Friday, October 31, 2008

Liger Kills Keeper on Today Show

Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary


Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary is home to 27 big cats. Former keepers have warned for years that the practices there would lead to injuries, escapes and death. SIAS' website is covered in the typically ignorant photos of the President, Lori Ensign 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. 


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 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. 


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Liger Mauls Man at Pseudo Sanctuary

Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary is not a sanctuary, but rather, a part of the problem.  Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary at 26881 E 58, east of Broken Arrow, Wagoner County, OK is home to 27 big cats. Former keepers have warned for years that the practices there would lead to injuries, escapes and death. SIAS' website is covered in the typically ignorant photos of the President, Lori Ensign 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.  See  SanctuaryStandards.com to see that this is no sanctuary.

Mauling puzzles BA wildlife refuge owner


By TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
10/30/2008  10:25 AM

BROKEN ARROW — Officials with a Broken Arrow wildlife refuge are at a loss to understand why an experienced animal handler who was mauled Wednesday by a big cat violated rules by opening a cage during feeding time.

Peter Getz, 32, a volunteer at Safari's Animal Sanctuary, 26881 E. 58th St., was attacked shortly before noon Wednesday while attempting to feed a liger.

Getz, who suffered wounds to his neck, remained hospitalized Thursday morning at Saint John Medical Center in Tulsa in critical condition.

Lori Ensign, sanctuary owner and operator, said she's trying to piece together what happened, but she knows the sanctuary's strict policy against opening the animal pens during feedings was not followed.

"We try to have all the procedures in place, but for some reason, they weren't followed this time. In all my years we've stressed that whatever you do you don't open that gate," said Ensign, who was away buying feed when the attack occurred.

Ensign said Getz, who is experienced and loves working with animals, has volunteered at the sanctuary for about a year and a half and worked previously at the Tulsa Zoo.

"This is just horrid," Ensign said. "Peter is like a brother. He loves doing this, loves the carnivores — the bears, big cats

and snakes. We were thinking about turning the place over to him some day."

She said she and others are working to set up a fund to help with Getz's medical expenses, with more information to follow.

Other volunteers were with Getz during the feeding, per sanctuary rules.

"We always have three people for feedings as back-up," Ensign said. "They were there and were able to help get him out. But they are still in shock right now and we don't want to push them to find out why procedures were broken. We want to give them time."

The liger, named Rocky, is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger.

Rocky's fate will ultimately be determined by state wildlife officials, who will investigate the incident and decide whether the cat will be euthanized, Ensign said.

Ensign said the facility has a good safety record.

In 2000, two handlers at the sanctuary were bitten by a black bear, according to reports. The bear was later euthanized.

The sanctuary, a nonprofit wildlife refuge, houses about 200 animals, most of which were donated by private owners, according to the facility's Web site. All staff members are volunteers.

The facility is licensed and regulated through the Oklahoma Wildlife Department and United States Department of Agriculture and is subject to the same rules as public zoos.


Handler attacked while feeding large cat

BROKEN ARROW - Peter Getz, 32, an employee of Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, remains in critical condition at a Tulsa hospital after being mauled by a liger, a hybrid of a lion and a tigress.

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Authorities say Getz was feeding the big cat Wednesday when he was attacked and bitten on the neck.

After escaping the cage, Getz collapsed. Paramedics performed CPR on him and he was flown by helicopter to St. John Medical Center for treatment.

The refuge was immediately evacuated and locked down.

A group of students from Haskell was inside the sanctuary at the time of the attack but apparently did not see or hear anything that was going on.

A Ledger call to Safari's owner Lori Ensign was answered automatically: "Due to the emotional strain from this injury, Safari's will be closed until further notice. We will only be able to answer emergency calls at this time, so please keep us in your prayers."

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20182445&BRD=2754&PAG=461&dept_id=574063&rfi=6

Liger Critically Injures Oklahoma Zoo Worker

Broken Arrow, OK (AHN) - A worker at an Oklahoma zoo was seriously injured after a liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger, attacked him Wednesday while feeding the animal.

