germany: A tiger escaped from a circus, forcing fearful residents to stay indoors for more than two hours. A park was sealed off and 20 police officers and veterinarians searched for the tiger, using a tranquilizer gun to recapture her.
September 28, 2002 Bloomington, IL: A 400-pound tiger was shot and killed by police after he escaped from a trailer at a truck stop and hid in bushes near a residential area for nine hours. Local police spent $9,000 attempting to recapture the tiger. This same tiger mauled a 7-year-old girl in Hennepin, Ill. (see May 26, 2002).
September 22, 2002 Mayagüez, Puerto Rico: Police officers shot and killed a jaguar after she escaped from her cage at the Mayagüez Zoo. The jaguar, found hiding in a tree, made several attempts to attack the officers before they gunned her down.
September 22, 2002 Quitman, AR: Four African lions, believed to have escaped from a nearby exotic animal farm, were shot and killed after running loose for several days, terrifying residents.
September 20, 2002 Scotts Valley, CA: A declawed 150-pound tiger, who was being walked on a leash by Zoo to You at a school assembly with 150 children at the Baymonte Christian School, suddenly lunged at a 6-year-old boy and grabbed the child by the head with her jaws. The boy was wrestled away from the tiger by the principal and airlifted to a medical center where he received 55 stitches for two cuts to his scalp. A psychologist gave counseling to the terrified children who witnessed the attack.
August 23, 2002 El Arish, Egypt: A circus trainer was taken to a hospital for treatment after his lion lashed out as he attempted to play with him. The lion severely wounded his hand.
August 14, 2002 Akron, OH: A 30-pound “pet” serval-hybrid escaped and ran loose for several blocks, worrying neighbors who were concerned for the safety of children playing outdoors.
July 22, 2002 Cozumel, Mexico: A 13-year-old Florida resident vacationing in Mexico was mauled by one of two lions displayed in a cage as an attraction at a restaurant. The girl was petting the lion when the lion bit her arm and refused to let go for five minutes. The girl’s arm was severely torn above the elbow and required more than 300 stitches.
June 9, 2002 South Africa: Three lions mauled a tourist from Texas as she posed for a picture in their enclosure at a game lodge. She suffered injuries to her arm, shoulder, and leg and was hospitalized for 10 days.
May 26, 2002 Hennepin, IL: A 7-year-old girl was bitten by a tiger at a private menagerie as she attempted to pet the animal. The girl required 110 stitches and three months of therapy.
May 22, 2002 Mayagüez, Puerto Rico: A 12-year-old boy was scratched on the hand by a jaguar at the Mayagüez Zoo when he reached inside the jaguar’s cage.
May 15, 2002 Romania: A 3-year-old girl was mauled by a 9-month-old lion tied up outside of a shop. The girl, who had tried to play with the lion, required hospital treatment for cuts to her chest, belly, and buttocks.
May 12, 2002 Tampa, FL: A 350-pound African lion at Busch Gardens ripped off the arm of a zookeeper standing next to the lion’s cage while she was giving a private tour to her family. The attack occurred shortly after the zookeeper had fed the lion pieces of meat during training exercises. ( Tampa Tribune )
April 28, 2002 Pickens County, SC: According to the Post & Courier, a “pet” tiger was quarantined for biting an 8-year-old boy in the leg after the tiger had been given a bath. The tiger is normally kept in a metal cage in the backyard.
March 6, 2002 Vienna, Austria: While visitors watched, three jaguars at the Schoenbrunn zoo attacked and killed an employee as she was preparing their food and injured the zoo’s director when he tried to rescue the zookeeper.
February 15, 2002 Pahrump, NV: Animal exhibitor Karl Mitchell shot and killed one of his tigers after the animal became frightened and escaped his control while being moved to a new residence.
February 3, 2002 Loxahatchee, FL: A woman was hospitalized in critical condition with a skull fracture after she was attacked and bitten by a 750-pound declawed tiger. The woman had been painting in preparation for a photo shoot at Steve Sipek’s private animal compound. ( Associated Press & Palm Beach Post )
January 24, 2002 Gentry, AR: Two animal handlers at Wild Wilderness Drive Thru Safari were attacked while transferring cougars between cages. One handler received multiple bites on an arm and leg, and the other was bitten in the face.
January 16, 2002 Pickering, Canada: A 500-pound tiger used for photo ops with small children and strippers snapped her tether, escaped, and wandered in the streets near Toronto, alarming residents. More than half a dozen police cruisers and a helicopter were dispatched to locate and recapture the tiger.
December 9, 2001 Davie, FL: A 7-year-old boy was taken to the hospital for stitches after being attacked and bitten “bone-deep” on the neck by a 40-pound declawed African serval at a PepsiCo International picnic.
The child was walking by when the unattended serval leaped on him and knocked him to the ground. Pangaea Productions, now called Animal World which is owned by Corinne Oltz, was hired to bring the serval and other animals to the event to be used for entertainment.
November 2, 2001 Pahrump, NV: A man was severely injured by a tiger while visiting a private residence. The man was bitten on the arm when he was allowed to feed the animals and required more than $160,000 in medical care, including reconstructive surgery. A lawsuit was filed against tiger owner Annette Grabowski and her companion, Paul Mason, for negligence and against Nye County for failure to take action despite a previous biting incident.
October 22, 2001 Lyons, France: A lion belonging to a circus and being used in a film escaped from the film set and was discovered near a children’s home. The lion was shot and killed.
October 21, 2001 Kunming, China: A zookeeper was mauled to death by a tiger as she entered the cage to feed the animal.
October 10, 2001 Lee County, TX: A 3-year-old boy was killed by one of three of a relative’s “pet” tigers as he was about to have his picture taken with the animals. The 250-pound tiger snatched the boy from the arms of an adult, clamped down on his leg, and dragged him around the enclosure, causing head injuries. The tiger was beaten on the head until he released the boy’s foot.
October 6, 2001 Wuhan, China: A lion at a drive-thru animal park attacked and injured two tourists. A mother and son were throwing live hens to the lion from the open window of a bus when the lion grabbed the boy’s arm and dragged him out through the window. The mother was scratched as she tried to rescue her son. As punishment, the lion will spend the rest of his life in a small cage.
October 3, 2001 Pittsburgh, PA: A “pet” African serval escaped for the fourth time in two years (see August 3, 2001).
