Friday, November 28, 2008

2 Escaped Servals Shot in KS and PA same day

Kansas City police shoot African serval cat

KANSAS CITY (AP) - An exotic African cat roaming a Kansas City neighborhood has been shot and killed by police.

The cat was a serval, an African breed that resembles a small cheetah. Servals have spotted coats and long necks. They stand about 20 inches at the shoulder.

Police received several calls from a northern Kansas City neighborhood from 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.

(http://www.newstribune.com/articles/2008/11/24/news_state/039state25topcat.txt)


Pa. officials: Exotic cat killed near Philly

Associated Press - November 26, 2008 7:05 PM ET

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - 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, a small, cheetah-like exotic cat that someone was keeping as a pet.

George Heim runs the Garrett Mill Farm about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.

He says he called a friend who works for the state game commission and was told he could shoot the animal. The game commission confirmed his account and says Heim was within his legal rights to protect his chickens.

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.

Servals are found in many parts of the African continent. They are carnivorous and typically weigh about 35 pounds.

(http://www.wfmj.com/Global/story.asp?S=9421360)
--
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
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

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.




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tiger, tiger... but things still burning bright

Tiger, tiger... but things still burning bright

by Sheela Narayanon - Sat, Nov 22, 2008

GETTING back on track slowly but surely. That is the attitude the Singapore Zoo is taking a week after the fatal tiger mauling that took place at the park on Nov 13.

Cleaner Nordin Montong had climbed into the white tigers' enclosure and provoked the three big rare cats into attacking him.

Despite the worldwide media coverage about the tragic incident, the zoo's popularity was not dented as locals and tourists thronged the park over the past week.

One reason could be the zoo's new exhibit, the 3ha Rainforest KidzWorld to attract children.

It includes a maze, a carousel, a dinosaur walk and a wet play area.

The zoo's curator of zoology Subash Chandran (right) also credits the quick return of confidence to the zoo's 35-year reputation as a safe and fun place.

He told tabla! that the visitors' confidence in the zoo remained high: 'People know that we have the highest regard for their safety and we are vigilant. The zoo has always been a fun place to go and our staff is very enthusiastic.'

The new exhibit, which replaced the old children's petting zoo, reinforced that image, added Mr Chandran, 56.

'We have sessions where the children can groom the miniature horses and get to touch the rabbits,' he said.

There are also activity books published by the zoo to complement the new attraction.

The zoo veteran, who has been with the park even before it officially opened in 1973, admitted that it has been a "trying" week for the zoo's staff.

Mr Nordin, a 32-year-old cleaner from Sarawak, East Malaysia, jumped into the tigers' enclosure with a yellow pail and a broom. He agitated them by swinging his broom at them.

Two of the tigers set upon him and he later died from bites to his neck and a fractured skull.

The tigers - Omar, Jippie and Winnie - were confined to their den for five days before they were let back into their enclosure on Nov 18.

Mr Subash said the tigers were a "bit apprehensive when they saw people" but settled down quickly and were back to their "inquisitive" selves.

The zoo is reviewing its safety measures and looking into adding alarms at various points within its premises, increasing patrols and setting up a closed circuit television (CCTV) near exhibits of potentially dangerous animals.

Mr Chandran said: 'It will take time but we can get past this incident.'

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20081122-102579.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tiger kills fisherman

Tiger kills fisherman

Calcutta, Nov. 21: A tiger dragged a fisherman looking for catch in the shallows of the Matla into the Sunderbans last evening.

Fellow fishermen, who chased the tiger, found Mangal Naiya’s body in the forest about half an hour later.

“The tiger had bitten off half his face and the eyes were gone,” divisional forest officer Kalyan Das said.

Six people, including Mangal’s mother, were in waist-deep water with hand nets when Mangal, who was nearer to the bank, cried for help. The tiger had grabbed him by the neck when he stooped to search for crabs.

Mangal, 20, is the fifth person killed by a Sunderbans tiger in the past six months. The body of the last victim could not be traced in September.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081122/jsp/bengal/story_10147232.jsp

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's ‘Not The Tiger's Fault'

It's ‘Not The Tiger's Fault'

Zoo Owners Say Bitten Worker Admits Error; PETA Asks Probe
By Tom Mitchell - 11/20/2008

LURAY - Four days after a tiger at a local zoo bit a teenage employee, owners of the zoo called the girl's decision to touch the tiger "a mistake," adding that the victim holds the tiger blameless in the attack.