Peter Getz of Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow was taken to the St. John Medical Center in Tulsa and remains in critical condition for injuries in the neck and chest, according to authorities.

Zoo officials have no comment but a recorded message from its telephone answering machine said a worker was injured and the safari is closed until further notice.

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7012846430

Worker attacked by tiger at animal sanctuary

By
Don Bishop
@ October 30, 2008 3:29 AM

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) - Authorities say a handler at a Wagoner County wild animal sanctuary suffered a puncture wound to the neck after a big cat attacked him during a feeding.

Thirty-two-year-old Peter Getz was bitten in the upper torso and the neck area at Safari's Animal Sanctuary yesterday around noon. Getz was flown by medical helicopter to Saint John Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition.

Sheriff's Deputy James Suddath says Getz was able to escape the cage following the attack, then collapsed.

Initial reports said Getz was attacked by a tiger. KRMG reported that a lion-tiger mix (a "liger") named Rocky attacked the handler.

Officials say a Haskell Public Schools class on a field trip at the sanctuary didn't witness the attack and that the facility was evacuated and locked down after the incident.


Handler is mauled by big cat
Rocky the liger is shown at Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow. Tulsa World file
 


By TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
10/30/2008
Last Modified: 10/30/2008  2:38 AM


The handler suffers a neck wound and is hospitalized in critical condition.



BROKEN ARROW — An animal handler at a wildlife refuge was mauled by a big cat during a feeding Wednesday.

The attack occurred shortly before noon at Safari's Animal Sanctuary, 26881 E. 58th St., emergency responders said.

The handler, identified as Peter Getz, 32, was attacked by a liger, a hybrid of a lion and a tigress.

Getz, who suffered a puncture wound to his neck, was flown by helicopter to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Fire Department officials said.

He was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Deputy Fire Chief James Suddath said: "He was bitten on the neck during a feeding, but he was able to escape the cage. He collapsed after he got out."

Paramedics performed CPR on Getz, Suddath said.

Wagoner County sheriff's deputies also responded.

A deputy said a Haskell Public Schools class was on a field trip at the sanctuary but did not witness the attack.

The refuge was immediately evacuated and locked down, with the liger, named Rocky, and other animals remaining in their pens, officials said.

Sanctuary officials could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

The sanctuary, a nonprofit wildlife refuge, houses about 200 animals, most of which were donated by private owners, according to its Web site.

All of its staff members are volunteers.

The refuge is licensed and regulated through the Oklahoma Wildlife Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is subject to the same rules as public zoos.

Officials said regulatory officials had been notified about the incident.

In 2000, two handlers at the sanctuary were bitten by a black bear.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20081030_12_A5_Rockyt778685

Liger Attacks Handler At Safari's

Broken Arrow - A handler at Safari's wildlife sanctuary in Broken Arrow is in critical condition after being attacked by a liger.

Owner Lori Ensign says they aren't sure why the cat attacked handler Peter Getz. The liger which is half tiger and half lion has been at the park for over 10 years.

Ensign says Gets was feeding the liger when he opened the cage door, something ensign says they never do for safety. Getz is in ICU at St. John Medical Center.

Ensign says they plan to set up a fund for Getz at Arvest Bank to help with medical expenses.

http://www.ktul.com/news/stories/1008/565586.html

Volunteer critically injured by large cat at Broken Arrow sanctuary

A large cat mauled a volunteer at the Safari's Sanctuary in Broken Arrow Wednesday morning.

The attack occurred at approximately 11:45 at the sanctuary, located at 26881 East 58th Street in the Wagoner County portion of Broken Arrow.

Lori Ensign, operator of the sanctuary, told 2NEWS HD that the incident involved one of the sanctuary's most well-known and popular animals, "Rocky."

"Rocky" is a cross between a lion and a tiger, a hybrid referred to as a "liger."

Ensign said that the accident occurred during a feeding.

