Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tiger turned loose on purpose, B.C. police say

CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Police believe somebody tampered with the cage of a 90-kilogram Siberian tiger at a Lake Cowichan wildlife sanctuary, allowing it to run loose on the weekend before being coaxed out of a neighbour's yard and back into captivity.

"The lock was intact but the mechanism from the gate to the post was broken and left on the ground," said Const. Brian Brown of Lake Cowichan RCMP.

"Anybody that would do that, whether an animal activist or whoever, sentenced this cat to death by letting it out into the community. It was not a very well-thought out plan."

Jamie Bell, owner of Primate Estates, lured the nine-month-old tiger into a small shed and then into a transport shed. No one was injured.

Bell told CHTV she believes someone wanted to release the tiger because of publicity about the recent death of a woman in the B.C. Interior who was mauled by a caged pet tiger.

That death sparked debate about regulations for keeping exotic animals.

Primate Estates, five kilometres outside Lake Cowichan, has 52 primates and nine exotic cats, including a serval, which is like a small cheetah, and a caracal, like a lynx.

"We can build them tiger-proof but it's really hard to human-proof," Bell said of the enclosure.

"Don't you think the timing is very strange after this thing up north. Less than a week later on a Saturday night my tiger cage gets broken into. I mean there's an agenda going on here, you know."

Police do not know when the tiger escaped but she was spotted just after 1 p.m. Sunday.

Brown said one of the Bells was with the tiger when police arrived.

"Eventually they lured the tiger into a small shed and then it was loaded into a transport container," and taken back to Primate Estates, said Brown.

Neighbours say the tiger is just the latest exotic animal to run wild down their normally tame streets.

Corey Bath, 32, has three small children. She says the Bells have a longstanding problem with animals escaping their property.

Bath was 18 when she saw an orangutan running down the street. "I thought it was a bear and then, oh my God,' it was a monkey," she said.

Bath is worried her children, aged two, four and eight, may encounter a fugitive from Primate Estates.

"They can't even keep their dog in the yard," she said. html?id=0c0c9787-cf2a-4438-9eb2-f2eb5657228c&k=67494

Tiger mauls keeper to death in China

A tiger at a breeding farm on the island province of Hainan attacked and killed its keeper of eight years on Sunday morning.

The incident occurred when 42-year-old Phornhen Doenklang, from Thailand, was cleaning out the cage of two tigers at Longhu Zoo- a tiger and crocodile farm in Sanya City.

A male tiger, in his mating season, leapt onto the keeper as he picked up a broom and bit his leg and neck. Doenklang was rushed to hospital but died during medical treatment.

Doenklang had been in charge of the 8-year-old tiger since the latter's birth according to Mr. Wang, the zoo director.

"Tigers are irritable during mating season, and the recent weather has exacerbated that," said Wang. "The tiger might have thought Phornhen was going to hit him when he bent to pick up the broom."

At the request of Doenklang's wife, who looks after tiger cubs on the farm, the zoo is contacting airline companies to fly Doenklang's body back to Thailand while the tiger's fate is still being discussed.

The Longhu Farm houses 370 tigers and nearly 20,000 crocodiles and is jointly run with a Thai company which has sent 40 employees to work in China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2007)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two children present as tiger kills B.C. woman

Posted by admin in National (Saturday May 12, 2007 at 9:06 am)

Tanya Dumstrey-Soos, 32 was killed at the Siberian Magic exotic animal park in Bridge Lake British Columbia, Canada after being attacked by a Bengal Tiger named Gangus. Bridge Lake - Tanya Dumstrey-Soos, 32 was killed at the Siberian Magic exotic animal park in Bridge Lake British Columbia, Canada after being attacked by a Bengal Tiger named Gangus.

“The animal is part of a collection of exotic and domestic animals. It appears that the animal … reached outside of the cage and grabbed her. Upon arrival police determined that all the animals were in their cages and the woman was found lying on the ground receiving help from family,” said Const. Annie Linteau, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, [RCMP]. Gangus is one of two Bengal Tigers at the park.

The owner of the park is Kim Carlton, the boyfriend of Dumstrey-Soos. The entire attack was witnessed by the children of Carlton, his 15 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son who both called for help shortly after the attack.

Dumstrey-Soos was standing near the tiger’s cage when he grabbed her legs. According to the mayor of nearby Williams Lake, Scott Nelson, all of the injuries inflicted onto Dumstrey-Soos were at her waist and below. She was taken to a hospital in the town of 100 Mile House, where she was pronounced dead.

Authorities with the B.C. SPCA are not surprised that the attack happened, claiming that they tried to remove the tigers from the park several times.

“This is extremely sad, but not unexpected. We’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to have these animals removed.” said B.C. SPCA spokeswoman, Marcie Moriarty who also said that the animals arrived in 2005. Moriarty also said that the tigers lived in small cages made of chain-linked fencing and that the locks were too small.

The reason that the tigers were not removed from the park is because, according to Moriarty, the SPCA does not have the facilities to hold the tigers until proper housing can be provided for them.

“When we went up there, we realized we weren’t just dealing with animal cruelty, we were dealing with a public safety issue,” added Moriarty.

Dumstrey-Soos worked as a receptionist and saleswoman at the 100 Mile House Advisor newspaper /05/12/two-children-witness-woman-being-killed-by -a-tiger/