"She wants everybody to know that [the biting was] not the tiger's fault," said Jennifer Westhoff, co-owner of Luray Zoo.

The attack, in which a 5-year-old, 225-pound female Bengal tiger named "Star" bit off the finger of a 15-year-old female employee, occurred on Sunday. The victim, whose name has not been released because she is a minor, was showing the tiger to visitors at the zoo when she was bitten, said Westhoff.

Mark Kilby, the facility's other owner, said he and Westhoff have discouraged employees from handling the zoo's animals because of the danger inherent in touching or petting wild creatures. The incident, said Kilby, will force him and Westhoff to be take a harder line in enforcing that policy.

"We've repeatedly told our employees not to try to handle the animals," said Kilby. "I'm not going to be nice about it anymore."

PETA Asks For Probe

Also on Wednesday, a national animal-rights organization called for an investigation into the incident.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the USDA to look into the attack and to "strictly enforce the Animal Welfare Act."

The zoo's owners say they would welcome any such investigation.

"PETA is investigating us," said Westhoff. "We don't have any plans to hide. We're very proud of the work we've done."

PETA also has written to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry about the incident.

Quoting regulations as to the employment of teenagers, PETA stated that teens under 18 may not work in any "occupation that exposes them to a recognized hazard capable of causing serious physical injury or death."

The Luray Zoo has frequently employed people as young as 14, said Kilby. He noted that Virginia law allows minors under the age of 16 to work certain jobs as long as they have permits to do so issued by the school system they attend.

"They want to look for fault [and] I'm sorry they're going after that," Kilby said of PETA's criticism on the issue regarding the employee's age. "We [and PETA] are on the same team. But I'm disappointed in their actions."

What Happened

The mishap occurred when the girl tried to scratch a side of the tiger's face with her left hand, said Westhoff. The girl, who according to Westhoff is a Page County resident, had worked at the zoo for a year and a half.

According to Westhoff, the tiger playfully seized the girl's hand. When a woman tried to pull the hand free, the animal refused to release it and bit the girl's hand, severing her left "pinky" finger.

Touching Tiger A ‘Mistake'

The injured girl came by the zoo Wednesday after being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she was taken on Sunday. The girl hopes to return to work at the zoo, where several of her family members have worked, said Kilby.

Officials for the Virginia Department of Health, which is investigating the incident, had discussed the possibility of euthanizing the tiger to determine if it had rabies, but Kilby said that won't be necessary because the victim is receiving rabies shots as a preventive measure.

No Plans to Close

Kilby declined to discuss whether the zoo carries insurance for such attacks. He said there are no plans to close the zoo, nor has there been any indication that the USDA, which licenses the facility, intends to do so. The zoo, which is open seven days a week in the spring and summer months and on weekends from November through mid-April, will be open this weekend, Kilby said.

"We can't sit down and feel sorry for ourselves," said Kilby. "We've got to keep going."

Sunday's incident was the first such emergency in the zoo's 25-year history, Westhoff said. Westhoff, 39, and Kilby, 53, have run the zoo for the past 12 years since buying it from the previous owners.

Luray Zoo houses 250 animals, mostly reptiles, said Kilby. 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.

An official with the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minn., says incidents like the one at Luray are preventable. Ron Hylton, director of conservations at the Minnesota Zoo and coordinator for the zoo's species survival plan for tigers, said tiger attacks occur "repeatedly" at privately owned zoos.

"A tiger is a wild animal, and there are just moments when the hard-wiring in their circuitry just fires off," said Hylton. "We always tell people in zoos, ‘You manage your tigers exclusively with a hands-off approach.' But the message doesn't get to some folks."

http://www.dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=33431&CHID=1

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Animal that fatally mauled worker allowed to live

Animal that fatally mauled worker allowed to live

Associated Press - November 19, 2008 9:15 PM ET

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) - A big cat that fatally mauled a worker at a
wildlife sanctuary won't be euthanized.

