Despite flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act, USDA rarely cites facilities, so when a facility is cited in almost every inspection report, it is an indicator of a much bigger problem. USDA usually only checks on a facility once a year, with an hour or so walk around for bigger facilities. Claws N Paws has been inspected many times in 2012 which would seem to indicate many complaints or a concern by the inspectors.
Between June 2010 and Dec 2012 Claws N Paws was inspected 13 times and found lacking during 12 of those inspections.
Census as of 2012
One World Conservation
A petition has been started to close Paws N Claws here: http://www.change.org/petitions/usda-aphis-shut-down-claws-n-paws-wild-animal-park-inc
We, the undersigned, respectfully support One World Conservation in calling for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Eastern Division to revoke the license registered to Claws ‘n’ Paws Wild Animal Park Inc., license number 23-C-0013, located at 1475 Ledgedale Rd., Lake Ariel, PA, 18436, in Wayne County. Our request is based on the following:
1. Claws ‘n’ Paws has repeatedly been cited for failure to meet the standards set by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
2. From August 10, 2004, to the present, Claws ‘n’ Paws has been cited for 52 violations of the AWA.
3. One of the warning violations, from 2009, was for the escape of two coyotes.
4. One direct violation, meaning the animal’s life is at stake, from 2011, was for lack of veterinary care.
5. For the year and a half that One World Conservation has been observing the facility, there have been 14 citations.
6. In a seven year period, there have been a total of 12 citations for failure to provide adequate vet care.
7. Many citations are repeats that have failed to be addressed.
8. In 2011, the facility failed to provide a male tiger cub with veterinary care and failed to give the cub inoculations, as required by law, both for his own safety and that of the public.
May 2, 2018 When clueless celebrities post photos of themselves posing with cubs, their fans let them know it’s a cruel, selfish and ignorant thing to do. Katy Perry Angers Fans With Tiger Cub Selfies At least Katy Perry got the message and immediately removed the offending photo shoot she did at Eddie Serio’s Black Jaguar White Tiger cub mill.
Dec 6, 2017 Instagram begins to flag animal abuse hashtags. Now, if you search for cruel acts to do, such as #TigerSelfie Instagram pops up a notice saying “Protect Wildlife on Instagram Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.” If you type in #blackjaguarwhitetiger you get that warning now.
Hopefully this will put an end to the abusive practice of speed breeding big cats to pull their cubs for pay to play schemes and as ego props in photos and videos posted online.
Nov 14, 2017 Watchdog BJWT posted the following opinion piece and we agree that people need to just stop and think a minute, before they share those cub images, because even a few moments of thought should make people wonder why so many tiny cubs and where are they now?
A Facebook Page going by the name of “Action” posted a video of Serio with the title “This man has rescued over 300 big cats. ” This video was shared over 100,000 times. I’ve had a long think about how I’m going to address these grievous actions and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will stick to the facts and omit my more profanity filled opinions about this arsehole. Those are for another day. Let me educate you all:
This cub could aspirate on the milk in this position which could end in pneumonia or death.
1. There is no legal definition of a “sanctuary” in Mexico. There are only “private collectors” of big cats and Zoological Parks.
2. Black Jaguar White Tiger is registered as a “Zoological Entertainment Facility.” Therefore, and make no mistake about this, his facility is NOT a “sanctuary,” it is a ZOO.
3. Eduardo Serio is an ex LA Socialite who spent his years growing up in Hollywood rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. He had shares in a company by the name of Social Reality Inc, a company worth over US$300million. Social Reality Inc is an Internet advertising and technology company. It specializes in developing tools that automate online advertising and digital marketing activities. Serio, according to Serio, sold his share portfolio to fund his Zoo. He is first and foremost, a savvy business man. He has NO knowledge or education or science background in animal husbandry, or big cat behavior and ecology. Nada.
4. He started as a “private collector” of big cats. First with a Jaguar, Cielo, then a lion, Karma and a tiger, Tieris. He shared his house in Monterrey with his three pets together with his co founder of the foundation and now ex girlfriend Rachel Brandt.
