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Posted on Feb 14, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Tim Stark Wildlife in Need Wildlife in Need

Tim Stark Wildlife in Need

2/14/18 The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted a preliminary injunction request against roadside zoo Wildlife in Need.  The injunction prevents Wildlife in Need from declawing big cats (tigers), separating cubs from their mothers unless medically necessary and from using cubs in public encounters.

The court highlighted some of the case’s background which affected the decision. The judge cited lack of response by the defendants, both in discovery requests and court orders. Both Timothy and Melisa stark refused to sit for depositions, court document said, noting that “the court had very little, if any, evidence to consider on behalf of Defendants.” PETA filed a complaint against Wildlife in Need in, owned by Charlestown residents Timothy L. Start and Melisa D. Stark, in September 2017 for violations of the Endangered Species Act.

A temporary restraining order was issued by the court on October 4, 2017, preventing the defendants from declawing any of their captive lions, tigers and hybrids (“Big Cats”).  The roadside zoo has been in the news frequently over the past several years.

In October of 2017, Wildlife in Need was connected with an FBI wildlife trafficking sweep. In July 2016, the USDA cited Wildlife in Need for 118 animal welfare violations. The 24-page complaint meant the Charlestown business faced up to more than $1 million in fines and possible closure.  The US Department of Agriculture tried three times to terminate the owner’s operating license between 2015 and September 2016. PeTA vs Tim Stark Wildlife In Need.


Tim Stark insisted that both of his leopards were dead. Records show he got the cats from Living Treasures Animal Park in New Castle, Pa. They seemed healthy, he recalled, at four months old, but they were “mean as hell.”

Stark said he remembered the day he found one lying on its side, barely breathing. By the time he got to the leopard, it was allegedly dead.

He grabbed its back leg, and it snapped, Stark recalled. That’s when he came to the conclusion that metabolic bone disease had been what made them so mean. But no veterinarian ever examined the animals, USDA records show.

Three or four days after the first leopard died, Stark recalled, was when the second leopard squalled and screamed and darted at him. Stark said he hit it with a baseball bat.

“I hit it numerous times, over and over and over,” he said. “The last time I seen that cat it was (expletive) dead. I hit it with a ball bat numerous freaking times and hit it plenty hard enough to damn kill a full-grown leopard let alone a damn little leopard.”

So unless the leopard came back to life, he said, he doesn’t see how it could have landed in Doris Armstrong’s yard.

PETA called Stark’s property a “roadside zoo.” In addition to potential injuries, PETA believes Stark exposes the public to infectious diseases by allowing anyone to hold and pet wild animals.

“Encouraging the public to handle vulnerable cubs roughly and to hit them when they resist is cruel,” PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders said in a statement.

PETA notes Stark pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking an ocelot and has been cited repeatedly by the USDA for animal welfare violations, including keeping a lion and tigers in cages from which they can easily escape, providing bears and tigers with water containing “floating clumps of algae,” and failing to provide animals with any shelter from the heat.

Last year — PETA said citing a USDA inspection report — the zoo had no attending veterinarian and two sick leopards died without receiving any veterinary treatment.

Note:  Golden Tabby tigers are merely inbred and crossbred tigers and not a subspecies that serves any conservation program.



Former employee, volunteers express concern over animal operation


By KRISTINA GOETZ Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting | Posted Nov. 23, 2014

CHARLESTOWN — In the wake of a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting investigation that found a history of problems at an Indiana exotic animal refuge, current and former members of the organization have come forward to talk about their experiences at the facility.

Meanwhile, legislators who’ve received recent complaints about Wildlife in Need Inc. are looking at potential changes in Indiana law.

KyCIR’s investigation showed Tim Stark’s exotic animal facility in Charlestown has been cited by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors for a variety of problems over the past several years, including having enclosures that are not adequate to prevent big cats from escaping, and allowing cubs that are too old and too aggressive to interact with the public.

Former Wildlife in Need employee Travis Ellis, as well as a current volunteer and a former volunteer, portrayed the organization as in distress and disarray. They allege Stark is dismissive of authority, has contempt for veterinarians and uses volunteers who have good intentions but little to no background in animal care.

The volunteers — who provided evidence of their work there — spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.