A LifeFlight helicopter transported the volunteer, a 32-year-old man, to St. John Medical Center.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apRpFg2F2NM  Video of Rocky the liger being fed by guests
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIG2iAYtoxQ Video of Rocky the liger being fed by guests w/ owner's narration

Liger injures worker at animal sanctuary in Broken Arrow

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL
Published: October 29, 2008

BROKEN ARROW — A liger at a Wagoner County animal sanctuary attacked a volunteer late this morning, officials said.


Rocky the liger, shown in this undated file photo, attacked a volunteer at a Wagoner County wildlife sanctuary Wednesday, officials said. Photo provided by The Tulsa World
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Peter Getz, whose hometown and age were not immediately available, was airlifted to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa in critical condition, a Broken Arrow Fire Department spokesman said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Getz was admitted to the emergency room, but an updated status was not available this afternoon.

The attack occurred just before noon at Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary, 26881 E 58, east of Broken Arrow, Wagoner County sheriff's deputy Eugene Smith said.

Getz was trying to feed the liger when it attacked him, leaving wounds on his chest and neck, Smith said.

A liger is a cross between a lion and a tiger. According to the sanctuary's Web site, the liger is named Rocky.

Calls to the animal sanctuary went to voicemail without ringing. The voicemail message says "a volunteer had an injury. Due to the emotional strain of the situation, Safari's will be closed until further notice."

http://newsok.com/liger-injures-worker-at-animal-sanctuary-in-broken-arrow/article/3316910


Worker attacked by tiger at animal sanctuary


Associated Press - October 29, 2008 9:05 PM ET

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) - Authorities say a handler at a Wagoner County wild animal sanctuary suffered a puncture wound to the neck after a big cat attacked him during a feeding today.

Thirty-2-year-old Peter Getz was bitten in the upper torso and the neck area at Safari's Animal Sanctuary and flown by medical helicopter to St. John Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition.

Sheriff's Deputy James Suddath says Getz was able to escape the cage following the attack, then collapsed.

Initial reports said Getz was attacked by a tiger. The Tulsa World reported that a lion-tiger mix named Rocky attacked the handler.

Officials say a Haskell Public Schools class on a field trip at the sanctuary didn't witness the attack and that the facility was evacuated and locked down after the incident.

Information from: The Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com and KOTV-TV, http://www.newson6.com

http://www.kten.com/Global/story.asp?S=9260770&nav=menu410_3


Big cat injures Wagoner sanctuary volunteer

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL
Published: October 30, 2008

BROKEN ARROW — A 1,000-pound cat attacked a volunteer Wednesday at a Wagoner County animal sanctuary, officials said. The cat was identified as a liger, which is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger.

 

Peter Getz, 32, of Stillwater was airlifted to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa in critical condition with wounds to his chest and neck, a Broken Arrow Fire Department spokesman said. A hospital spokeswoman would not release his condition.

The attack occurred just before noon at Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary, 26881 E 58, east of Broken Arrow, Wagoner County sheriff's Deputy Eugene Smith said. Getz was trying to feed the liger when it attacked.

Calls to the animal sanctuary went to voicemail Wednesday. The message says "a volunteer had an injury. Due to the emotional strain of the situation, Safari's will be closed until further notice." The sanctuary did not return a call seeking comment.

The liger, named Rocky, weighed an estimated 1,000 pounds, according to an undated video from Tulsa television station KOTV-6 posted on the sanctuary's Web site.

In 2003, a bear cub attacked a handler's arms and legs at Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary.

http://newsok.com/big-cat-injures-sanctuary-volunteer/article/3317094


--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, October 20, 2008

Man throws tiger off during attack

Man throws tiger off during attack

18 October 2008

A MAN's right elbow was bitten through to the bone and his right hand mauled badly when a tiger attacked him.

Despite his wounds, Mr Daud Ahmad, 49, managed to lift up the tiger and throw it off his body, reported Utusan Malaysia.

The police officer was driving home to Padang Terap in Kedah around 6pm on Tuesday when he saw the animal prowling in the jungle.

The police officer, who works as a royal escort to the Sultan of Kedah, got out of the vehicle for a closer look.