5. At that time, his social media accounts were private. His Instagram account consisted of cute videos of his three pets frolicking in swimming pools, playing in his house, with his friends, suckling pacifiers like babies, and chewing on inappropriate items which resulted in the death of Karma.
6. He hit upon the idea of making his Instagram public. Once he pushed that button, Black Jaguar White Tiger was thrust into cyberspace resulting in hundreds of thousands of followers in just a few days. The draw card being the “cutesy” videos of big cat cubs kept as pets in a mansion.
6. When he realized he was sitting on a “fame” goldmine, he upped the videos and started using the word “rescue.” You see, up until that point, he was using the word “adopt.” It just didn’t have the same impact, nor did it pull on the heartstrings of the public in the same way the word “rescue” did. Of course, as the sun rises and sets, his Instagram exploded to what it is today. Over 7 million followers, nearly all of them clueless and ignorant about the ethical management of captive wildlife. Black Jaguar White Tiger has turned into a cub petting empire.
7. PROFEPA and SEMARNAT have given him rescued circus cats. That is true, as there are NO other facilities available to house them other than zoos which are already filled to capacity. The officials were quite impressed with his fame and social media standing. Both government agencies have no idea about the ethical keeping of apex predators and have positioned Serio as Mexico’s foremost expert of big cats. Think about that. A man with no background, education or science.
8. Once BJWT was established, Serio began bringing in more and more cubs. ALWAYS small, nursing cubs. Even with the ban on circus animals, the number one cat “rescued” at BJWT is nursing cubs. If you all go far enough back in his Instagram feed, you’ll find numerous cubs, newborns still with their umbilical cords attached, accompanied with Serio’s bizarre reasons why he has “rescued” them. “The mothers abandoned them, the mothers can’t nurse them, they are runts, they are inbred and have problems.” This list of make believe reasons is regurgitated numerous times when new cubs appear. Same old story, different days. In essence, Serio is a private pet owner, who “claims” to have “rescued” dozens and dozens of big cat cubs, whom he has then used to induce people to follow his social media sites. Without these nursing cubs, Serio’s powerful presence on social media would not be what it is today. How is it that new born cubs magically appear, like clock work, when the previous batch has reached a certain age and can no longer be housed in the mansion? Please use your cognitive thinking when trying to search for an answer. Think about that.
9. Everyone must use an objective gaze when looking at conservation, and apply it here. What functional impact on the protection of wild jaguars does a video of a man pushing a jaguar cub around in a child’s push-car toy have? Nothing. That video is a video of a man playing with his pet. It has, literally, no effect on, or connection to, the protection of existing wild species. But Serio uses the hashtag #protectjaguars and claims that his video of himself playing with his pet somehow promotes “conservation”. This is his gimmick, his schtick. He claims to “raise awareness” via his social media, and yet the only awareness he raises is for his own interactions with his animals.
10. In the public eye BJWT and Serio are the “new face” of conservation, which consists of giving cats a home once they’ve been rescued, but to those of us actively working in conservation–and trying desperately to get the public to care about WILD big cats currently living in wild habitats–Serio is nothing more than false advertising. Nothing he does, or says, helps WILD populations, and all the attention he gets comes from captive bred animals, which were captivity bred just so he could use them to get attention. He is literally actively ADDING to the problem of native big cats, while claiming to solve problems in the wild.
11. There is a long laundry list of questionable methods and practices at BJWT. The mixing of big cat species takes top spot. Here is a fantastic article describing this flawed practice Serio forces on his cats. Please educate yourselves: https://www.facebook.com/notes/bjwt-watchdog/why-idealistic-communes-are-both-legendary-and-almost-non-existent/2007238446165632/
12. Cub-petting is, by definition, something done for, and benefiting only to, the humans who are doing the petting. A big cat literally has no need to ever be held by human hands. This is the sort of objective gaze with which conservation must be viewed, with the questions of “How does this animal, and future wild populations benefit from what’s going on?” and “Is this being done for the animal alone?” always in the back of your mind. When you apply those questions to situations like very small cubs being used for photo props, or in situations where customers can pay to hold and play with them, the the fact that those cubs are being bred and produced solely to be used to make money through charging customers a price to play with them is obvious. In the case of BJWT, his celebrity friends are pushing the idea that handling big cats is a “normal” practice and does have conservation value. IT DOES NOT. BJWT HAS NO CONSERVATION VALUE WHATSOEVER.