32-year-old Peter Getz was mauled by Rocky the liger -- a cross between
a male lion and a female tiger -- on Oct. 29 and died the following day.

Lori Ensign, the owner of Safari's Sanctuary, says she has been told the
liger will be able to live out his life at the park.

The park closed after the attack but will reopen on Nov. 29-30 to raise money
to feed its animals through the winter. A news release issued by the park
does not discuss its status beyond that.

Ensign says that Getz would not have wanted the park's mission to cease. She
says park officials will work to keep Getz's dream alive through a renewed
effort to educate people on the dangers of having exotic animals as pets.

Information from: Tulsa World,
(http://www.tulsaworld.com)
http://www.kfsm.com/global/story.asp?s=9382631&ClientType=Printable

--
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
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

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.




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bengal tiger bites young worker at Virginia zoo

Bengal tiger bites young worker at Virginia zoo

LURAY, Va. (AP) — A 16-year-old employee of a small Virginia zoo is recovering after a tiger bit her when she tried to pet it.

Zoo owner Jennifer Westhoff says the girl lost her pinky and had cuts on her hand. She was showing a 5-year-old Bengal tiger named Star to visitors when it bit her through its cage.

Westhoff says the tiger grabbed the girl's hand, then got spooked and bit her when a visitor jumped over a fence to help.

The girl was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center and was expected to be released Wednesday.

The Luray Zoo is the only rescue zoo in Virginia and houses 260 animals, mostly reptiles, over four acres.

Star is the zoo's only tiger, and Westhoff says she will remain there.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hGNzHnJfU-73dBO_Y59FHegAZy6AD94I770G0

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Monday, November 17, 2008

Singapore Zoo monitors white tigers’ stress levels

Singapore Zoo monitors white tigers’ stress levels

Channel NewsAsia - Tuesday, November 18 SINGAPORE: The Singapore Zoo is keeping its white tiger exhibit closed for a few more days to monitor the tigers’ stress levels.

Two white tigers were involved in last Thursday’s incident where a cleaner was mauled to death after he jumped into the enclosure.

During the incident, zookeepers and onlookers threw umbrellas and even used a long pole to distract the tigers.

The zoo says two female tigers, reportedly stressed by the incident, are "doing fine".

The keepers are also going about their daily routine of feeding and cleaning the tigers.

Since the tragedy, the zoo has increased patrols around various exhibits, but says its security measures are effective and will not be changed for now.

The number of visitors to the park increased over the weekend, owing to the start of Singapore’s school holidays.

http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/cna/20081117/tap-446-singapore-zoo-monitors-white-tig-231650b.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Tiger Bites Zoo Employee

Tiger Bites Zoo Employee

Luray, Va.
Posted: 6:13 PM Nov 17, 2008
Last Updated: 7:20 PM Nov 17, 2008
Reporter: Michael Hyland


A 16-year-old girl is recovering at the University of Virginia Medical Center Monday after a tiger bit her. It happened at the Luray Zoo and Reptile Jungle Sunday afternoon.

Maj. Russell Montgomery, Page County Sheriff's Office, says the victim is an employee of the zoo.

The sheriff's office got an emergency call just after 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Montgomery says it was a five-year-old Bengal tiger that bit the employee.

The victim was flown to the UVA Medical Center. Montgomery says she had severe injuries on her left hand and arm. It's unclear what led to the tiger attacking the employee.

Managers at the zoo declined to comment Monday about what's being done with the tiger, but they did say that the employee is doing well.

http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/34610029.html#

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tiger Bites Employee

Tiger Bites Employee

Luray
Posted: 9:47 PM Nov 16, 2008
Last Updated: 9:47 PM Nov 16, 2008
Reporter: Keith Jones
Email Address: kjones@whsv.com

TV-3 has learned that a tiger at the Luray Zoo has seriously injured an employee.

The Page County Sheriff's Office says the worker's finger was amputated as result of a tiger bite. The owner of the zoo did not comment on how it happened. The worker was taken by helicopter for medical treatment.

http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/34560274.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Tigers should stay

Tigers should stay

ALMOST all 100 people polled by The New Paper on Sunday found that the white tigers should not be blamed for the zoo cleaner's death and should stay.

