Reports have been made that he purchased the big cats he uses as “rescues” to fund himself. If you have proof of these purchases, especially if they involved paying for endangered species in interstate commerce, please let us and USDA know.
The USDA reports that he declawed a leopard even though it has been a violation of USDA policy to do so. USDA did nothing about it, other than to say they talked to him and he said he didn’t know it was a violation so they let him off the hook.
Single Vision is not an accredited sanctuary and they use exotic cats for entertainment and profit. Their website says the currently offer “interactions” with servals, lynx, caracals and bobcats. They are known more for taking cats offsite to parties and events rather than having people visit their facility. Either way, they are not a true sanctuary and we feel they exploit their cats and other animals.
Living Treasures Wild Animal Parks, an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh, in New Castle and Jonas Mills, are two appalling roadside zoos, in our opinion. Living Treasures has a history of failing to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act and has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for:
• Unsafe caging of adult tigers
• Failure to have a veterinarian-approved feeding plan for infant primates, bears, lions, tigers and other animals who have been taken away from their mothers
• Failure to provide veterinary care to sick and lame animals
• Failure to provide animals with adequate shelter during bitterly cold winter weather
• Failure to have an adequate veterinary care program, such as tuberculosis testing for primates
• Filthy conditions, unsanitary food storage, inadequate perimeter fencing and repeatedly failing to provide primates with sufficient lighting in indoor cages.
Living Treasures boasts its affiliation with the Zoological Association of America. That may sound impressive, but is actually meaningless and deceptive. The ZAA is a small fringe group with weak standards that endorses poorly run roadside zoos and allows the public to have unsafe contact with dangerous wild animals – it should not be confused with the highly credible and professional Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Big Cat Rescue Alerted the World About Thor the Lion Cub
July 12, 2015 A lion cub at a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania desperately needs your help!
We learned last week about a one-year-old male lion cub at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in Jones Mills, Pennsylvania that reportedly is being attacked repeatedly by his father. The cub is housed with both parents and has no way to escape the attacks. Adult male lions are hard wired to run off or kill their grown sons to protect their own breeding rights in the pride.
The cub appears physically injured in this video taken by a concerned family visiting the park on July 2, 2015. The woman asked a park worker what was wrong with the lion that he could barely walk. She was told that the adult lion “beats up the cub and the cub has nowhere to escape.”
An animal attacking another animal in a cage is a clear USDA violation of 9 C.F.R. s. 3.133, which requires that “animals housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible. Animals shall not be housed near animals that interfere with their health or cause them discomfort.”
When Big Cat Rescue contacted Living Treasures about the cub, we were informed in writing that “there is no tension within this family nor has there been at any time in the past. The parents are both loving and playful with the kitten. All of the cats are physically healthy and are under the care of our veterinarian. This young male kitten is mentally slow and although physically fit does not always move with the alacrity of his siblings. We are providing him a safe, secure and happy environment. His condition is observed regularly by our vet.”
HUH? Physically healthy? Physically fit? The cub can barely move in the video! Big Cat Rescue asked Living Treasures if we could speak with their vet and review the cub’s medical records. We received no response.
Won’t you please SPEAK UP for this lion cub before it’s too late? Help us urge Living Treasures to immediately separate this cub from his father and then build a separate enclosure for him. Also urge USDA to promptly inspect the lions at Living Treasures and ensure that the health and safety of this cub is given top priority.
Ask USDA to ensure that the lion cub is being provided with adequate veterinary care pursuant to 9 C.F.R. s. 2.40 and to examine the facility’s veterinary records to ensure appropriate care has been sought and that any treatment plan is being followed.
Living Treasures Owner’s Respond to Bad Press
After Living Treasures Wild Animal Park sent out their letter to people complaining about the way they treated the lion cub, the woman who video taped the crippled lion went back to see if other keepers would contradict the story she was told, but there was only one keeper there, the same person who told her the father frequently attacked the cub.
When Carole Baskin wrote Fawn Dumbauld with concerns about the cub, she got a canned response that said:
They are our family…
We have been raising big cats for 28 years and have the experience to know when a young male is perceived as competition to his father…
We do not believe that any staff member would have made such a statement…
To alleviate concerns from the public we have already separated the cub from the parents as to prevent any possible injury due to the father. He will remain separated from the adults until we have found a location that best fits his needs…
There has been a lot of misinformation passed around over the last day and we felt compelled to clarify and share the truth with everyone. We appreciate your support as we find Thor a new loving home…
Carole Baskin’s Letter
Attn: Fawn Dumbauld,
Selling off your “family”, especially a handicapped member, hardly makes you sound like a family anyone would want to be a part of.
