Archive for the ‘tiger cub deaths’ Tag

HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park   Leave a comment

Note: This “park” was said to be the intended home for Tony if his owner, Michael Sandlin, is forced to give him up. Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/1608646-123/oklahoma-park-probed-in-tiger.html

HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park

Park may have more dangerous predators than any other roadside zoo in the nation

May 16, 2012 – via The Humane Society of the United States


The Humane Society of the United States has released the results of an undercover investigation into an Oklahoma exotic animal park, where an investigator recorded tiger deaths, unwarranted breeding and dangerous incidents involving children and adults. HSUS undercover video footage taken at GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla. in the summer and fall of 2011 shows potentially illegal actions that imperil both animals and humans.

GW Exotic Animal Park houses approximately 200 tigers and other dangerous exotic animals and is acting as a petting zoo and traveling zoo that breeds tiger and bear cubs and allows the public to handle exotic animals for a fee, both at its own facility and at shopping malls and other venues around the country. The HSUS filed a series of complaints with state and federal authorities regarding potential legal violations, and called for strengthening certain areas of the law dealing with dangerous exotic wildlife.

The results of the investigation were first reported this morning by CBS News. The HSUS says it’s a dangerous situation for tigers and people, a hazard highlighted by the mass exotic animal tragedy the nation learned of last fall in Zanesville, Ohio. The president of GW Exotic Animal Park, Joe Schreibvogel, traveled to Ohio in April 2012 to lobby against Senate Bill 310, the bill introduced by state lawmakers to restrict the private ownership of dangerous captive wildlife in response to the Zanesville incident. At that time, he claimed that Terry Thompson was murdered by animal advocates to advance an agenda to ban private ownership of dangerous exotic pets.

At least five tigers died at the facility during the investigation – two of them had been sick for months and may have been shot by GW employees. A 6-year-old tiger named Hobbes died without receiving veterinary care and a 6-week-old cub being raised inside the GW owner’s house somehow sustained head injuries and had to be euthanized. And the death of 23 infant tigers at the facility over a 13-month period between 2009 and 2010 prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open an investigation into GW Exotics for the unexplained death rate at the park.

“GW Exotics may have more dangerous exotic animals than any other roadside zoo in the nation—with approximately five times as many predators as the late Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “At this facility, children are allowed to play with tigers as if they are domestic kittens, rather than wild cats soon to mature into the some of the world’s most lethal carnivores.”

The HSUS investigator witnessed or heard reports about numerous dangerous public interactions at GW—some with a nearly full-grown tiger—including at least six cases where visitors were bitten or scratched.

  • In August 2011, according to GW’s assistant park manager, three people suffered tiger bites at a fair, including one child whose bite became infected.
  • On Sept. 3, 2011, a tiger reportedly bit a young girl on her leg during the “play cage” portion of a tour.
  • On Sept. 11, 2011, a tiger cub scratched a young child while the child was posing for a picture.
  • On Sept. 17, 2011, a 20-week-old tiger named Dre knocked down and bit a small child. GW’s park manager told staff that the boy was bitten and scratched and that he would be bruised but that he (the manager) had “smoothed things over” with the mother and had her “sign the papers.” The next day, the same tiger was used for photo shoots at GW and photographers posed a small child bottle feeding the tiger.

The HSUS has filed complaints with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service seeking an investigation into potential violations of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act, and Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act; with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act; and with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for potential violations of GW’s state commercial wildlife license. HSUS has also reached out to local law enforcement concerning the results of its investigation.

The HSUS is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to adopt regulations banning public contact with dangerous wild animals no matter the age of the animals. Current regulations generally allow public contact with tiger cubs between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, and encourage the reckless over breeding of tiger cubs and surplus of captive adult tigers. The HSUS is also urging Congress to pass H.R. 4122, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., to prohibit the private ownership and breeding of tigers and other dangerous big cats.

The investigative report is available here. B-roll video footage of the investigation is available for media download here and here.

Media Contact: Raul Arce-Contreras, 301.721.6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

Read Wayne’s blog on the Oklahoma investigation

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html

“How long should you try? Until.”   2 comments

Tony December 17, 2011 (Photo Courtesy of & ©Cloversweed 2011)

November 2 2012: Nearly three months have passed since the last court hearing on August 6, 2012 without a decision.  Tony  is being kept at the truck stop without a permit, i.e. illegally. In two court hearings, May 6th, 2011 and November 2nd, 2011, Judge Caldwell agreed with The Animal Legal Defense Fund (representing Tony) and their argument that the permit that allows his owner to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. On May 6th, 2011 Judge Caldwell granted a permanent injunction blocking LDWF from issuing a new permit to Tony’s owner, and on November 2, 2011 he again prohibited the LDWF from issuing any new permits to the truck stop and ordered the current permit revoked.