Ninety-nine of them said the tigers should not be sent away or 'punished' in any way.

Even the lone voice of dissent did not want the tiger to go. Instead, she suggested that the White Tiger exhibit should be closed - just temporarily.

TNP on Sunday said the majority felt that the big cats were behaving according to their instincts.

Mr Jeff Yeo, an events organiser, told TNP on Sunday: 'It is not the tigers' fault. Animals, being what they are, will retaliate if provoked, or if they feel they are in danger, especially in their territory.'

He added that even if the tigers had escaped from their enclosure - which they had not - the zoo should be held culpable, not the animals.

Mr Kenneth Tan, 30, a writer, said that the tigers should stay as it was the man who had leapt into the tigers' way.

'We might as well shut down MRT stations since people jump onto the tracks there too,' he said.

Others cited the white tigers' beauty and the fact that they are an endangered species as reasons for maintaining the exhibit.

But some felt that the zoo could do more to safeguard its employees and visitors.

Mauled victim did not want to die

Meanwhile, a new video provided to TNP on Sunday by a reader has shown that the cleaner Nordin Montong, 32, fought tool and nail to stay alive.

TNP reader 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.

Mr Nordin's body was flown back to his hometown in Kuching, Sarawak on Saturday afternoon and buried in the Kampung Sambir Muslim cemetery, more than an hour's drive from Kuching.

About a dozen people were at the cargo terminal to receive the body, including Mr Nordin's father, Mr Montong Sahom, 54, his mother, and close relatives.

Later, 80 relatives and friends gathered for the burial, which took place at about 5 pm.

Many among them remained puzzled about what happened.

Mr Nordin's mother, Madam Baduyah Ahmad, 52, who was closest to the victim, the eldest son, said he had called her on Thursday morning, and he sounded fine.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_302977.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

The day after the tiger attack

The day after the tiger attack

November 16, 2008 Sunday, 01:48 AM

ON the surface, it seemed to be business as usual at the Singapore Zoo on Friday - a day after cleaner Nordin Montong was mauled to death in the white tiger exhibit, shocking visitors and Singaporeans.

Tourists armed with maps explored the gardens with their cameras and sunshades, while children let out shrieks of excitement as they bathed in jets of water in the children's play area.

But look deeper, and it is another story.

On the visitor's tram, we drive past the white tiger enclosure and people start to whisper.

'This is where that Nordin guy got eaten by a tiger,' one said.

'Yes, that is why it's shut today. It is all over the news,' said another, as he craned his neck in an attempt to look into the enclosure.

In front of the enclosure, others are taking photos of the sign that read 'exhibit closed', and keepers speak to each other in hushed voices.

I ask them if they knew the 32-year-old Mr Nordin.

'We can't say anything, you better talk to the management,' they reply.

Behind the scenes, a team hurries to deal with what has happened.

Already, the management has met the victim's family. We were told that some form of compensation was offered.

And to prevent a recurrence, a slew of new safety measures would be rolled out in coming months. Think alarm buttons, more patrols and CCTV cameras.

But in the same breath, zoo officials reiterate that current measures are sufficient.

At the white tiger enclosure, for one, thick wooden railings and a plant bed overhang minimise the chances of a visitor falling into trouble.

What happened on Thursday, said zoo officials, was extraordinary.

'We cannot account for someone who intentionally scales the railing,' said official Ms Isabel Cheng with a sigh. 'We can do what we can for careless visitors, but it would be difficult for us to be 100 per cent secure for someone who wants to break into the exhibit.'

She brings up the analogy of a person with the intention of jumping off a block of flats.

'You can't stop them in that kind of situation can you? If the person wants to do it, they will find a way to,' she said.

Read also: Tigers should stay

http://blogs.straitstimes.com/2008/11/15/the-day-after-the-tiger-attack

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Singapore Zoo assures visitors that white tiger exhibit is safe

Singapore Zoo assures visitors that white tiger exhibit is safe

By S. Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 14 November 2008 1615 hrs

SINGAPORE: A day after a cleaner was mauled to death at the Singapore Zoo's white tiger enclosure, officials assured the public that the exhibit is "very safe".

It held a news conference on Friday to clear any doubts even as it opened its latest S$12 million attraction called the Rainforest Kidzworld.