13. Serio has inspired other foundations which are being actively established, such as Malkia Park in Slovakia, which interact with their cats just like Serio does, and whom Serio supports. But again, these places are breeding cats, and allowing the public to interact with them in order to make money, and they have, literally no impact on actual conservation, aside from the fact that they’re changing the public’s perception of it. People are now coming to think that to go to these parks, and play with the animals is supporting conservation of wild species. And just like the Tiger Temple in Thailand, which commodified their animals, together with other facilities which engage in these same practices, are damaging conservation efforts world wide. The greatest damage being done to wild animals today is the commodification of conservation.
THANK YOU. by Watchdog BJWT
How can anyone be a follower of Eddie Serio when they see him kick a small cat and mock the cat’s worried owner in this video? https://www.facebook.com/astiffany
We get a lot of questions about Black Jaguar White Tiger, asking if it is a legitimate sanctuary. We don’t think so for the reasons listed below.
Sadly, it’s starting to become popular among animal lovers, despite their extremely unprofessional practices. Like not knowing how to bottle feed a cub and having her blow milk out her nose, which leads to pneumonia:
Black Jaguar White Tiger is a newly-founded private “rescue” for big cats, which started about a year or so ago in a wealthy area of Mexico City. It’s owned and operated by a Mr. Eduardo Serio. While he seems to have good intentions, they are paired with some very questionable practices.
Serio appears to “rescue” his animals by buying them from circuses and private zoos, usually as young cubs. Very young cubs. Cubs that still have a lot of lucrative weeks left in them for the abusers. This, of course, is a counterproductive strategy in the long run, because it only encourages the bad breeders to keep breeding. He claims to have “saved” over 30 cats in his first year of operation, which is scary. I know he probably wants to “save them all”, but at that rate, things are going to get out of hand very quickly. Unless he has a lot of resources or learns to say “no”, I’m worried it’s going to turn into a hoarding situation. Serio supposedly has 100 acres of land, but the enclosures are already starting to look pretty crowded, if this video is anything to go by.
Serio states that he does not spay or neuter his animals. My best guess for the reason, given his other opinions, is that he probably believes that it is “cruel” to do so because it would deny them the “natural life” he’s trying to provide (some domestic pet owners still believe this). Unsurprisingly, his cats appear to be breeding like rabbits. On July 16, he posted a video on Facebook of a new litter of lion cubs. In response Serio has said that someday he will use contraceptives, but there are no safe contraceptives for use in big cats. Any zoo can tell you horror stories (if they are honest with you) about the cancers and other health issues that are caused by using pharmaceutical solutions to over breeding.
If you are running a sanctuary and want the cats to not breed and live long happy, healthy lives, then you spay and neuter. Doing it when they are younger increases the cat’s ability to survive the procedure and recover, so there is no excuse not to do it, especially if you have males and females living together.
And in this video, a poor lion can’t even eat without having 3 young tigers trying to steal his food (although I don’t know the origin of the tigers – they may have been “rescued” (i.e. bought). Unlike other breeders, however, Serio does not sell cubs because he firmly believes that nobody should “own” an animal. Nobody except him, of course, because he “loves” them. So all of the cubs are just piling up at his ranch and causing serious overcrowding issues. While he does occasionally invite people (especially famous people) to pet them, he hasn’t turned it into a business… yet. He really seems to hate the people who breed cubs for photo props, having “rescued” several malnourished cubs from photo displays. However, his site does mention that he is planning a “volunteer” program, which conjures up images of those places in South Africa where people essentially pay to play with big cats.