Ellis does not have a degree in animal science but said he grew up around exotic animals and is a licensed falconer in Tennessee. Officials there say Ellis is in compliance with state regulations and has a good track record.

Ellis met Stark when he was animal curator for Kentucky Down Under, he said, and then the two started doing business together. Ellis grew concerned while working for Stark this summer.

“On my side of the tent, we gave people a pretty safe experience with the exception of using that tiger and that bear,” he said of the exotic animal encounter show.

Ellis believes people should be able to interact with exotic animals. He just doesn’t think Stark’s operation is a safe place to do it.

Ellis said he was bitten and clawed by a large tiger this summer. He has photos of the encounter as well.

During the last show of the evening one August night, Ellis told a crowd of about a dozen visitors to get ready for the finale.

“Remain in your seats,” he remembered saying. “Please don’t make loud noises. Don’t attempt to touch her.”

For a moment, he disappeared behind a door but returned with a 250-pound tiger on a woven-knot leash with a leather loop. Just feet away — with no barrier in between — visitors watched the year-old tiger put her paws on two volunteers sitting on the ground, Ellis recalled. He said he tugged the leash to lead the tiger in a circle in order to show off her stripes.

“Once I pulled her away from these girls, she reared up on top of me, grabbed me in my armpit with her teeth and stuck her claws in my back,” he said. “I played it off. The public had no clue what was going on.”

Still feeling the sting of the cat’s teeth, Ellis walked backward out the side door to the tiger’s holding pen.

“She was chewing on me, and she was growling,” he said. “I was still up. I knew if I ever got down it would be bad.”

The tiger hung on, Ellis said, until one of the volunteers smacked her in the nose with a plastic bat.

Ellis scrambled out of the cage, bleeding from four puncture wounds, and slammed the door. He walked back in the tent.

“The public was still sitting there so I had to suck it up and finish the show,” he said.

Ellis claims Stark had little to say after the incident and seemed more upset about what visitors had seen.

“When the cat incident happened, and he wouldn’t take responsibility … that was the final straw,” Ellis said.

He never worked there again. He did not file a complaint with any agency.

Stark did not return an email or a phone message left on Wildlife in Need’s voicemail requesting comment.

In a previous report, Stark said interaction with wild animals is a big part of his operation.

“But the way I look at it, if you’re going to have these animals, they thrive on that interaction. They deserve it, and it’s supposed to be that way,” he said.

One former volunteer said she quit after she found herself crying every day about the animals.

Other volunteers have forged bonds with the animals and don’t want to jeopardize their ability to spend time with them, according to a current volunteer. She questions what she saw there, from dirty cages to overcrowding.

This volunteer was asked over the summer to help with a Tiger Baby Playtime fundraiser event during which patrons paid $25 to play with tiger cubs in a group.

“I was told, ‘If they’re staring, and their ears go up, and they lock onto someone, especially a kid, keep your eye out for that and get in the middle.’ I did not feel comfortable doing that. What you’re telling me is that I’ve got to watch for the tiger to attack someone and stop it? Are you kidding me?”


KyCIR’s investigation of the facility also has caught the attention of several legislators who’ve fielded calls from constituents about Wildlife in Need. A spokesman for Rep. Todd Young, D-Ind., said his office has received letters and phone calls from three constituents who were concerned about both the animals’ welfare and public safety.

“We have been working with the USDA to identify an appropriate point of contact for concerned citizens to reach out to,” spokesman Trevor Foughty said.

On the state level, state Sen. Michael Crider, a Republican who represents District 28 in suburban Indianapolis, said in a phone interview this week that he plans to introduce legislation for the third year in a row that would require a permit for everyone in the state who has certain types of exotic animals.

Currently, a permit is required for people who own these animals as pets. But those like Stark who have United States Department of Agriculture permits to be animal exhibitors are exempt from state regulations. Crider wants dual jurisdiction so Indiana officials have the authority to inspect the property along with the feds. He’s also looking at restrictions other states have implemented.

“This issue is not going away,” said Crider, who retired after 30 years as an Indiana conservation officer. “In fact, in some cases it’s gotten a little bit worse since I first started talking about it. Hopefully we can come up with something that we can get passed, and it will provide for adequate oversight.”