Visitors streamed in to view the attraction, which opened in time for the school holidays.

Executive director and CEO of Temasek Holdings, Ms Ho Ching, who launched the new attraction, said: "The zoo has deepened its own knowledge and expertise through the years.

"I have full respect for the team at the WildLife Reserves for their hard work, passion and constant care. It is amazing how their dedication and imagination have created a natural and safe wildlife habitat only half an hour away from the city lights."

Meanwhile, the chairperson of Wildlife Reserves - which owns the zoo - took the opportunity to speak about Thursday's incident at the white tiger enclosure.

Claire Chiang, non-executive chairman, Wildlife Reserves, said: "Let me take a few minutes to address the unfortunate incident at the white tiger exhibit yesterday. Our sympathies and condolences go to Mr Nordin Bin Montong's family.

"I would like to reassure all visitors that the white tiger exhibit is very safe and is as safe as any part of the zoo. The safety measures we have implemented exceed the standards recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

"AZA is the internationally recognised organisation that accredits only institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science."

Visitors, too, seemed to agree that the white tiger exhibit does not pose any danger.

Aaron Tan, a visitor, said: "The enclosure is actually quite safe as long as you don't go... into the enclosure itself. So I can still bring my kid here."

At a news conference later, zoo officials addressed other concerns raised, including the five-minute response time it took the sharpshooters to reach the scene.

Biswajit Guha, assistant director, Singapore Zoo, said: "The five-minute situation is essentially sufficient to go to a hotspot in the case of an animal escape. This was an extraordinary situation whereby someone had actually jumped in.

"Even if it had been a fall and the person was trying very hard to avoid the tigers and had gone to the deep end, we are quite confident he would have been able to move in, in time."

He added that firing tranquilisers would not have saved the cleaner as it could have further provoked the animals.

He added: "Tranquilisers don't work instantaneously. So it will take about five minutes before having an impact on the animal. And to have such a sharp impact coming into contact with an animal, it could provoke the animal more and there might be a more drastic reaction."

Meanwhile, the Singapore Zoo said it will not be stationing armed officers at the enclosures which are deemed dangerous. But it will definitely be increasing its patrols by the zoo's keepers and operational staff.

Staff who witnessed the incident or need counselling will also be taken care of.

The zoo hopes to re-open the white tiger attraction within the next few days. - CNA/vm

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/389832/1/.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tiger escapes, kills caretaker at Mexico zoo

Tiger escapes, kills caretaker at Mexico zoo

Nov 11, 2008

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A tiger escaped from an unlocked cage at a commercial zoo and fatally mauled its caretaker before it was captured and killed, officials said Tuesday.

State officials said that Bioparque Estrella had closed Monday when the tiger left its unlocked cage and fatally attacked 26-year-old Herminio Rodriguez Palma. It was unclear why the cage had been left unlocked.

Some 150 police officers and zoo veterinarians began an intense search for the tiger at the 300-hectare (740-acre) wild animal park in the countryside northwest of Mexico City. It was captured and killed before dawn.

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, but were quickly recaptured.

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.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jjL4B4uKwS4TAaFA4uBP-1Dkr3NQD94CRFJ84

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

USDA removes malnourished elephant from Lance Ramos

USDA removes malnourished elephant from Lance Ramos


Published: Today

TAMPA -- Ned the elephant has new digs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials removed the 21-year-old Asian elephant from his Balm home Saturday after they found him malnourished in the care of his owner, circus trainer Lance Ramos.

Carol Buckley of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in Hohenwald, Tenn., wrote in a diary she's been keeping about Ned that his shoulder blades were protruding from his 9-foot-6, 7,500-pound frame when he arrived at the sanctuary Sunday.

That's about a ton underweight, she said.

Ned, who was born at Busch Gardens on Oct. 10, 1987, is only the second elephant to ever be confiscated by the USDA, according to Elliot. He was born to two elephants who were captured in the wild in Southeast Asia, but who came to belong to a Busch Gardens breeding manager.

When he was 2 years old, Ned was sold to a circus trainer. He performed with the Big Apple circus for almost a decade until elephants were cut from the circus lineup. That's when Ramos took possession of the elephant, according to the sanctuary.