September 26, 2001 Paris, France: A lion escaped from his cage at Zoo de Vincennes and ripped open a zookeeper’s carotid artery during an attack, killing him.
August 16, 2001 Quitandinha, Brazil: A trapeze artist with the Imperial Circus of Mexico had an arm amputated after he was attacked by a lioness while helping a worker feed her.
August 11, 2001 Sydney, Australia: A lion trainer was “thrown around like a rag doll” by two lions during a performance. The trainer was hospitalized for several days in serious condition with puncture wounds to his chest, back, arms, and buttocks. Emergency workers used fire hoses to push back the lions so that the trainer could be rescued.
August 3, 2001 Pittsburgh, PA: A 42-pound “pet” African serval alarmed the neighborhood after he escaped and ran loose for the third time in two years. The serval was undernourished when he was re-captured a month later.
July 31, 2001 Center Hill, FL: A 500-pound tiger mauled and killed a man making cage repairs at a roadside zoo called Savage Kingdom. The man had suffered a fatal bite to his neck and severe injuries to his head, arm, and ribs. The tiger was later shot and killed by zoo workers.
July 27, 2001 Racine, MN: A 2-year-old, 400-pound white Siberian tiger was destroyed for rabies tests after he bit a 7-year-old girl. The tiger had escaped from a cage at a roadside zoo called B.E.A.R.C.A.T. Hollow and attacked the girl, inflicting two puncture wounds that became infected. The tiger was stuffed and mounted.
July 11, 2001 Africa: British film-maker Nigel Marven was mauled by a hand-reared lion while filming a show. The lion clawed his leg and tried to bite his head.
July 11, 2001 Moscow, Russia: A leopard reached through the bars of his cage at the Krasnoyarsk Zoo and mauled a 4-year-old’s neck as she posed next to the animal for a photograph. The girl was hospitalized and required surgery.
June 29, 2001 Valladolid, Spain: A zookeeper was mauled to death by four lions at a zoo when he moved the animals into another part of their cage and accidentally left their cage door ajar.
June 25, 2001 Nashville, TN: The Nashville Zoo was evacuated after officials found a cheetah wandering outside of his pen. The cheetah was shot with a tranquilizer dart and recaptured.
June 13, 2001 Kazan, Russia: A Siberian tiger was shot and killed by police after he escaped from a zoo and attacked a keeper. More than 700 officers and a helicopter searched for the escaped tiger for more than four hours.
May 23, 2001 Michoacán, Mexico: Two lions belonging to the Hermanos Rodriguez Ayala circus escaped from their cages during a severe rainstorm. The lions caused panic among local residents before police and circus
workers recaptured the animals.
May 2001 Douglass (Berks) Township, PA: An escaped “pet” African serval was struck and killed by a car after roaming free for a week.
April 2001 Omaha, NE: Animal handler Bryan Franzen required stitches after he was clawed by a tiger during a performance at the Tangier Shrine Circus.
April 29, 2001 Oskaloosa, KS: A Jefferson County sheriff’s lieutenant shot and killed an escaped tiger as the tiger crouched in an attack position. The 600-pound tiger ran loose for an hour after fleeing while being unloaded at a traveling zoo called, “Gatekeepers Wildlife Sanctuary.” The animal had twice tried to attack a veterinarian when he was shot with a tranquilizer dart.
April 27, 2001 Oakwood, OH: The sheriff’s office warned residents to keep their children and companion animals indoors after receiving a report that an escaped lion had been sighted.
April 16, 2001 Cascante, Spain: Three lions and a tiger escaped from a circus, killing or injuring several other animals at the circus. Police cordoned off the area and warned residents to stay indoors. Two of the lions were recaptured, and police shot and killed the tiger and the third lion the next day.
April 12, 2001 Brasov, Romania: A lion being used for photo shoots with tourists attacked an 8-year-old boy and escaped. The lion was recaptured by police, and the boy was hospitalized with bite wounds to his shoulder.
April 7, 2001 Van Buren County, AR: Three tigers escaped from their cages while being moved by court order from a Faulkner County subdivision, where they had been kept in violation of a local ordinance. The tigers were found three hours later, and one died after being tranquilized. After the escape, the sheriff of Van Buren County stated that he did not want the tigers in his county either.
March 27, 2001 Morgan County, MO: An African lion at Ozark Nature Center escaped from his cage while animals were being loaded for transport. Terrified residents spent the next four days escorting children and keeping companion animals indoors while dozens of police officers and conservation agents searched for the animal. The lion was found napping near a road and recaptured.
March 25, 2001 Las Vegas, NV: A tiger with Safari Wildlife attacked and killed his handler. The tiger put his paw on the man’s back, pushed him down, and bit his throat. The handler died within minutes from loss of blood. The tiger was used for photo ops with the public and had also appeared in numerous motion pictures and advertisements. He was being groomed for a promotional advertisement when the attack occurred. Another handler was hospitalized with injuries to his knees and puncture wounds.
March 22, 2001 Toronto, Canada: A 400-pound tiger with Garden Bros. Circus bit off a circus worker’s fingertip while being given water.
March 20, 2001 Olmsted Falls, OH: A worker spreading gravel in a tiger enclosure at Burnette Farm was mauled and critically injured by a 500-pound tiger. The worker underwent surgery for bite wounds to his neck.
March 16, 2001 Witts Springs, AR: A tiger escaped from a backyard menagerie by gnawing her way through the heavy steel enclosure. The tiger was loose for three days, terrorizing residents and biting a dog, who was subsequently treated for three large fang marks on each side of his neck. The tiger continued to elude capture after she was shot in the shoulder by an area resident. She was tranquilized and recaptured after she was located in a thickly wooded area by a police helicopter.
March 10, 2001 Kamarkundu, India: Just minutes after the show started, a tiger suddenly mauled a worker at the Olympic Circus while the animal was being forced to jump through a fireball. The circus worker received
15 stitches on his head, neck, and jaws.
February 5, 2001 Keal Cotes, England: An animal trainer suffered bite wounds to his leg and shoulder when he was mauled by a 550-pound tiger during a training exercise.
January 26, 2001 Las Vegas, NV: A “pet” cougar escaped from her pen and hopped aboard a school bus. No children were on board at the time. The driver fled from the bus, and animal control workers captured
December 29, 2000 Frankfurt, Germany: A tiger escaped from a circus and caused a 12-mile traffic jam on Germany’s busiest motorway that lasted longer than two hours while he eluded capture by 50 police, firefighters, animal experts, and circus personnel. A helicopter with heat-seeking equipment located the tiger at night, and he was finally captured after being sedated with six shots from an anesthetic dart gun.