State Rep. Steven Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, said he has been aware of people’s concerns about the facility for some time and would support Crider’s proposed bill. Several constituents called his office last year when they heard a leopard was shot and killed by a neighbor near Stark’s property. USDA officials have yet to definitively determine whether the animal belonged to Stark.

“Personally I think our responsibility is to provide public safety for citizens,” Stemler said. “And whenever there is a question of public safety that is possibly compromised — and in this case with exotic animals — then there should be oversight that is allowed to ensure that safety.”

Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, has received calls from constituents about Wildlife in Need and knows that neighbors have concerns about the facility.

“As I’ve spoken with folks they became frustrated probably with me because I had to tell them openly, hey, the state has no jurisdiction over the facility so there’s nothing really that I can do other than try to work on policy as we move forward.”

Goodin said USDA specs are minimum standards, and he believes the state should build on those. He supports the dual certification Crider is proposing.


America’s most dangerous pets

The documentary-maker talks about his encounters with a volatile chimp and an amorous baboon

Written By David Brown 30 October 2011

You’d have thought that Louis Theroux would have had enough of cells. Last time we spoke, he’d recently been visiting the high-security inmates at Miami’s mega-jail who stood accused of murder and rape. And now he’s back among cages and pens – only ones that hold tigers, bears and primates. Which experience did he find the most daunting?“I’d much rather be behind bars with a dangerous rapist or a man who’s killed three people than with a chimpanzee,” he admits. “At least I can communicate with the rapist, but I don’t speak chimp. And you just don’t know what they’re going to do.

“I’m afraid that whatever reputation I have for being intrepid will be shattered. I behave like a total wimp around these wild animals.”

In America’s Most Dangerous Pets (airing tonight on BBC2 at 9pm), the non-humans are, thanks to their unpredictable nature, very much the stars of the show. Theroux is once again stateside, this time meeting the owners of animals that you’d normally expect to find in the wilds of Africa. One such encounter involves Cooper, a 120lb chimpanzee who’s on the cusp of sexual maturity at the volatile age of seven.

When Cooper’s owners, Jill and Brad James, guide their pet into the garden, Theroux and his crew observe from indoors. It’s a smart move as Cooper immediately bounds over and smashes a window with his paws: “I don’t think he was trying to attack,” says Theroux. “He also spat at me and the cameraman and threw a barrel at us. But I believe he was trying to say, ‘look, this is my territory. I’m the king here.’

“I felt a bit bad for Cooper, really. I think if you caught him on a good day, he’d be very sweet. We just weren’t willing to take the risk. On the one hand, we could have got a really good sequence if we’d been outside. On the other, he might have bitten off my testicles. So I thought we’d skip it.”

Up close and personal

But is the documentary-maker in danger of downplaying his pluck? After all, on another occasion, Theroux’s suburban safari leads him into the arms of Tatiana, a three-year-old baboon housed at Indiana’s Wildlife In Need & In Deed preserve. “We got along well,” he says.

‘Getting along’ in this case means being pawed, sniffed and screeched at in quite a disconcerting manner, but Theroux has his reasons for thinking that he and Tatiana hit it off:

“Tim Stark, who runs the business, had introduced her as his baboon daughter, so he’d established her in my mind as being a very feminine creature. When she was hugging me quite close and grooming me, it almost felt like a primate-to-primate interaction. The feeling of being understood up to a point was very odd. Having said that, the boom microphone made her go nuts and she’d freak out and climb on it. That was one of my more nerve-racking moments.”

There is, of course, a reason for all this monkeying around. In shedding light on the eccentricities of the country’s private zookeepers and owners of exotic pets, Theroux learns that there are, for example, more tigers in captivity in the US than can be found roaming wild in the whole of Asia.

I wonder what this says about the mentality of people who choose to keep animals that are too volatile and powerful to ever leave their cages for long periods.

“It’s a generalisation, but the men are looking for large, dangerous animals that represent raw physical power and aggression. Controlling and disciplining something ferocious like a tiger gives them a status. With women – and again it’s a generalisation – you notice that they’ve got the chimps and capuchin monkeys, who’re like surrogate children.”Animal instincts

The problem is that all children mature and owners often reach the conclusion that they don’t have the necessary skills to deal with their fast-growing playmates.

