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Posted on Jun 11, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals

Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals

Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals

Exploiting tiger cubs at this roadside bear pit isn’t a new thing. The Cherokee Bear Zoo, owned by Barry Coggins, has bred and kept tigers onsite in pretty poor conditions since at least the late 1990s. Right now, they have at least one adult white tiger and one orange tiger. It looks like they’re trying to breed more white cubs while exploiting the rest for petting.

There are reports of “pay to play” with tiger cubs at the Cherokee Bear Zoo from as far back as 2012 (they’ve been doing it with bear cubs for even longer than that), and the USDA has cited them at least twice for underfeeding malnourished tiger cubs, according to this report. Where the cubs go once they’re too big to handle is the million-dollar question, and something we will look into more.

It looks like right now, they do have at least one cub, named “Stormy”, above, who was three months old at the end of April 2018. Tourists can still pay $20 to pet/take a photo with a cub, so if it’s the same cub, she’d be nearly 5 months old now and too big to use for public contact. Judging by Facebook pictures, it looks like tourists frequently pet cubs much larger than USDA regulations allow. The above photo was posted on April 18th.

These pictures were from previous years (2012-2015), but also show pretty large cubs being used for interaction:

As well as very tiny cubs:

Cherokee Bear Zoo Exploiting Tiger Cubs

Here’s where their adult white tiger lives — a tiny concrete slab. It looks like there may be sores on its elbows from lying on the concrete.

Cherokee Bear Zoo Exploiting Tiger Cubs Cherokee Bear Zoo Exploiting Tiger Cubs

Where the cubs live:

Cherokee Bear Zoo Exploiting Tiger Cubs

Cherokee Bear Zoo Exploiting Tiger Cubs

In August 2017 Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals court case showed an appeal, that overturned a prior ruling, that there was no Animal Welfare Act violations regarding the way the animals were kept.  Does anyone have further info on this case?  Please let us know in the comments below.


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Posted on Feb 3, 2018 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Kalahari Resort Tiger Cub Exhibit

2018 Update:  After tons of complaints and a 140,000+ signature petition, Kalahari Resorts has finally ended their cub-petting displays. We’ve been monitoring this pretty closely and haven’t seen any evidence of cub-petting there since the summer of 2017.


We get so many complaints about the poor cubs being used as photo and ego props in the mall at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

These videos explain why it is so troubling to those who love animals.


Of note: Part 3, the “handler” becomes a bit physical with the Tiger cub.

Part 4, while facing away from the camera, it appears the handler put something in/on the cubs mouth, which in turn keeps it distracted.


Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Please help stop this abuse by letting the Kalahari Resort know that real animals lovers think this is animal abuse.

They have a form on this page:


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Posted on Dec 20, 2015 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

ALERT Lion Petting Walking

ALERT Lion Petting Walking

ALERT which is an acronym for something like African Lion Environment … (I can’t find it on their outdated website) first came up on our radar in Dec 2015 when we were told that Animal Planet had aired yet another bogus show that claimed to be real conservation but seems to be nothing more than a series long advertisement for a lion pay to play scheme.

The show, called Roaring With Pride, filmed in 2013 – 2014 by Godunnit Productions proclaimed that it was a series that followed the release of captive bred lions back into the wild.

I knew right then it was going to be a lie, since there have been no successful captive breeding programs for big cats who have then been released into the wild.  The only ones you hear of are the entertainment – disguised – as – science shows that air on Animal Planet and History channel.

Anyone who knows anything about rehab and release of wild animals knows that the very first rule is to limit human contact because if big cats feel comfortable around people, then they don’t mind walking up to the school bus stop for a snack, or wandering into barns, farms, etc. That is what gets them (and those in their path) killed.  The idiocy of a show that claims you can:

  1. Breed cubs to use in photo ops and pay to play schemes.
  2. Then you can charge people to walk with them in the wild.
  3. Then you can send them out to live free when they are too dangerous to use as photo props.

is just beyond belief.  The sad part is that people want to believe it, and television caters to the lowest common denominator.

Knowing this place had to be bad, or ill conceived at the best, this is what I’ve learned.

ALERT’s website has a story dated 2012 on its main page, which would indicate that it isn’t updated very often.  See screen shot below.

It used to be that tourism sites would promote these pay to play schemes, but now it is so commonly known that there is no legitimate way to play with cubs and then send them to the wild.  In fact, what the real documentaries and investigators have found is that these cubs usually end up being sold into canned hunts where they are shot in fenced areas for a hefty fee.

Zambia Tourism initially had lion walks as an activity to experience, but after they brought in a reporter to look into ALERT further, they changed their offerings.  Learn more here

It appears that ALERT bought many of their lions from some of the canned hunt facilities.  Most people will say they started off with good intentions, but to our knowledge they haven’t released or even gone passed stage stage 2 of 4 in their release program.  In the show they boast that the lions have been released into the “wild” but then they further describe that as being 400 acres.  That isn’t even one square mile.  It’s no where near enough space for the cats to survive, which is evidenced by the fact that they have to keep rounding up zebra, giraffes and other hoofstock for the cats to kill.