December 20, 2000 Omaha, NE: A 6-month-old mountain lion cub pounced on the landlord of a rental home that he was checking on after the tenant was arrested for armed robbery.
December 15, 2000 Calcutta, India: A 30-year-old man, believed to be drunk, was killed by a tiger in front of horrified spectators at the Alipur Zoo when he jumped over a fence into the tiger enclosure. The tiger swiped at
the man once with his paw.
December 15, 2000 West Bengal, India: A tiger trainer was mauled to death by three tigers during an act that required nine tigers to jump over her and then pass through a ring.
November 5, 2000 Amberg, Germany: A 5-year-old girl was critically wounded when a tiger/lion mix broke through his cage, knocked down a fence, and grabbed her at a circus.
November?, 2000: AK: Al, an 11 year old tiger at the Alaska Zoo, had a brief taste of freedom. In the fall of 2000, the zoo reported that vandals broke into several cages at the zoo with bolt-cutters and released 10 animals, including Al. This didn’t make the press until 2007 however.
October 21, 2000 Gambier, OH: A 10-year-old boy was knocked to the ground and bitten on the leg by a tiger at the Siberian Tiger Foundation owned by Diana McCourt while participating in a “close encounter” at the facility. This was the tenth incident in seven months of people being bitten or otherwise injured by tigers at the facility.
September 21, 2000 Vandalur, India: A zookeeper died after being mauled by a panther at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The panther pounced on the keeper and grasped her by the neck while she was cleaning the
cage. This was the third keeper to be killed by an animal at the zoo.
September 12, 2000 Brisbane, Australia: Two tiger handlers received stitches after they were attacked and bitten by a tiger prior to shooting a scene for the U.S. television series Beastmaster.
September 10, 2000 Albuquerque, NM: A tiger cub bit a man during a photo op at the New Mexico State Fair.
August 26, 2000 Sioux Falls, SD: A 14-year-old boy was hospitalized after being mauled by a tiger on his father’s farm. The teenager was hospitalized for more than a month with bite wounds to the leg, neck, and shoulder.
August 12, 2000 Boise, ID: Jan Gold was mauled by a tiger at a fundraiser for Zoo Boise after the cat escaped from an unlocked cage. She was hospitalized in serious condition with a broken leg, puncture wounds, and a gunshot wound that she received when police fired their guns to scare the tiger away. Jan later said, “He crawled over me, and bit into my head,” she said. “I thought I wasn’t going to survive. The sound was terrible, I thought he was crushing my skull. He bit through the scalp and just dragged his teeth across my skull, the back of my head was sliced open and my neck.” Gold suffered nerve damage from both the tiger bite and gunshot wound but she says she’s lucky to be alive and is moving forward with her life.
August 7, 2000 São Paulo, Brazil: Police firing machine guns and shotguns killed six lions from a circus after they had escaped from their cage and prowled through the town.
July 12, 2000 Chippewa Falls, WI: An employee at the Irvine Park Zoo in Wisconsin was bitten by a cougar after she tried to pet him. She was hospitalized for three days.
June 28, 2000 Rensselaer, NY: A 4-year-old boy underwent plastic surgery for a bite to the neck and two puncture wounds to the face when he was attacked by a 40-pound African serval being taken for a walk. The man walking the cat received several stitches for bite wounds to the hand.
June 12, 2000 Ahmadabad, India: A leopard escaped from a zoo and attacked two construction workers, one seriously, and a cyclist before being recaptured two hours later.
June 7, 2000 Bloomington, IL: A man was treated for a 3-inch cut and puncture wounds to his hand, inflicted by a snow leopard after he tried to pet the animal at the Miller Park Zoo. A similar incident occurred at the same zoo in September 1995 when a man suffered a 3 inch gash to his hand when he attempted to pet a leopard.
May 31, 2000 Guyana, South America: A jaguar attacked and killed his handler at the Georgetown Zoo and escaped from his cage. Police later found the jaguar in a nearby shrub and shot him to death.
May 21, 2000 Kiowa, CO: A tiger ripped off the arm of a volunteer at a zoo in Colorado.
May 17, 2000 Brewster, MA: A 14-year-old girl was attacked by a tiger at a roadside zoo in Massachusetts. The girl, a part-time employee at the zoo, was feeding the cat when he bit her leg and shook her before releasing her.
April 10, 2000 São Paulo, Brazil: Five lions used in a circus devoured a 6-year-old boy after one dragged him away from his father and into the cage inside a tent full of spectators. Police wounded two people with bullet fragments as they sprayed the top of the cage with machine-gun fire to scare the lions off the boy’s body. Four lions were killed.
March 28, 2000 Bohuslän, Sweden: A zookeeper suffered gashes on her head, arms, and shoulders and was rushed to the hospital after being mauled by a snow leopard at Nordern’s Ark. The big cat had torn a pound of
flesh from her body.
March 15, 2000 Channelview, TX: A 3-year-old boy had his arm bitten off by his uncle’s “pet” tiger.
March 14, 2000 Warsaw, Poland: An escaped tiger traveling with a circus attacked a veterinarian before being gunned down by police after a two-hour chase through the streets of Warsaw. The veterinarian was also killed by a bullet meant for the tiger.
February 24, 2000 Kent, England: A keeper at a zoo in Kent, England was bitten on the eyelid by an ocelot while in the cage feeding the cat.
February 23, 2000 Great Bend, KS: A high school student was bitten on the hand and arm after sticking her arm into a cougar’s cage at the Brit Spaugh Zoo.
February 3, 2000 Tokyo, Japan: An employee of a company that rented out animals was killed by a tiger at the firm’s breeding compound in Tokyo. The company rented animals to television stations for use
in their programs.
January 22, 2000 Rome, Italy: A man who kept wild animals as “pets” was found dead. He had been eaten by one of his lions.
December 4, 1999 Williamsville, MO: A 5-year-old boy required surgery after he was mauled by a “pet” lion kept chained in a neighbor’s yard. The animal inflicted puncture wounds to the boy’s throat and head. The lion was killed.
November 18, 1999 China: Four tigers mauled to death a driver at a safari park after he exited his bus to make a repair. Previous attacks at the 4-year-old park had been reported.