While we continue to wait, more importantly – so does Tony, and the best thing we can do is remain positive and supportive of him. Keeping Tony’s story networked so people know he is still at the truck stop is vital. While this is repetitive, please continue to share his petition, sign if you have not already, and share links for Tony on Facebook and Twitter. See below for more info.

December 24 2011: The recent articles about Tony and his possible move to an Oklahoma “exotic animal park” under investigation by the USDA for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs as well as the conditions and practices of this “park” which include money-making schemes such as exploiting tiger cubs in hands-on exhibits and photo ops are of great concern to all of us.

This “facility” is also asking for donations to build Tony a habitat which demonstrates they are not prepared and not equipped to provide the proper home and care that Tony needs and deserves.

There are accredited reputable humane big cat sanctuaries that stand ready to give Tony the home, care, life and respect he deserves.

A sanctuary as defined in the Captive Wildlife Safety Act:

• Must be a non-profit entity that is tax exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
• Cannot engage in commercial trade in big cat species, including their offspring, parts, and products made from them
• Cannot breed big cats
• Cannot allow direct contact between big cats and the public at their facilities
• Must keep records of transactions involving covered cats
• Must allow the Service to inspect their facilities, records, and animals at reasonable hours

Reference: http://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/CWSA_Factsheet.pdf

Clearly this Oklahoma facility does not comply with these regulations. It is imperative we continue our advocacy on behalf of Tony for his release to a sanctuary that is humane, reputable and in compliance with the above stipulations.

ALDF is well-aware of the this “animal park.” Posted by Animal Legal Defense Fund on December 6th, 2011: “Our attorneys are researching various legal strategies for ensuring that Tony goes to a reputable sanctuary, not a roadside zoo.  http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1891

How You Can Help Tony

  • Voice your concerns for Tony to The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for his release to a reputable, established, humane accredited big cat sanctuary that will meet all of his needs.

It’s very important that all correspondence for Tony be done in a respectable focused manner. While we are all very passionate and concerned about Tony, his health and welfare, please remember polite and focused letters have a better chance of being addressed and our concerns taken seriously. When you advocate for Tony, you are representing him – he deserves the utmost respect as do the individual(s) we are writing to.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Maria Davidson
Large Carnivore Program Manager
Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries
5652 Highway 182
Opelousas LA 70570
Phone: (337) 948-0255
Fax: (337) 948-0213

e-mail: mdavidson@wlf.la.gov

Fred Kimmel (Ms. Davidson’s supervisor)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: (225) 765-2355

e-mail: fkimmel@wlf.la.gov

Bo Boehringer
LDWF Press Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: 225- 765-5115

e-mail: bboehringer@wlf.la.gov

Robert J. Barham, Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607

e-mail: rbarham@wlf.la.gov

e-mail: sfalcon@wlf.la.gov

web e-mail form: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

Governor Bobby Jindal
Office of The Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Phone: (225) 342-7015
Fax: (225) 342-7099

web e-mail form: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor

  • New Change.org Petition For Tony  – January 16, 2012  

http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

This petition asks the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to ensure Tony is released to a reputable sanctuary.

  • Care2 Petition For Tony CLOSED (53,614 Signatures)

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/ 

  • Comment on these recent articles:

Possible new home for Truck Stop Tiger under investigation
http://www.nbc33tv.com/all-about-animals/possible-new-home-for-truck-stop-tiger-under-investigation

Oklahoma park probed in tiger cub deaths
http://theadvocate.com/home/1608646-125/oklahoma-park-probed-in-tiger.html

  • Please continue to share these posts from The Animal Legal Defense Fund on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter:

Victory For Tony!! http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1859

ALDF’s page for Tony: http://www.aldf.org/tony

What Is Best For Tony? http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1861

ALDF Article: Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases

Sincerest thanks to all of Tony’s friends for your concern, commitment and ongoing support of Tony. Together let’s continue to advocate for him and the home, life and care he deserves.

“Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Photos in this slideshow Courtesy of & ©Cloversweed 2011 Thank You for sharing your pictures of Tony all taken December17, 2011 with the exception of the one of Tony with his blue ball from May 2011. Direct link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.108864299212681.12944.100002673354863&type=3

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