“No one is going out there thinking, ‘what I want is a fully-grown chimp that I can only feed through the bars’. They’re after ones like Bubbles that they can cuddle and fool around with. And then six or seven years later, when they aren’t as frisky and fun, people realise that they’ve taken on more than they can handle.”

These unmanageable pets often end up at self-styled “sanctuaries” like the one Theroux spends time at in Oklahoma or at the home of Connie Casey, a breeder and dealer with a colony of 20 chimpanzees. Theroux visits her compound in Missouri after learning that one former resident, a male chimp named Travis, earned notoriety following a 2009 attack on his owner’s friend that left the victim with a lacerated face and severed nose.

“Those accounts really stick in your head and the primates do seem like they’d be happier in larger cages. That’s just my personal view because the atmosphere in Connie’s basement pens was quite prison-like. In fact, one of the strange things is that some of the traits of caged-up chimpanzees are exactly the same as those of caged-up humans.

“At San Quentin [Theroux spent time at the notorious prison for a documentary in 2008], I’d hear a lot about ‘gassing’, which is when prisoners take faeces and urine and fling them at the guards they don’t like. And on one of the last days at the GW Animal Park in Oklahoma, we saw a monkey that had learned to hide faeces in his mouth and if a keeper he didn’t like went near him, he’d spit poop at him.”

Incidents such as these raise an obvious question about whether a “wild” animal can ever truly settle to a life in captivity and it’s one that Theroux asks with his usual quiet tenacity. But, of course, the obvious attraction for the viewer is witnessing how he handles the more physical confrontations.

Whether he’s dodging excretions (human or otherwise) or fending off the advances of amorous baboons, it seems that these days Theroux is now constantly in search of increasingly perilous situations. Is he trying to up the ante with each outing?

“Well, it’s always been a case of pursuing stories that I’m interested in. Here, I actually wanted to reintroduce a humour and lightness that has been absent from some of my more recent projects.” And then he adds finally, “I really don’t consider myself to be a danger freak.”

Tatiana and Cooper, however, may well have a different opinion on the matter.

Louis Theroux: America’s Most Dangerous Pets is on tonight at 9pm on BBC2


This video by one of Stark’s relatives shows that two years before the BBC documentary he was still beating up on the bobcat named Tuck.  It also showed a number of tigers and lions who did not appear to still be there two years later even though they were obviously youngsters at the time he was having interaction with them.



USDA Violations


According to this USDA report, Tim Stark lied about having a veterinarian, had two young leopards die without seeing a vet, failed to keep acquisition and disposition records, among other things.


Tim Stark 2013 USDA





By Karen Roby/WLKY

BETHLEHEM, Ind. — Thousands of people are expected to flock to Bethlehem this weekend for the annual Autumn on the River festival.

This year, a new exhibit is raising some eyebrows days before the event even starts.A pair of 10 pound, 10-week-old tiger cubs are at the center of this discussion.

Click Here: View Images

The debate is whether the cubs should be allowed at the festival.Event committee members say absolutely, while one woman emphatically says no.Trish Roehm is a longtime resident of Bethlehem. She runs an animal rescue organization out of her home.For years, she has helped organize the Autumn on the River event, but this year, she’s sitting out.”I don’t think it’s a safe environment for children and, as for education, it’s sending the wrong message to the public that these are cute, cuddly animals. They aren’t. They are wild animals,” Roehm said.Roehm doesn’t want the tigers at the annual gathering.

Jason Vicks/


Wildlife in Need, Wildlife in Deed

Tim Stark owns an animal refuge in Charlestown. He applied for booth space at the Autumn on the River festival.Stark’s plan is to give people the opportunity to take pictures with the Bengal tiger cubs.”I control the kittens. I control it. Its nails are clipped so they don’t scratch anybody. I am on the spot in case anything happens. They are just babies, 10-week-old babies,” Stark said.