Jessica Milteer, a spokeswoman with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said Ramos was warned several times prior to the confiscation that his care of Ned needed to be improved.

This is not Ramos first encounter with USDA sanctions. In 2000, the federal agency charged him with violating the Animal Welfare Act after an 18-year-old female elephant broke free from a chain and killed Teresa Ramos-Caballero. The elephant died soon after of unknown reasons.

Ramos, who is also known as Lancelot Kollmann, has also been cited by the USDA in the past for failure to provide veterinary care to injured animals, causing trauma and harm to a jaguar and unsanitary conditions. He is currently appealing an administrative court ruling in a case brought by USDA concerning his treatment of bigs cats, Milteer said.

Milteer said the USDA only enforces civil and licensing sanctions and does not have the ability to bring criminal charges.

Ramos could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rebecca Catalanello, Times staff writer

Photo courtesy of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

Carole's note:  This is where Snorkle came from and there are still probably a dozen or so tigers there.

--
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
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

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, November 10, 2008

'Playful' tiger injures zookeeper

'Playful' tiger injures zookeeper

JUNSELE, Sweden, Nov. 9 (UPI) --

A zookeeper is expected to recover from wounds inflicted by a playful white tiger, said the owner of the Junsele Zoo in the north of Sweden.

The keeper, who has worked with the zoo's tigers for 16 years, was trapped in a cage with the big cat for about 15 minutes Saturday, said Ulf Henriksson, the zoo's owner.

Henriksson said he lured the tiger away from the staff member with a piece of meat so rescue workers could get the man out of the cage and into an ambulance, the Swedish news agency tt reported Sunday.

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.

Had this tiger wanted to inflict injury then we would not have had this happy ending, Henriksson said.

http://www.timesoftheinternet.com/18298.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Danger of big cats in wrong hands

Danger of big cats in wrong hands

10:52 PM CST on Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Twice this year at two separate locations in Missouri, workers almost lost their lives in tiger attacks.

The terrifying incidents prompted News 4 to examine the exotic animal trade business and the potential danger of having big cats in the wrong hands.

Watch News 4 coverage
> Larger player

Camels, zebras, spider monkeys, ostriches, sloths, even a baboon are all for sale at Lolli Bros. livestock auction in central Missouri.

(KMOV.com Extra: News 4 Investigates: Exotic Animal Trade)

An undercover News 4 camera also recorded a rare white lion cub, born in a small family-owned West Virginia zoo. She'll be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

The auction, which is legal, will sell hundreds of exotic species, but there is growing concern that because of auctions and backyard breeders, the big cats are winding up with people who may not appreciate the danger.

Dick Stephens bought his tigers from a backyard breeder when they were cubs.

Now he keeps the full-grown tigers in an outdoor cage at his home just north of Springfield.

Stephens downplays the danger, but a tiger lunged at News 4's Craig Cheatham when he got too close to the cage.

Three years ago, Ronda Good's 17-year old daughter Haley was supposed to be posing for a picture with a tiger cub at a Kansas sanctuary, but the cub wasn't available, so Haley stood next to a full grown tiger hooked to a chain.

Haley turned to run, and the tiger attacked.

Despite the obvious danger connected with owning big cats and other exotic animals, the Lolli Bros. auction has attracted a remarkable following.

During News 4's visit, vehicles with license plates from thirty states and Mexico were seen in the parking lot.

Julie Leicht is the executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, a group trying to strengthen the state's exotic animal laws, which she believes are among the weakest in the country.

Leicht says dangerous exotic animals like tigers, lions and bears should be microchipped and registered so the state can easily track them.

She said the owners should have to pay registration fees, should not be allowed to let anyone touch the animals and should be required to get insurance.

Leicht said neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa and Kansas all have stronger laws than Missouri.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits it has no idea how many lions and tigers are in America, but several animal welfare groups believe there could be thousands of them.

For now the fate of some potentially deadly, sometimes unregulated animals are in the hands of people who may not recognize the danger.

http://www.kmov.com/localnews/4investigates/stories/kmov-stlouis-081105-tigers-investigate.184d54e2f.html

Watch the video there.  You can thank Big Cat Rescuer, La Wanna, for making this undercover story happen.

--
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

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