October 30, 1999 Buffalo, NY: A keeper at the Buffalo Zoo was bit and clawed by a leopard.
October 25, 1999 Great Plains, SD: A 4-year-old girl was injured after she was clawed by an African lynx at the Great Plains Zoo. The girl and her parents had wandered into a staff area of the zoo.
October 21, 1999 Evansville, IN: A zookeeper at the Mesker Park Zoo was mauled by a lion who severely injured his leg and arm.
August 3, 1999 Alor Star, Malaysia: A lion with a circus slashed and deeply cut a handler’s hand as he escaped from his cage. The lion was recaptured three hours later.
June 26, 1999 Sterling, KS: A woman with a group of Boy Scouts visiting Safari Zoological Park was attacked by a caged tiger when she put her hand on the cage. She lost her arm and later died.
June 7, 1999 Yorktown, TX: A 9-year-old girl was killed when her stepfather’s “pet” tiger grabbed her by the neck and dragged her into a water trough.
May 4, 1999 Spain: Tigers mauled to death an elderly German couple visiting a game park in Spain. After getting out of their car, three tigers attacked them both, causing fatal neck wounds.
April 10, 1999 Pearland, TX: A tiger handler had to be airlifted to the hospital after being attacked by a tiger at a defunct roadside zoo. The tiger was killed.
March 31, 1999 Tyler, TX: A woman’s arm was nearly severed by a tiger at a compound. A volunteer at the facility, she reached in to pet the tiger, when he attacked. Doctors were unsure whether they would be able to save her arm.
March 16, 1999 Colorado Springs, CO: A 6-year-old boy was severely injured by a leopard at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo after he climbed over a rope to get a closer look at the animal. Three months earlier, a woman was scratched by a tiger at the zoo after sticking her hand into his cage.
January 21, 1999 Bangkok, Thailand: Four tigers attacked and killed their keeper at a private zoo. The zoo is attached to a restaurant and the animals are used to attract customers.
January 7, 1999 Wichita, KS: A 5-month-old tiger cub bit the throat of a 5-year-old child. The tiger belonged to Safari Zoological Park, a roadside zoo that hauls animals around to schools, festivals, and store promotions. The tiger was killed the next day.
January 1, 1999 Jackson Township, NJ: Police shot and killed a 431 pound tiger who escaped from the Tigers Only Preservation Society, only a few hundred yards from a subdivision.
December 23, 1998 Coral Gables, FL: A five year old girl suffered a nine inch gash to her skull when a handler with the cougar at a child’s birthday party was unable to restrain the cat from attacking. The cat was killed to be tested by the Center for Disease Control.
December 9, 1998 South Africa: A 2-year-old boy was severely injured when a lion at a zoo reached under the gate of his cage and bit the boy’s hip and dragged him under the gate.
December 7, 1998 Doué-la-Fountaine, France: A 4-year-old boy was fatally mauled, and his father severely injured, by 2 jaguars who had escaped from their cage at the Doué-la-Fountaine Zoo south of Paris, France. Police killed both of the 200-pound female jaguars.
December 7, 1998 Ukraine: A lioness attacked and badly injured a worker at a Ukrainian zoo after she entered her cage thinking it was empty.
November 21, 1998 Chicago, IL: A Ringling Bros. circus employee was seriously mauled by a tiger used in the circus when three tigers escaped from their cage in a Chicago parking lot. The tiger clawed the handler on his neck and side. This was the second attack by tigers used by Ringling in one year. (see 1/7/98).
November 18, 1998 Kaufman, TX: A Texas man was attacked by his “pet” lion and suffered serious injuries. The adult female lion jumped him from behind.
November 15, 1998 Chatham County, NC: A cougar mauled a volunteer with Carnivore Preservation Trust causing numerous bites and deep scratches.
November 13, 1998 Newberry, FL: The same tiger who killed his trainer on 10/8/98 attacked and killed his owner. The tiger was shot dead. The tiger’s other owner, Ron Guay AKA Ron Holiday, now trains students in tiger handling at Amazing Exotics for Yvonne Finser in Umatilla, FL.
November 8, 1998 Cut and Shoot, TX: Two “pet” tigers escaped their backyard cage and attacked a dog and a pig before being shot dead by police after charging pursuers. In 1997, a “pet” cougar kept by the same man escaped and was never re-captured.
October 8, 1998 Newberry, FL: A tiger attacked and killed his trainer, Joy Holiday AKA Joy Guay, at the Holiday’s Cat Dancer facility. The tiger had been used in the operation’s traveling animal show and featured in Shrine circuses. The tiger grabbed the trainer by the throat. The tiger’s other owner, Ron Guay AKA Ron Holiday, now trains students in tiger handling at Amazing Exotics for Yvonne Finser in Umatilla, FL.
September 2, 1998 Citrus Park, FL: Black leopard bites volunteer attempting to pet animal through cage at Wildlife on Easy Street. Wounds to arm required 451 stitches to close. (Sarasota Herald Tribune) The volunteer admitted she was breaking the rules and was not allowed to return to the property.
August 29, 1998 Myakka City, FL: A tiger bit the hand of a 14-year-old volunteer with Tiger Claw Productions. The bite stripped flesh and tendons from her hand and required two surgeries to repair.
July 31, 1998 Vallejo, CA: A 300-pound Bengal tiger named Kuma turned on Jaunell Waldo when she posed for a photo op with the tiger at Marine World. ”He bit through my head, damaged my vertebra and my ear canal,” recalls Waldo, “The bottom third of my face was on my chest. They had to sew all of that back.” She says trainers told her they’d done more than 100 sessions with members of the public. For $250, visitors were taken to
a backstage area. “But it’s a cat, and when they play, they play to kill. I closed down my chin to protect my neck, and that’s why he got my face” said Juanell. Trainer Chad Zierenberg forced his way between Waldo and the
tiger and was clawed on the back. The trainers were unable to get Kuma to respond to commands until someone rushed in and sprayed a fire extinguisher. In January 1996, Zierenberg was slightly injured when two cougars
that he and another trainer were exercising attacked. In November 1986, another Marine World tiger mauled a San Mateo High School football player during a noisy pep rally at the school. Read about the attack HERE
July 30, 1998 Minot, ND: A 5-year-old boy suffered facial cuts requiring plastic surgery after being attacked by a tiger at a photo booth at the state fair.
July 13, 1998 Brisbane, Australia: During a show in front of 200 spectators, a tiger attacked his handler, picked him up, and carried him 15 feet.