Stark’s house is home to the Wildlife in Need, Wildlife in Deed sanctuary. His nonprofit organization works solely on donations.”All these guys were raised here, they went through the photo shoot program, that’s how we fundraise. I have someone that is protesting that? I am in no way shape or form going to endanger anybody,” said Stark.Roehm said that despite her concern, the festival co-chairman told Stark it would be fine for him to set up his photo booth at the event.Stark said as an American, it is his right.”I carry a USDA license to do what I do, to raise, breed and exhibit them,” Stark said.David Abbott, the co-chairman of the event, said that as long as Stark produces his certificate of insurance and information about the cubs’ immunizations, then he is fine to set up his booth at the event.Stark said he has been doing this for years.Last weekend, more than 700 pictures were taken with the cubs at the Harvest Homecoming Festival in New Albany.Stark said that he has never had a problem with the tiger babies in public.

The Autumn on the River Festival is Saturday and Sunday in Bethlehem.

Go to the link to see video of Tim Stark being stupid with big cats. Notice he is carrying what looks like a golf club inside the cage with the cats. You can be sure he isn’t teaching them to swing.

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Posted on Sep 7, 2017 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Mario Tabruae Zoological Wildlife Foundation FKA Zoological Imports

Mario Tabruae Zoological Wildlife Foundation FKA Zoological Imports

Mario Tabruae Changes Zoological Imports

to Zoological Wildlife Foundation Petting Zoo

Think it would be cool to touch a cub?  Then you might be interested in this shocking online review of the infamous Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami. In December, a family’s vacation was ruined when a large tiger cub that was “not under control” attacked their young daughter, biting her on the leg and sending her to the hospital with a nasty wound which required three stitches. The family posted photos of the girl’s injuries as well as the exact moment the cub attacked her.

Girl Mauled Zoological Wildlife Foundation Mario Tabraue

Girl Mauled Zoological Wildlife Foundation Mario Tabraue

USDA Citation and Fine against Zoological Wildlife Foundation in 2015

Excellent 2014 article with well documented citations:


USDA Inspections







May 10, 2009 As an example of where Antle’s tigers end up, in AWA Docket No. 09-0085 the judge found that Bhagavan Antle released two tigers to Ray Thunderhawk, who had already lost his USDA license and who had abandoned 75 tigers in Palm Bay, Florida. Thunderhawk ran a “pay to play” operation whereby patrons pay to pet and pose with big cats and he took the two tigers from Antle in S.C. to Boston before taking them to the buyer in Miami.

The buyer was Mario S. Tabruae of Zoological Imports 2000 located at 16225 SW 172 Av Miami, FL 33187. Tabruae admitted to falsifying records to make it look as if he had purchased directly from Antle and that Antle had delivered the tigers. Dec 12, 1987 New York Times reports that Mario S.Tabruae was arrested for:

A drug-smuggling ring that killed an informer and cut up his body while trafficking in a half-million pounds of marijuana has been broken, the Federal authorities said today. The ring also bribed police officers to protect their operation, said Richard Gregorie, the chief assistant United States Attorney here. At one time, the indictment charged, members of the ring used Miami police officers to collect, count and disburse drug profits.

Mario-TabraueThe ring operated for at least 10 years, smuggling the marijuana, along with some cocaine, into Louisiana and Florida, Mr. Gregorie said. Six of the seven people indicted in the case were arrested here by a special Federal law-enforcement group combatting drug smuggling. The seventh was in custody in another state. $50,000 Caught by Agent Among those arrested were the men who the authorities said headed the ring, Mario Tabraue and his father, Guillermo. When the men were arrested at their homes in Dade County, Mario Tabraue’s wife tossed a bundle of $50,000 in cash out the back window, said Lloyd E. Dean, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation here. The money was caught by a Federal agent, Mr. Dean said.


Attachments from Mother Jones article:



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Posted on Aug 26, 2017 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Sue Pearce Animal Adventures NKA Wild at Heart

Sue Pearce Animal Adventures NKA Wild at Heart

Sue Pearce Animal Adventures NKA Wild at Heart


Rumor has it that Sue Pearce was shut down by USDA on 11/28/2016 and the animals are being confiscated and sent to better, albeit not much better homes.  Some escaped the hell hole, like Mike VII who was sent to LSU, but it looks like the government is just going to do what they usually do; let some other bad actor step in and rename the place under their own, easy to get license, and continue business as usual.  In this case the new owners are Jeremey and Jaime Hargett.  This screenshot that they apparently posted themselves states pretty clearly who and what they are:

Jeremy-Hargett-WildAtHeart-2017-08-17 at 5.31.30 PM

So, now these snake dealers are in charge of some of the most dangerous and magnificent big cats on the planet…and I’m betting the cycle of abuse just continues to spin out of control.  This is why it is so necessary to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Sue Pearce is the owner of Animal Adventures in Okeechobee, FL.  She at one time volunteered for Jeffrey and Barbara Harrod of Vanishing Species and took in their animals when USDA took away their license. Prior to that she took in animals from  Joe Schreibvogel who is the one of the most notorious exploiters of tiger cubs.  She has sold big cat cubs, including one cub to Kathy Stearns of Dade City Wild Things, another exploiter of cubs used to make money from petting.


Pearce has had numerous USDA citations in 2011-12, including 12 on just one report in 2011.

tigermudsuepearceaAn individual we know has indicated that Pearce is working to separate tigers to avoid breeding, but to the best of our current knowledge Pearce continues to believe some big cats should be bred at her facility, which we oppose.

SUE PEARCE (ANIMAL ADVENTURES) Certificate No: 58-C-1011









12/5/2012 The Jay Leno’s show featured a tiny lion cub (Julie Scardina’s Animals, Part 1 on Jay Leno 12/05/12):

Viewers were told by Julie Scardina, SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Ambassador that “This baby lion cub was bought online by a young person with no knowledge of animals or reality the cub is going to grow into a 300 lb lethal Lion. It is an ongoing investigation, the parents came home and went what the? and you know realized she was confiscated and in the middle of a court case. Sold online by an Exotic Breeder”

The female lion cub ‘LC’ was born in at Animal Adventures, Inc in Okeechobee, FL which is owned by Sue Pearce.  Where is LC now?


Big Cat Abuse is Impossible to Regulate

This is why it should be banned entirely.  You can help do that at

This letter to USDA shows that there are many other places as bad as this one, but year after year, despite being in non compliance with the laws, they are automatically renewed by USDA:



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Posted on May 25, 2017 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 1 comment

Bonnie Ringo

Bonnie Ringo of the Tiger Preservation Center

If you have ever heard of the Tiger Preservation Center it’s probably because they send out professionally created funding appeals, despite the fact that no one in the legitimate sanctuary community appears to have ever heard of her rescuing a cat. 

Craig Busch had dealings with her back in 2002 when she exported 5 tigers (four white and one orange) to New Zealand. It seems she was the forerunner to the type of thing Craig was doing with his hands on with the big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens.

An anonymous caller reported the following about Bonnie Ringo which may or may not be true.  She claims that she and her husband knew and often worked for Bob and Bonnie Ringo for over 18 years.  We suggested that she file a formal, written complaint, as we have no police power and hearsay won’t help the animals. 

As of 2016 she had 14 tigers, 1 leopard and a lynx. 

It was stated by the caller that Ringo illegally acquired a golden tabby tiger (that’s just a washed out color variation that happens when people inbreed to create white tigers) a TiLiger and a Lemur from Joe Exotic.  Bob and Bonnie told her they were going on “a rescue” to get two golden tabby tigers from Dennis Hill in Indiana, but got a call from Joe offering them a strawberry (same deal; just inbred white variation) tiger, a six week old tiliger and a lemur for $5000.  She claims to have photos and paperwork copies from the transaction and said TPC’s board member, Jim Mitton of Florida paid for the animals even though it is supposedly illegal to sell tigers across state lines.

The caller says Bonnie Ringo is on medication to manage her mental issues and frequently flies into a rage and can’t remember what she’s said.  She has an on again, off again, keeper named Sherry Johnson, who is said to do a lot of her dirty work for her.  They feed the Wal-Mart trash meat diet. 

The caller said that Bob Ringo is a hit man.  The caller said that TPC’s USDA inspector is “in Bonnie’s pocket.”  

The caller said that she was on several trips to Joe Exotic’s place in Wynnewood, OK and that he had a tiger hide hanging on the wall of his private residence as a decoration.  She said he had 7 baby lemurs who she never later saw as adults on the property. She said there was an excess of fur and filth in his cages and that the cats were not watered daily due to the high cost of water. 