He said: 'As soon as I got out, the tiger, which was about the size of a full-grown male goat, instantly pounced on me and attacked me.'

Mr Ahmad said that in spite of the pain, he managed to fight off the tiger.

He said: 'I tried defending myself by lifting the tiger and used all my strength to throw it off me towards the direction of the road.

'After that, I ran into my car and drove home as fast as I could to get treatment.'

He has since been warded at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Star.

The father of two children, aged 12 and 16, is in a stable condition after undergoing an operation yesterday.

He said: 'Thank goodness I was able to defend myself against the tiger's attacks.'

http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4136,180433,00.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tiger kills woman in Kanha reserve

Tiger kills woman in Kanha reserve

Tue, Oct 7 06:01 PM

Bhopal, Oct 7 (IANS) A tiger is believed to have killed a middle-aged woman in Kanha Tiger Reserve, an official said Tuesday.

'The partially eaten body of a middle-aged woman, Sukhna Bai, was recovered by forest department staff and villagers in the Supkhar range of tiger Reserve Sunday,' additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) H.S. Pabla told IANS by phone.

Sukhna Bai, a resident of village Sukhdi in the Supkhar Range of the Tiger Reserve, went Saturday into the forest to collect leaves to make bowls. But an animal attacked her and dragged her away while she was plucking leaves.

'Other villagers, who accompanied Sukhna Bai, heard her shrieks but could not do anything to help her. They, however, came back and informed the forest department staff which launched search operations Sunday and recovered the body,' Pabla said adding that 'pug marks found at the spot suggest that she was killed by a male tiger'.

This is the fourth incident of attack on human beings in the area in the last year and a half. In 2007, three people - one each in May, September and October - were reported killed by wild animals from the same area. Then too, a male tiger was cited to be the animal behind the attacks.

The forest department has announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 for the next of kin of the killed woman.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20081007/812/tnl-tiger-kills-woman-in-kanha-reserve_1.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Monday, October 06, 2008

Siberian Lynx Missing in Palm City, FL

Owner: Siberian lynx missing in Palm City

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, October 05, 2008

PALM CITY — A Siberian Lynx has been missing from a Palm City home since early Saturday morning.

The nocturnal cat disappeared from 3560 SW Wood Creek Trail at about 4:30 a.m., shortly after owner Tina Love fed her on the patio.

"She's a wild cat at heart, but not dangerous," Love said. "My fear is she's discombobulated and scared out there. Her life is like a house cat."

The 6-year-old cat, which is de-clawed, weighs about 50 pounds and stretches about 4 feet long. Love adopted her from a breeder at birth.

Simba, as the cat is named, has deer-colored brown fur, a white belly and black spots. Her tail is half the length of a standard cat's, with a black tip. Her ears have black tufts. She's wearing a red collar with crystals.

The cat woke Love at about 3:30 a.m. and the two headed to the patio, where Love fed her raw chicken and left her - a routine she's had for a long time, Love said.

When Love awoke at 5:30 a.m. Simba was missing from the patio. Nor was the cat on the 2.5-acre property, which is unfenced.

"She's not the type to walk around," Love said. "But I thought she might have just wandered off."

By Saturday afternoon Love feared someone had stolen the cat.

She is looking for help from anyone who has a dog that could track the cat.

Love reported the cat missing to Martin County Sheriff's Office. Anyone who sees the cat can call the sheriff's office animal control unit at 772-463-3211.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/treasurecoast/content/tcoast/epaper/2008/10/05/1005cat.html

--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tiger kills railway employee in Uttar Pradesh

Tiger kills railway employee in Uttar Pradesh

6 Oct 2008, 0612 hrs IST,IANS

LUCKNOW: A tiger killed a railway employee and mauled two others in Uttar Pradesh Saturday, an official said.

The incident took place near the Bichiya Railway Station in Bahraich district, where the Katarniyaghat forest reserve is located, some 150 km from here, divisional forest officer (DFO) R.K. Singh said.