May 2, 1998 Wylie, TX: A “pet” cougar bit a 4-year-old boy on the leg. The boy required $5,800 in medical care.
May 1, 1998 Witchita, KS: A tiger scratched or bit an adult while the animal was appearing at a store’s promotional event.
April 7, 1998 Charlotte, NC: Two lions at the Charlotte Metro Zoo attacked a keeper, one biting him on the leg while the other took the man’s head in his mouth. The keeper suffered deep puncture wounds to his head and leg. He had to be airlifted to a trauma center.
April 1, 1998 AR: A tiger attacked a worker at a breeding compound, biting him on the neck.
February 10, 1998 Lincolnton, NC: A leopard nearly killed his trainer after attacking her at a Royal Palace Circus performance in North Carolina. The trainer suffered injuries requiring reconstructive surgery and hospitalization for a week.
February 8, 1998 Belfast, Ireland: A tiger escaped from his cage at the Belfast Zoo and attacked a keeper before being shot to death by police. The keeper was treated at a hospital for injuries to both legs and a hand.
January 7, 1998 St. Petersburg, FL: A trainer with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus suffered severe head wounds after a tiger grabbed him by the head and dragged him around the ring. He was hospitalized in critical condition and required extensive surgery. The trainer’s brother shot the tiger five times after the animal had been returned to his cage, killing him.
December 25, 1997 Tampa, FL: The St. Petersburg Times reported that a man who was bitten on the arm by a cougar in 1996 was suing WildLife on Easy Street. The suit was dropped when the man’s friend, the pet owner of the cougar, was depositioned. Both were former volunteers, and were suspected in the release of the cougar from WildLife on Easy Street in August of 1996 as he was trying to make a case that the cat he was accusing of the bite was dangerous. Both volunteers were dismissed from the program and the cougar was recaptured without incident.
November 7, 1997 Shubra al-Khaima, Egypt: Three starving lions belonging to a traveling circus mauled to death a teenage boy who had been hired 10 days earlier to clean cages. The lions had been left in a cage without
food for several days near a bus station in a densely populated neighborhood outside Cairo.
October 22, 1997 Calabasas, CA: The same jaguar who attacked a trainer on 10/16/97 attacked another trainer who suffered bite wounds on his leg and a cut to his hand on a movie set.
October 16, 1997 Calabasas, CA: A trainer on a movie set in California underwent surgery to repair a broken leg after being attacked by a jaguar. She was expected to remain hospitalized in fair condition for several days.
September 1997 Port Perry, Ontario, Canada: A 6-year-old girl was attacked and left permanently scarred by a jaguar at the Northwood Buffalo and Exotic Animal Ranch. The girl put her arm through the wire mesh of
the cage, and the cat grasped her with his paws and mouth. The girl’s family was awarded more than $31,500 in a lawsuit.
August 17, 1997 Marshfield, MA: A 13-year-old girl was rushed to the emergency room after being bitten by a tiger during a photo session in Massachusetts. The girl had to undergo painful rabies treatment. The Marshfield Mass. Animal Control Department reported “several” other bites associated with this photo booth.
August 3, 1997 Tokyo, Japan: A Japanese couple was mauled to death by a tiger at a safari park near Tokyo.
June 7, 1997 Scappoose, OR: A woman suffered deep puncture wounds to the neck and post-traumatic stress disorder when she was attacked by a neighbor’s “pet” leopard.
May 19, 1997 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A 4-year-old boy was killed after a lion who was being taken for a stroll broke loose and mauled him.
May 13, 1997 Strassburg, Germany: During a circus performance a tiger attacked a circus worker and seriously hurt him while he was setting up cages.
May 8, 1997 Lubbock, TX: One of five “pet” tigers mauled his owner. The man was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The owner’s son killed the tiger.
May 7, 1997 Carrollton, PA: A tiger used in the Franzen Bros. Circus killed a trainer in front of 200 horrified schoolchildren.
May 4, 1997 Knox County, TN: A tiger mauled a student at Joe Robinson’s roadside menagerie.
April 29, 1997 Oklahoma City, OK: A leopard escaped from his cage killed a woman at an exotic animal “sanctuary.” Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the leopard seven hours later when he was found along a road nearly a half-mile from Oak Hill Center for Rare and Endangered Species.
April 27, 1997 San Antonio, TX: A man lost his finger and his friend was injured when they broke into an exotic animal orphanage and tried to pet a tiger.
April 4, 1997 Dallas, TX: A “pet” bobcat mauled a toddler. The 2-year-old boy lost his right index finger, had his heel chewed off, and suffered a severe bite wound to his right cheek.
March 19, 1997 Orlando, FL: A tiger escaped from a cage and mauled a keeper at exotic cat breeding compound. The keeper suffered a broken thigh, crushed knee and severed arteries and veins in his leg. Authorities later shot and killed the tiger because they feared the animal would jump a perimeter fence and flee the compound.
March 18, 1997 San Antonio, TX: A tiger escaped from a wildlife animal refuge, killing an ostrich and pawing a sheriff’s deputy before being tranquilized and recaptured.
March 12, 1997 Caudwell, TX: A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a “pet” tiger and a lion kept in a cage built into the side of his grandfather’s house. The boy’s father said, “My boy was not mauled, he was being eaten alive.”
1997 TX: A lion kept in a cage as a backyard “pet” bit a visitor’s hand and tried to pull her into the cage. She had four deeply grooved cuts requiring 21 stitches. The owner claimed that in the past, when the lion “got out of control,” squirting him in the eyes with a spray bottle full of vinegar usually “calmed him down.”
December 21, 1996 Brooklyn Park, MN: Three pet-supply store workers were bitten or scratched by a 7-month-old tiger who had been brought to the store to have his picture taken. The three workers agreed to receive rabies shots.
December 15, 1996 Indonesia: A tourist was mauled to death by a chained tiger at a safari park while posing with the animal for a photograph.
December 6, 1996 Ababa, Ethiopia: A lion pushed open his cage door and killed his keeper at a roadside zoo.
October 9, 1996 Las Vegas, NV: A Las Vegas animal trainer had to undergo surgery on his feet and legs after being mauled by a tiger.
September 16, 1996 Crystal Beach, TX: A declawed “pet” lioness died after she was shot and tranquilized by a deputy. The lioness attacked a man after a burglarhad apparently set her free.