Note: All of the above was reported by someone who claimed to be an eye witness and who said she was in fear for her life.  Since the USDA has been investigating Joe Exotic, with no progress on the investigation since 2011 or earlier, I don’t have much faith that they will ever look into any of this.  It’s just one more reason why we need to ban private possession of big cats at 


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Posted on Oct 25, 2016 in Abuse, Browse by Name, News Feed | 0 comments

Vicenta Pages

Vicenta Pages

Vicenta Pages Circus Act

Customer No: 3093
Certificate No: 58-C-0440
Certificate Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: Aug 14, 1991

Photos by Cassandra Grzybowski

Circus Carnies Always Say They Are Loved by Their Big Cats

If so, why do the cats try to kill their trainers?

Notice how they always try to get the press to downplay the attacks.


Uses 4 lions, 3 tigers and 2 elephants, as well as camels in their circus act

Vicenta Pages poses with one of her six white Bengal tigers Monday on the Shelby County Fairgrounds after arriving a week early for their 2012 Shelby County Fair booking. The show came to Sidney after an Indiana engagement was canceled. Their free fair shows next week are sponsored by the Sidney Daily News and Hemmelgarn Services Inc. SDN Photo/Tom Barnett
Performing act arrives at fairgrounds

7/18/2012 9:31:00 AM

Young Vicenta Pages and her six Asian white Bengal tigers arrived at the Shelby County Fairgrounds a week early on Monday after a Muncie, Ind., engagement was canceled.
A new mom with her first child, Pages, 26, and her tigers are safety billeted in a shady corner of the local fairgrounds, the tigers napping in their sturdy cages and Vicenta and family in her air-conditioned motor home.
“I was born into a circus family,” she said. “I’ve done horses, camels, dogs, even aerial acts and I’ve really enjoyed working with my tigers these past 12 years.”
Pages, of Native American and Cuban American heritage, is the only woman training big cats today. She performs alone in the show ring with her six striped charges.
Her family members, on both sides, perform with animals, aerials and most every circus act. Vicenta has toured with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey and also been part of the Pages Circus.
Beginning Sunday at the 152nd Shelby County Fair, Pages and the tigers will be performing free shows at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. daily through July 28 next to the fairgrounds gazebo. Performances are sponsored by the Sidney Daily News and Hemmelgarn Services Inc.
Pages said she prefaces each show with information about the tigers, and how they’re trained and cared for.
At her bidding, the big cats will be standing on their hind legs, doing walks, sit-ups, rollovers and other routines. Asked if she has ever had any close calls with her charges, Vincenta shook her head.
“No, they’re all well-behaved,” she said.
Vincenta says her cats are fed 60 pounds of beef and/or chicken a day, all purchased from Walmart stores. Their fresh meals cost about $560 a week. The tigers, four females and two males, variously weight from 300 to 500 pounds.
The act travels nine or 10 months a year, returning to winter in Florida where the tigers and Pages plan the next season’s fair and carnival itinerary.
Their fairgrounds site in Sidney includes a horse and 3-month-old tiger cub Vicenta says she “adopted” in Indiana.
The show’s next engagement takes them to Hale, Mich., in August.



Note:  Most private owners and roadside zoos seem to be using Wal-Mart’s discarded meats to feed their cats.  Please ask Wal-Mart to discontinue enabling the breeding and exploiting of big cats by providing free food.  While Vicenta claims in this article to pay for food from Wal-Mart, that is unlikely given the recycling program Wal-Mart provides free through


Vicenta is a fifth generation performer, her father is Jorge Pages Jr. of the Pages circus family which originated in Cuba and arrived in the US as Circus Pages. Her mother is Frieda Logan-Pages who is the daughter of former Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus elephant trainer Fred Logan.
She began performing on trapeze at one, trampoline at four, on ponies at age 8 in her first solo act. It was around that age when she asked her father when she could join him in the arena with the tigers, he told her when she was older. At age fourteen she reminded him of that fact and she joined her father in the presentation of the family tiger act. At 18 she began performing solo with the tigers.

At age 19 she began a tour with the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. Her run with Ringling Bros. ended on Labor Day 2009 and Vicenta is now reduced to performing at fairs, festivals, special events and possibly theme parks throughout North America.

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