The animal attacked and killed the employee about one kilometre away from the railway station when he was returning home after work, the official said.

The big cat also injured two people, who tried to rescue the employee from its claws.

Nearly three weeks ago, a tiger had injured three farmers and killed two oxen in the same district.

In August, a leopard also attacked four people, killing one of them, in Sujauli village in Bahraich.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Flora__Fauna/Tiger_kills_railway_employee_in_Uttar_Pradesh/articleshow/3564337.cms
http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Closer regulation of exotic cat facilities may follow two tiger attacks in Missouri

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2008:


Closer regulation of exotic cat facilities may follow two tiger attacks in Missouri


       ST. LOUIS--Kenneth and Sandra Smith,  owners of the now closed Wesa-A-Geh-Ya exotic animal park in Warren County,  Missouri, and Wesa-A-Geh-Ya board member Roy Elder were on September 19,  2008 charged with evidence tampering for allegedly trying to mislead the county sheriff's department into believing that a pit bull terrier rather than a tiger attacked volunteer Jacob Barr.
       "Barr,  26,  had part of his leg surgically amputated following the August 3 mauling,"  recounted Associated Press writer Betsy Taylor.  "Elder and Sandra Smith are accused of lying to investigators.   Kenneth Smith,  who shot and killed the attacking animal,  is accused of moving the dead tiger's body to a different location."
       In Stone County,  Missouri,  only one day after the Barr attack,  "Branson Zoo intern Dakoda Ramel,  16,  suffered puncture wounds to the neck,  head and leg after he entered a tiger enclosure,"  reported Branson Daily News staff writers Chad Hunter and Donna Clevenger.  "The Stone County Sheriff's Department reported that Ramel entered the tiger pen to take photographs for a customer."
       "At that point,  two other tigers joined in the attack and dragged the victim to a water pool,"  said a Stone County Sheriff's Department press release.
       Responded a Branson Zoo press release,  "We do not know at this time why Ramel was in the enclosure,  as it is a clear violation of policy,  which is both written and verbal.  The only persons who saw what happened clearly stated that he slipped and fell and that the cats had not attacked in any way.  It is also firmly believed he was unconscious when a female tiger approached,  grabbed him by the neck,  and dragged him to what she would have felt was safety."
       Ramel had worked at the zoo,  formerly known as Predator World and the Branson West Reptile Garden,  for about three years.
       Both Wesa-A-Geh-Ya and the Branson Zoo had long histories of alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act,  including failure to maintain secure enclosures.
       "A 2007 safety inspection of Branson Zoo noted three instances of animals getting out of their pens:  two wolves who escaped into the community,  a grizzly bear that remained on the property but was able to kill a tiger,  and a fox that was hit by a car,"  wrote Hunter and Clevenger.
        "The Smiths moved to eastern Missouri in 1986 with a tiger and two cougars,  and acquired more animals over the years," recalled Taylor.
       The business name they adopted,  Wesa-A-Geh-Ya,  "means 'Cat Lady' in Sandra Smith's native Cherokee language,"  the Smiths told visitors.
       Initiatially operated as a for-profit zoo and breeding compound,  Wesa-A-Geh-Yah obtained nonprofit status in 1998 and thereafter claimed to be a sanctuary.  "Many of the tiger cubs that were sold to others ended up back in Warren County when the new owners couldn't handle them," noted St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Susan Weich.
       The Smiths surrendered their USDA license to exhibit the animals in 2003,   after repeated Animal Welfare Act citations,  for which they were fined $13,000 and given two years on probation in 2004.
       "That got the USDA off their backs,"  wrote Weich.  "It also stopped the Smiths from being able to collect donations from visitors who came to see their animals.  Funding for the facility slipped to about $1,200 a year from $40,000 annually.  Donations of meat and volunteers help to tend the animals dropped off as criticism by animal rights groups and public scrutiny of the operation increased."
       The Smiths reportedly also drew probation after convictions in May 2008 for failing to register dangerous animals with the county sheriff's department.