August 28, 1996 London, Ontario: A “pet” cougar mauled 2-year-old outside of London, Ontario.
May 6, 1996 Midlothian, TX: A 6-year-old girl suffered severe injuries to her head, neck, arms, back, and legs in an attack by a tiger, one of seven big cats on a breeding farm. During the investigation it was found that these same cats had been involved in three previous documented attacks. On this day, Katie Baxter’s mother, Tammi Baxter, decided to visit the tigers owned by a cousin’s friend. “Everybody knew about this place; everybody went out there all the time. ” she says. A ball was in the tigers’ water bowl, and as Baxter and her children watched, one of the animal handlers went into the pen to retrieve it. “He closed all the gates behind him, but somehow when he got to the last one to get the ball out of the water thing, this one tiger went nuts. [The tiger] hit one of the gates, kind of like stood up and hit the door,” Baxter says. “He went through two other gates the same way and was out in the viewing area before we even knew what happened. “I got to Katie, but by the time I got to her, he was already attacking her. It was horrible.” The tiger knocked Baxter and Katie down but “went for Katie,” grabbing her by the neck. Then it started dragging her. “We were trying to beat the tiger, beat it with our hands, but that wasn’t stopping it. So my cousin, he got a metal pipe and knocked it in the head so we could get her away from the tiger,” Baxter says. There were no telephones, so Baxter put Katie and her son into their car and raced toward a nearby hospital. Baxter missed a turn and crashed into a ditch. Katie, who was bleeding from the neck, was taken to one hospital by helicopter ambulance. Baxter and her son were taken to another with injuries from the car wreck. Katie spent more than a month in the hospital and underwent cosmetic surgery.
February 10, 1996 Pahang, Malaysia: An employee of the London Royal Circus suffered serious injuries to her thigh and calf after a lioness attacked her while she was cleaning her cage.
January 5, 1996 Vallejo, CA: One trainer, Chad Zierenberg, at Marine World Africa was seriously hurt and another received minor injuries when they were attacked by two cougars as they prepared to take the cougars for a
January 3, 1996 Calcutta, India: A tiger killed one man and mauled another at the Calcutta Zoo when they attempted to put a garland around his neck.
December 27, 1995 Quinlan, TX: A 3-year-old toddler was mauled by his family’s “pet” cougar. He had numerous head wounds sutured, reconstructive surgery to reattach one ear and neurosurgery to remove bone fragments from his brain. His 6-year-old sister was also attacked and received over thirty staples to head wounds, in the emergency room. The declawed cougar, whose teeth had been filed down as a preventative, was shot and killed. According to the children’s relative the cat was kept in a cage (without the added protection of a second secure cage around it) in front of their house. He had watched these children play, and get the attention he had once received, for several years. The relative asserts that the father believed he had complete control of this cat.
December 13, 1995 Beijing, China: A Chinese circus hand was killed by a tiger with whom he was “quite familiar.” The chained animal sprang at the man and sank his teeth into the man’s throat, causing fatal injuries.
December 1, 1995 Fort Worth, TX: A tiger at the Fort Worth Zoo leaped an 11-foot-wide moat and attacked a zookeeper. The keeper was bitten on the shoulder, arm, and hand and was off work for several weeks.
November 24, 1995 Raleigh, NC: A “pet” Bengal tiger mauled and critically injured a 3-year-old boy while his father was walking the animal on a leash. The tiger was shot and killed.
November 13, 1995 Memphis, TN: Two Sumatran tigers mauled a man who entered their enclosure at the Memphis Zoo.
November 2, 1995 Washington, DC: House Speaker Newt Gingrich was bitten on the chin by a baby cougar he was holding. The bite drew blood, but was not considered a serious injury.
October 29, 1995 Allegan, MI: While her 9-year-old daughter watched in horror, a woman was attacked and killed by a “pet” lion after she entered his cage at the home of a friend who collected exotic animals. The friend was severely injured when he tried to stop the attack.
September 30, 1995 Indianapolis, IN: A lion being used by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus bit off the index finger of a woman who put her hand in his cage kept in a staging area.
September 29, 1995 Piraeus, Greece: An American tourist was bitten and nearly lost her hand when she attempted to pet a tiger with an Italian circus.
September 27, 1995 Lava Hot Springs, ID: Nineteen lions at Ligertown Game Farm were shot and killed after escaping the complex.
September 18, 1995 Wesley, KS: A 2-year-old boy required hospital treatment for a severe bite on his ear from the family’s 4-month-old cougar.
September 1995 Bloomington, IL: A man suffered a 3 inch gash to his hand when he attempted to pet a leopard at the Miller Park Zoo.
August 6, 1995 Phoenix, AZ: A mountain lion at the Phoenix Zoo gashed a 5-year old boy’s arm after he wandered too close to the cage. He required stitches to close the wound and received scratches on the side of his chest.
June 27, 1995 Downers Grove, IL: A 2-year old Chicago girl was mauled by her aunt’s “pet” Asian jungle cat.
May 28, 1995 Novi, MI: Seven lions and tigers toppled onto a freeway when the trailer they were in came unhitched. One lion suffered a fractured skull and a tiger bolted across traffic, leading police on a four-hour chase.
March 5, 1995 Washington, DC: A woman was fatally mauled by lions after climbing into their enclosure at the National Zoo. The body was so battered and shredded so violently that her fingerprints were gone and her face unrecognizable.
January 2, 1995 Scottsbluff, NE: A zookeeper at the Riverside Zoo required surgery to repair her windpipe and injuries to her face and chest after she was attacked by a leopard.
December 20, 1994 East London, South Africa: Two tigers at the East London Zoo mauled a man who jumped into their enclosure. A tiger from this same group was the one killed after attacking a cameraman in
Angola (see 3/16/94).
November 13, 1994 London, England: A zookeeper was killed at a private zoo by a tiger while cleaning the cage. The private facility in London had a slew of deaths and maulings of both visitors and keepers.
October 11, 1994 San Diego, CA: San Diego Zoo animal trainer Joan Embery suffered two deep gashes on her face by a cheetah she was exhibiting on a television talk show.
September 3, 1994 New Delhi, India: A tiger jumped out of the ring during a circus performance and killed a 6 year-old boy in the audience. The boy’s father was also seriously injured.
July 24, 1994 Hanover, Canada: A 16-year-old boy was bitten on the neck and killed when he entered a cage with two declawed tigers at a roadside zoo.