I turned off the emails going to you, and had them come to me instead, once you told us that you removed the poor cub from the inappropriate situation. I sort of regret it, given this ridiculous reply you are sending people.
The thousands of outraged people might have shown you that breeding big cats for life in cages is a barbaric part of the past and people who really love animals won’t stand for it. I would also have liked for all of our supporters to see this response you sent out because it would encourage them to persist in ending the abuses inherent in breeding wild animals for lives of deprivation in captivity.
I hope you get it one day and become a sanctuary instead of a zoo.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
“Judge me by the enemies I have made.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Where Do All Those Cubs Go?
Living Treasures Wild Animal Park seems unashamed of selling or “re-homing” the cubs they bred to apparently lure people through their gates. To have new cubs every so often means you have to unload last year’s cubs. Here is one example of places they send their unwanted big cats:
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.
After getting a number of impassioned pleas like this: “Jugomaro is a farm in Groblersdal that is in financial stress. Now the police are invading their land and busy shooting the animals.” we were finally able to locate someone there who appears to know what is happening.
This is their report:
1. Jugomaro has been in financial difficulties for almost 2 years. Last year they said that they were going to lose their cats unless they could find something like R4,5m to pay the bank. They were asked at that stage if they would be willing for good homes to be found for their cats. They refused. Somehow they raised some money and at the time Fernandes Snr was on record as saying that he had more tigers on order. 2. Apparently they did not make good on certain agreements with the bank and have gone into liquidation. There is paperwork signed by Jugomaro to the effect that the cats will form part of the assets.
3. The cats have been sold and the liquidators arrived on Wednesday with a wildlife transport service and darted the animals before loading them on the trucks.
4. No cat was shot and the police did not have anything to do with the situation except when they were called in to check that there were movement permits in place.
5. Fernandez made an urgent application to the court on Wednesday night to keep the animals and is on a begging spree again. At 2am yesterday morning there was an agreement reached to let the cats stay temporarily at Jugomaro while lawyers are sorting certain issues out. The cats have all been inspected by a vet yesterday and found to be in good health.
What the long term future is for these cats who knows. I cannot see how Jugomaro can dig themselves out of the hole this time. This is evidence yet again that people should not be allowed to keep big cats. Fernandez went on a buying spree for tigers as he thought “they were cool”. He has lions as well. The story they give out is that all the animals were rescued from certain death, forgetting that he has bragged about having tigers on order. I am surprised that there hasn’t been an incident there. They have fully grown tigers being bottle fed by members of the public!
THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department says a zoo near Thurmont has agreed to pay $12,000 to settle allegations of numerous violations from 2007 to 2011.
The USDA said Monday that the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo neither admits nor denies the allegations.
One of the allegations stems from a 2009 incident in which a zookeeper was mauled by a jaguar. The USDA says the zoo failed to provide for proper personnel training and injury prevention.
Inspectors allege that in December 2007, employees also allowed a camel to escape and travel a quarter-mile from the facility.
The settlement covers unannounced inspections through Aug. 1, 2011. Three days after that August visit, a safari-ride visitor was bitten by a camel. The zoo director said visitors had been told not to feed the animal.
Who really believes that Marcus Cook is not still involved?
At a Texas legislative meeting in April 2015 Marcus Cook showed up and claimed to be working for this outfit.
Big cat exhibitor referred for federal fraud investigation
Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2015 9:00 am
A criminal investigation into a Kaufman man’s business could soon be underway after claims of fraud.
Michael Todd—the operator of a traveling animal exhibit called All Things Wild, whose big-cat act has been headquartered in Kaufman — has claimed to be insured by “The Seacoast Agency,” according to a release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The White Tiger Discovery
May 30, 2012
The White Tiger Discovery exhibit that will be on display at the Wichita River Festival starting Friday is under new ownership since it was shut down in Chicago in January when its previous owner was found to have violated federal animal welfare laws.
White Tiger Discovery was purchased from Texas-based ZooCats Inc. and its owner Marcus Cook about a year ago by Michael Todd, owner of All Things Wild, a zoological service provider in Illinois, and Todd’s Pony & Hay Rides in Garden Prairie, Ill., according to a supervisor with All Things Wild. The sale wasn’t final until February.