So far no one has caught ALERT selling lions, but they are still breeding, which is ridiculous, given the lack of space, resources or any long term plan for cats who will never be released to the real wild. Using their lions in walks with people ensures that they will never be candidates for release.

The documents at the above link provide evidence from the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs from 2012 confirming that:

Cara Watts, ‘Lions Manager’ at Lion Encounter Zambia (which is named as ALERT‘s partner in ALERT‘s accounts), was the named importer of 5 lions from Horseback Africa in South Africa, under a CITES export permit dated 11 September 2009, and a further 7 lions from that operation under a CITES export permit dated 15 January 2010;

Richard Leach, General Manager at Lion Encounter Zambia, was the named importer of 7 lions from Boschput Game Farm in South Africa under a CITES export permit dated 23 December 2010 (which lions are listed as having been exported to ALERT Zambia’s address at Melrose Farm);

Andrew Connolly, Director of ALERT, Lion Encounter Zambia and Antelope Park (where ALERT is based in Zimbabwe) was the named importer of 10 lions from Myburgh Farm in South Africa under a CITES export permit dated 3 October 2008. ALERT / LION ENCOUNTER ZAMBIA’S SUPPLIERS.

Horseback Africa are believed to speed breed and exploit captive bred lions to the extent that 2 of those sourced by ALERT and / or Lion Encounter Zambia subsequently had to be put down.

ALERT apparently ‘…expressed concern over the purpose for which this particular operation is breeding lions as well as the welfare conditions of the lions at that operation’ (above Safaritalk link). This, however, would seem to be contradicted by their partner’s imports from that operation.

Boschput Game Farm breed lions for sale and, from their lions for sale page, given that those pictured are all adult males who would be prized as trophies, it seems entirely possible that they could also be selling lions for canned hunts.

Myburgh Farm describes itself as a lion ‘farm’ on its website and is also heavily involved in the exploitation of captive bred lions for cub petting and photo ops.

ALERT, Lion Encounter Zambia and Mukuni Big 5 safaris all worked together to capture an unfortunate, genuinely wild, male lion who happened to stray too near to their operations early in 2012.–-diary-his-capture

Unfortunately it seems this lion, named ‘Dynamite’ who is still the subject of their main web page as of Dec 2015, subsequently died in transit ( from Lion Encounter Zambia.

So, to sum up, what we have here is official Parliamentary evidence of 29 lions sourced by ALERT / Lion Encounter Zambia (same staff, same lions and evidence of transfer of lions and funds between the two in the public domain) from three separate unethical South African lion breeding operations between October 2008 and December 2010. ie from the canned hunting industry.

Lionaid alleges:

I sat down with Andrew (Connolly of Antelope Park/ALERT) in Leeds in 2012 and explained my concerns about the lack of progress and constant production of cubs for the walking programmes. He told me it was their only form of income to bring the lions to the future stages, but acknowledged there was a huge bottleneck.

I can assure you that the lions are not being sold for canned hunts. But the continuous accumulation of lions is worrisome.

So make of this what you will. It may well be that the project started with honest intentions, but it was doomed to fail for a number of reasons. Think about it – they are breeding cubs that are going nowhere.

Assuming 50% males, most of whom will become surplus males even if all the goals of the project were met (they won’t be) what will become of the ‘surplus males’?  Well you surely do not need that spelled out, do you?

Finally, if I have not convinced you, you could approach Dr Luke Hunter at Panthera to obtain a copy of the scientific report that concludes that such a project has no conservation value.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 2.28.59 PM

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Posted on Jul 12, 2015 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Living Treasures Wild Animal Park

Living Treasures Wild Animal Park

Living Treasures Wild Animal Park

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.

Read more here:


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.

Lion Cub Father 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.

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Posted on Dec 22, 2012 in News Feed | 0 comments

Ajay Devgn takes on a Bengal Tiger in Himmatwala

Delhi: Ajay Devgn’s Diwali release ‘Son Of Sardaar’ which recently crossed the 100cr mark has been a blockbuster hit, Devgn is on a new high and is really happy with the positive response which ‘Son Of Sardaar’ has received. Bollywood`s Lion King is now geared up for his next release, Sajid Khan’s ‘Himmatwala’. The poster, which was released this August, had Ajay Devgn holding the big cat.


Tigers seem to be the flavour of the season with Richard Parker (‘Life Of Pi’ fame), and Ajay & Sajid have decided to tackle this Bengal Tiger head on. According to sources close to Ajay & Sajid Khan, the duo are all set to fly down to a farm in Mauritius that specialises in animals being trained for the big screen. Apparently, it is for a crucial scene in the film which is inspired by Amitabh Bachchan’s hand-to-paw combat in ‘Mr. Natwarlal’. Interestingly, the stunt director of this memorable scene was none other than Devgn’s father – Veeru Devgn.


This pivotal scene would be shot in Mauritius over a period of seven days under constant supervision by stunt coordinators & experts. Unlike in India, in Mauritus, filming of animals is allowed under expert supervision. A source close to Ajay informed us that Sajid wanted to use computer graphics and special effects but it was on Ajay’s insistence that he is performing the daredevil stunt with the tiger all by himself.


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