July 15, 1994 Kuwait, Iraq: A lion killed his circus trainer by locking his jaws around the woman’s neck during a performance.
June 23, 1994 Brisbane, Australia: A 20 month-old boy had one arm bitten off, and the other badly mauled by a tiglon (a lion/tiger cross) at a circus. The boy’s father was an employee of the circus.
June 18, 1994 Columbia, SC: A tiger at an exotic animal farm mauled a 17-year-old worker.
June 7, 1994 Miami, FL: A senior zookeeper with 20 years’ experience was mauled and killed by a tiger at Miami Metrozoo.
April 5, 1994 Jackson, MS: An 80-pound cheetah scaled an 8-foot fence and pounced on an 8-year-old boy at the Jackson Zoo. The boy was scratched and nipped before the cheetah was recaptured.
March 16, 1994 Angola: A tiger killed a South African news cameraperson while he was filming the evacuation of starving animals from a zoo in Angola. A witness reported that he “never stood a chance.” The tiger was killed.
January 25, 1994 Moscow, Russia: A lion with Bingo-Bongo Circus escaped from his cage. A policeman shot and killed the animal with a submachine gun.
January 3, 1994 Shanghai, China: After being forced to climb a ladder and jump through a hoop, a tiger in the Chinese circus grabbed his trainer puncturing two big holes in her neck.
January 3, 1994 Namibia, Africa: Lions at the Ekongoro zoo mauled to death a man who broke into the zoo at night.
December 12, 1993 Palm Beach, FL: A worker at the Lion Country Safari was attacked by a lion, causing severe puncture wounds to her head and chest, as well as collapsed lungs.
September 14, 1993 Joplin, MO: A circus employee lost part of her arm after an attack by a tiger on the circus’ animal farm. Doctors had to amputate her arm below the elbow.
August 11, 1993 Georgetown, OH: Two teenage boys suffered facial cuts when a lion attacked one, and the other attempted to intercede. The boys were walking when a “pet” lion escaped from his cage and attacked them unprovoked.
May 6, 1993 Las Vegas, NV: A keeper feeding a trio of lions in the backyard of a Las Vegas residence was hospitalized after one of the cats attacked her. The Circus Vargas employee suffered five gouges to her leg. During an April performance, another employee was bitten by a lion.
May 6, 1993 Bronx, NY: A man with a history of mental instability was mauled by two lions at the Bronx Zoo after he climbed into their cage.
April 17, 1993 Little Rock, AR: A tiger performing with the Shrine Circus at the Barton Coliseum escaped, ran into the audience, and bit a 13-year-old girl. The tiger was owned and trained by Jordan Circus.
February 21, 1993 Norfolk, VA: Graham Chipperfield, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus big cat trainer, was mauled by a lion while breaking up a fight between two other lions.
February 3, 1993 Wichita, KS: A keeper was hospitalized in serious condition with wounds to his face and neck after being mauled by a Bengal tiger at Tanganyika Wildlife Company. The tiger lunged through the open door of a cage and attacked when the keeper bent down to pick up something. A second keeper attempted to beat the tiger away with a shovel and then shot and killed the tiger.
November 30, 1992 Pahrump, NV: A man was severely bitten by a tiger owned by animal trainer Alex Pasternak. The tiger had to be shot before he would release his grip.
September 27, 1992 Reno, NV: A Reno illusionist suffered “bone-deep” puncture wounds to his leg and arm by a tiger being used in a performance.
September 19, 1992 Tokyo, Japan: A lion escaped from a Bolshoi Circus cage in Tokyo and roamed loose for five hours before being gunned down with high-powered rifles.
July 26, 1992 Curitiba, Brazil: A tiger who escaped from a and terrorized residents was shot 20 times and killed by police.
June 10, 1992 St. Mary, Australia: A tiger bit a Robinson Circus worker after escaping from his cage and was shot and killed as he approached a busy shopping center.
May 21, 1992 Muhlenberg Township, PA: Two tigers with Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus escaped from an unlocked cage during a performance. One tiger roamed around the center ring, frightening 2,000 spectators before he was recaptured.
April 7, 1992 Iron Hill, DE: One of two cougars used by a private breeder jumped 12 feet and attacked a visitor, biting her on the head, neck, and upper back. The breeder said he would sell the two animals and replace them with cubs in order to continue his breeding and dealing operation.
April 5, 1992 Portland, OR: A “pet” lion/tiger hybrid attacked an 11-year-old girl who had to undergo surgery to repair extensive muscle damage in her arm. The animal would not let go and had to be shot and killed.
December 1, 1991 France: A tiger attacked a trainer during a performance of the Parade Circus. The trainer was treated for lacerations to his legs that required a one-month hospitalization. The same trainer’s father was similarly attacked by a cougar during a “wild animal” show twelve years previous to his son’s attack.
October 9, 1991 Manchester, NH: A model was hospitalized for five days and received 50 stitches and rabies shots after being attacked by a lion during a photo session in New Hampshire. A court awarded her a judgment of $75,000 on March 24, 1995. The tiger owner uses a lot of aliases including Kevin Bhagavan, Kevin Antle, Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle, Ghagavan Antle, Doc Antle and Dr. Kevin Antle, but he is neither a doctor nor a PhD.
May 31, 1991 Mexico City, Mexico: A lion performing with Sur Americano circus leaped into the bleachers and pounced on a 7-year-old boy, biting his head and killing him. The lion was shot in the head and killed during the attack.
September 29, 1991 Jackson County, KS: A caged lion bit a man on the hand causing puncture wounds that required stitches after the man attempted to pet the lion at a Christmas tree farm.
September 17, 1991 Tucson, AZ: A lion cub bit the arm of a 3-year-old girl at the Reid Park Zoo.
May 13, 1991 Belgium: In front of horrified onlookers, an animal trainer for the Kessler Bros. Circus was slowly suffocated to death by a lion who put the trainer’s entire head in her mouth. The lion was shot and killed, but the trainer had already perished.
April 18, 1991 Wilkesboro, NC: A 3-year-old girl was attacked by a leopard traveling with the Great American Circus.
March 8, 1991 Grimsby, Britain: Four lions escaped during a Chipperfield circus performance and ran into a crowd of 100 parents with their children in Grimsby. One man was attacked and treated at a hospital.
February 23, 1991 Melbourne, Australia: A drunken man was severely mauled after freeing four lions from their circus cage.