In January, the exhibit was closed down while on display at Navy Pier in Chicago when organizers learned that ZooCats was having its license revoked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for health and safety violations, including endangering children.
According to All Things Wild, ZooCats Inc. and Cook no longer are affiliated with White Tiger Discovery, which will exhibit four white tigers during the nine-day river festival.
However, in April the new owners also were cited by the USDA.
Inspectors’ reports show that Todd’s Pony & Hay Rides was accused of failing to disclose the purchase of the tigers and two cougars within 10 days of the transaction, and of allowing the public, during an exhibition, to feed two of the tigers through a barricade that had bars spaced so that children and adults were able to touch the tigers’ enclosure with tongs containing red meat.
The feeding issue was corrected at the time of the inspection, said Aaron Myers, supervisor of the Animal Care Facility at All Things Wild. Failing to report the sale was “probably an oversight”, he said.
USDA records show that the previous owner, Cook’s ZooCats Inc., which also did business as Zoo Dynamics, had a long history of infractions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failing to provide a proper diet, lack of veterinary care, poorly maintained facilities and physical abuse of the animals.
Myers said the White Tiger Discovery exhibit is “totally different” under its new ownership. The tigers that will be in Wichita were returned to Texas after leaving Illinois, but have been well taken care of and are “extremely healthy,” he said.
“On a scale of one to 10, I’d give them an 11,” said Myers, who last saw them in March.
Janet Wright, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, said “nothing has come to light” suggesting to River Festival organizers that there are any issues regarding the exhibit that will be in Wichita.. The tigers have passed a veterinarian’s inspection in Texas and have been licensed by the city to be exhibited, she said. A local veterinarian will be available throughout the festival to make sure they’re taken care of, she said.
“We’ve tried to do as much due diligence as appropriate,” Wright said. “If anything comes about that’s not what we expected, it’s our call to ask them to leave. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Myers said there won’t be any public feedings in Wichita. White Tiger Discovery has been changed into more static exhibit, he said, with public talks and feeding demonstrations rather than public interaction.
River festival goers must pay an extra $3 on top of the cost of the festival button to see the tigers. Navy Pier paid $27,000 for the exhibit, but the river festival paid nothing for it, Wright said. White Tiger Discovery will keep the $3 cost from each visitor, she said.
Myers said Todd purchased the animals, equipment, marketing data base and the name “White Tiger Discovery” from ZooCats.
“We knew we were going to see some negative publicity with the old affiliation,” he said.
Todd did not respond to a request for an interview.
The USDA issued All Things Wild a stipulation — a monetary penalty — in 1999 for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including exhibiting animals for compensation without a license.
The USDA also issued Todd’s Pony & Hay Rides a warning letter in 2010 for two alleged violations of the act. One was a failure to establish and maintain adequate veterinary care programs after a male goat was found with extremely long hooves that folded beneath its feet, and which were beginning to crack.
The other was a failure to make potable water accessible to animals at all times after its water receptacles were found to have excessive amounts of algae. The license for All Things Wild has been active since June 2009 and the USDA is not investigating All Things Wild, according to a USDA spokesman.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/05/30/2354012/riverfests-traveling-white-tiger.html#storylink=cpy
So here are the questions reporters should be asking:
When the tigers aren’t on the road where are they kept? Are they still kept at Marcus Cook’s home in Kauffman, TX?
If so, isn’t that pretty obvious that Marcus Cook is still exhibiting even after having his license revoked permanently?
If so, why can’t USDA figure that out?
If Michael Todd lives in IL and the tigers were in TX, then how did he buy and endangered species across state lines without being under investigation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service?
You probably never heard of this little roadside zoo until G.W. Zoo sent 6 tigers to them in order to be featured on Shipping Wars. Apparently the producers of Shipping Wars either didn’t care, or didn’t bother to check into the numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act by both parties.
From Shararosa’s 2013 USDA inspection:
“This lack of communication by licensee with the veterinarian concerning these (15) particular animals potentially caused unnecessary pain, suffering and death of the regulated species.”
The statement was based up Scott Edwards refusing, since he was cited in 2012 for an inadequate perimeter fence, to correct the situation. As a result it was reported that 15 of the wild animals at the petting zoo were killed by coyotes that were able to access the property.
SCOTT EDWARDS (Sharkarosa Exotic Park)
Customer No: 27405
Certificate No: 74-C-0614
Certificate Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: Oct 15, 2004
P. O. BOX 1198 (Yes, USDA lets the owners of wild animals use a P.O. Box so you don’t know how the animals are kept)