       "Unfortunately,  Barr,  of Warrenton,  knew nothing about the facility's troubled history,"  continued Weich.  "Barr is friends with a volunteer  at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya.  The two men had been camping together,  and when Barr's friend said he was going to clean the cages,  Barr agreed to help."
       The Barr family sued the Smiths for damages on September 3.
       "Officials in Warren County said they would consider an ordinance addressing ownership of nondomestic animals in the next month,"  reported Weich.  "State Representative Mike Sutherland,  who has been trying to set standards for places like Wesa-A-Geh-Ya for five years,  is hopeful that publicity about the mauling will help a law get passed this session."
       Wesa-A-Geh-Ya entered the summer of 2008 with "52 animals of the 84 they reported in 2004,"  longtime critic Rosella Baller told ANIMAL PEOPLE,  "and this does not include new animals born" since then,  Baller said.  Baller claimed that at least one litter of four tiger cubs was born at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya in 2007.
       Sandra Smith told Sarah Whitney of the Post-Dispatch that just one tiger had been born at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya since 1998,  a lone cub in 2003.
       Wesa-A-Geh-Ya had 49 animals when the Smiths announced on August 5 that they would close the facility.  Among the animals were 33 tigers,  eight lions,  four wolves,  a bear,  a puma,  and a leopard,  according to Kevin Murphy of the Kansas City Star.  The last animal was a fox whom the Smiths planned to keep.
       Joe Schreibvogel,  director of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood,  Oklahoma,  took in "eight lions,  the four wolves,  four tigers,  the bear,  the cougar and the leopard,"  said Murphy. Schreibvogel told Jordan Wilson of Post-Dispatch that the G.W. Exotic Animal Park already had more than 170 big cats and 1,400 animals on 16 acres.
       Nineteen Wesa-A-Geh-Ya tigers were sent to the Serenity Springs Wildlife Center in Calhan,  Colorado,  opened in 1993, already housing 147 big cats,  chiefly tigers.
       Schreibvogel told Whitney that the Carnivore Preservation Trust in North Carolina had offered to take four tigers,  but withdrew the offer after the Smiths refused to sign a contract stating they would never again own exotic animals.
       Both Schreibvogel and the Serenity Springs Wildlife Center have also had troubled histories.  Schreibvogel's background, including controversies over the safety of his traveling animal shows,  filled 15 paragraphs in the October 2002 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.
       The Serenity Springs Wildlife Center debuted as a breeding operation in 1993,  but turned to rescue in 1995 after taking 12 big cats from a facility called the Alamo Tiger Ranch that was closed due to Animal Welfare Act violations.  In June 2003 two Bengal tigers mauled the only Serenity Springs employee.  Founders Nick and Karen Sculac lost their home to foreclosure in 2005,  after Nick Sculac suffered a heart attack and was unable to continue his contracting firm.   Karen Sculac died of pneumonia in August 2006--but Serenity Springs now has nearly twice as many animals as it reportedly did then.
       Amid the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya and Branson Zoo episodes,  Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa,  Florida wrote "New laws," including the 2003 federal Captive Wildlife Safety Act,  "have caused such a dramatic decrease in the number of unwanted big cats that we are on the brink of no more abused and unwanted big cats."
       The long list of individual big cats in urgent need of sanctuary space is much shorter than five years ago,  ANIMAL PEOPLE files indicate--but the total numbers in need of placement remain about the same,  due to increasing numbers of sanctuary and roadside zoo closures.            --Merritt Clifton




--
Merritt Clifton
Editor,  ANIMAL PEOPLE
P.O. Box 960
Clinton,  WA  98236

Telephone:  360-579-2505
Fax:  360-579-2575
E-mail:  anmlpepl@whidbey.com
Web:  www.animalpeoplenews.org

[ANIMAL PEOPLE is the leading independent newspaper providing original investigative coverage of animal protection worldwide, founded in 1992.  Our readership of 30,000-plus includes the decision-makers at more than 10,000 animal protection organizations. We have no alignment or affiliation with any other entity.  $24/year; for free sample,  send address.]

--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.