January 18, 1991 Toulouse, France: A tiger attacked and seriously injured a 3-year-old girl at a circus performance. The 400-lb. tiger leaped into the audience, slashed the child across her face and managed to get her head in his jaws before being dragged off.
December 19, 1990 Italy: A 65-year-old woman was mauled to death at an amusement park when a leopard she was feeding seized her by the neck and dragged her into the cage. The animal, part of an exhibit in a small town in Italy, was tear-gassed, shot, and killed.
November 5, 1990 Phoenix, AZ: A woman visiting a Phoenix resort was attacked by a tiger while his trainer was walking him on a leash. Witnesses reported that the tiger acted like a “pussycat” only moments before the attack. The woman was hospitalized with severe puncture wounds.
October 27, 1990 Candelaria, Colombia: A tiger escaped from his circus handler during a parade and killed a 1-year-old child.
August 9, 1990 Sturgis, SD: A 5-year-old girl was mauled by a leopard who was restrained by a small chain on a box in Engessor’s Endangered Species traveling act. The girl’s mother sued for $100,000 in damages.
June 23, 1990 San Pedro, Argentina: One man was killed and three people were seriously injured when they were mauled by two lions who escaped from a traveling circus. The lions were shot and killed by police.
June 18, 1990 Sidney, MT: A leopard in a petting zoo bit a 7-year-old boy. The owner of the leopard said he had no intention of stopping his shows.
May 1, 1990 San Francisco, CA: A zoo keeper was mauled by a leopard in front of school children at a San Francisco zoo. The keeper underwent surgery for deep wounds to his head, shoulders, and arm.
The following are not included in the summary at the top of the page, but illustrate how far back human ignorance of the wild nature of big cats has gone. For more than a century no one tracked the number of people mauled or exotic cats killed, until 1990. In 1965 the craze to emulate the ocelot owning, Anne Fracis in the detective show Honey West, resulted in a pet trade where ocelots were so common that anyone could find one at a local pet store, but these cats were killed and turned loose when they matured for their propensity for biting their owners and devouring the family pets.
Year Unknown and not included in totals at top of page: Del Donahoo “…was bit by a 270-pound neutered male lion, Fester, who was taken around the country by his trainer to demonstrate how to become a trainer. Fester came to Midway Mall and Donahoo was picked to meet with him. The lion bit Donahoo in his back and then had Donahoo’s head in his mouth. ‘I went to the hospital and Fester went to Florida to retire,’ Donahoo said. A photographer got a picture of the incident and sold it internationally.”
1972 California, Hollywood: JODIE FOSTER has had a life-long fear of cats since she was almost mauled to death by a lion when she was eight years old. The actress was a child star on the set of 1972 movie Napoleon And Samantha, when a big cat co-star lashed out at her. Foster remembers, “I was walking ahead of him. He was on an invisible leash, some piano wire. He got sick of me being slow, picked my up and held me sideways and shook me like a doll. ”I was in shock and thought it was an earthquake. I turned around and saw the entire crew running off in the other direction. Foster firmly believes the animal spared her life – but she admits the incident in 1972 has left her wary of all kinds of felines.
1966 New York, New York: Model Nell Theobald poses with a lion in the New York Coliseum while promoting the 1966 International Automobile Show. Moments after this photo was made, the lion bit into her leg, refusing to release her until the handlers beat the animal and forced him to let go.
1959 California: A circus wagon overturns freeing two lions. One is killed and the other is never found.
1937 London, England: The Rev Harold Davidson, Rector of Stiffkey, had a self-proclaimed mission among London’s prettier prostitutes which got him unfrocked eventually. After which he began exhibiting himself in a barrel, and later in Skegness in a (14ft x 8ft) cage with a lion called Freddy while denouncing the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Norwich and the hierarchy of the Church of England. One day in 1937 the normally docile
Freddy had enough and mauled Davidson to death.
1928 September, El Monte, CA: In September 1928, while the Charles and Muriel Gay were traveling in Europe with the circus, a trainer failed to close a runway while lions Nigger, Ike and Short-Tail were being moved between cages. Nigger made a dash for freedom, and slashed the arm of farm manager John Rounan at the moment Rounan fired a shot at the animal; the wound required 100 stitches, and Rounan later died. Trainer Joe Hoffman took off after Nigger and killed him with a bullet in the brain. Short-Tail walked into an open cage, and Hoffman was able to lock him in. But Ike got shot in the leg and ran around the farm in a rage, menacing a cow, a cage full of baby lions and arriving police officers. Ike finally died in a hail of bullets from many guns. Gay’s Lion Farm was home to all three of the famous MGM lions and began an era of terror and misery for lions in America. When the farm collapsed in 1942 the 200 lions were dispersed to zoos. (It is apparent from the name of one lion above that these people disrespected people as much as the cats)
1927 Sept. 16, San Diego, CA: Aviation was in its infancy and all eyes were agog over Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight just a few months earlier. MGM studio execs decided to cash in on the craze and cooked up a publicity stunt to fly their storied mascot, Leo, non-stop from California to New York. Martin Jensen, and Leo made a forced crash landing in Arizona. “I crawled out and looked to see what had happened to Leo,” Jensen said in a 1927 newspaper article. “The cage had held tight, and he wasn’t scratched, although he did look disgusted, and I figured his opinion of me as a flier is pretty low.” Six days after the crash, Jensen led the search party on horseback starting from a ranch near the Mogollon Rim back to find Leo, still caged and still alive. Read about Leo the MGM mascot lion.
1919 Sept. 21, Los Angeles, CA: Lillian Harmon, 17, wanted to pose for a picture with Leo, a usually tame African lion who had appeared in many films. But when she stepped into his enclosure at E&R Jungles near Eastlake Park, Leo attacked. “Miss Harmon had her hand on the animal’s head. It is one of the performances for which Leo was trained,” The Times reported, citing H.J. Harmon, Lillian’s brother. “For just one second, the lion stood motionless and then without the least warning struck the girl with his paw, knocking her to the ground,” the newspaper said. “In the next instant he was clawing her.”
Several men rushed to her aid and hit the lion with an iron bar. But “before a bar could be found, Leo had the girl in his jaw,” The Times said. “At the Receiving Hospital, it was found that the girl was badly torn on the back, arms and thighs where the claws and the teeth of the animal found their marks.” This was the beginning of a 100 year history of captive exotic cats being misunderstood, abused and killed for man’s entertainment in the U.S.