By far, the biggest problem I have with Serio’s new “Foundation” is that it’s constantly churning out photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook. I’m sure you’re well aware of this, but these photos show Serio patting adult lions on the head, “play-wrestling” with tigers, pushing jaguars around in wheelbarrows, hugging lionesses, and other inappropriate (and unsafe) behaviors. He even has videos of exotic cats living peacefully in his house like a pet, which only encourages the pet trade. Serio (and his followers) often refer to the cats as “kids”, and visitors to the ranch are invited to “play” with 500-lb. adult lions – not a good idea.
Serio claims on his website that the reason his cats don’t attack people (and I’m not making this up) is “the bond of pure and innocent love that keeps us living harmoniously among one another”. It’s the very same fantasy that has doomed so many big cats to life as “pets” – people so desperately want to believe that as long as they have “love”, everything will be OK.
Hundreds of the people who have been mauled and killed by captive big cats thought they were special too and thought that their love for their big cat “friends” was all they needed. http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks/
Of course, gaggles of well-meaning animal lovers (the same kind who would fall for cub-petting schemes) have nothing but praise for Serio and his “amazing bond.” They think that this is the way a real sanctuary is run, to say nothing of the hundreds who express their wishes for their very own pet big cat, or at least the chance to touch one. An ironic message for Serio to be sending, since he says he doesn’t believe that animals should be property.
We reached out to Serio a year or more before this post, because we thought he was doing himself a huge disservice by posing with cubs. We told him that no animal protection group would accept him or even think him a good person unless he stopped acting in such a hypocritical way. We tried to reason with him and didn’t expose him for a long time because we thought he was just foolish and not trying to be cruel. We could not continue to ignore him though when he began trotting celebrities through and having them pose with cubs because people will stupidly mimic celebrities without thinking about the consequences for the cats. We really tried to be nice and still want him to do the right thing.
Overall, I’d say that Black Jaguar White Tiger is nothing more than an ego project from a well-meaning, but seemingly delusional man. He often posts about the “horrible conditions” his cats came from and about how “happy” they are to live with him – and his followers eat it up, calling him an “angel” and praising him profusely for “saving” the animals. And of course, the celebrity snapshots and cute cub pictures have made him a rising star on Instagram. But I don’t think he’s only in it for the glory – he genuinely seems to think he’s “saving the world” by “rescuing” every circus cub in Mexico.
Sadly, like so many animal hoarders, he can’t see the harm he’s doing. This situation is only going to get worse, I’m afraid, especially with the lack of laws in Mexico regarding exotic animals as pets.
When Big Cat Rescue’s founder and CEO was in Mexico in 2015, Eduardo refused to speak to her or allow her to step foot on the property, because he knows that we do not condone posing with big cats. What else does he have to hide?
Jaguar skins confiscated in investigation/Courtesy U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida
A Texas couple that made road trips to South Florida to peddle smuggled jaguar skins have pleaded guilty to violating the law governing the trade in endangered species.
Elias Garcia Garcia, 53, and Maria Angela Plancarte, 52, of La Feria, Texas, used the cover of a plant seed company to drive to South Florida to sell jaguar skins smuggled from Mexico for thousands of dollars, according to an August indictment.
The investigation involved undercover agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posing as animal-skin buyers.
In Brownsville, Texas, last year, Elias Garcia Garcia offered to sell an undercover agent any animal skin the agent wanted, with the price of jaguar skins set at $1,500. The next day, the couple met with undercover agents, showed them four jaguar skins and sold them two for $3,000, according to the indictment.Then they drove a van to South Florida, met with agents in Homestead, sold them two skins for $3,000 and accepted a deposit of $1,000 for the delivery of up to 10 more skins.
They pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits the trade in species that have been obtained illegally.
The jaguar, the largest cat found in the Americas, once ranged from most of South America through the southwestern United States. But it has been virtually eradicated from the United States, to the point that occasional sightings near the Mexican border generate newspaper headlines. A jaguar was photographed Saturday in southeastern Arizona by a hunter whose dogs had treed it.
The major threats to the jaguar are the loss of habitat to deforestation and hunting, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Sentencing has been scheduled for March 5 before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard. They face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Jaguars: Not for smuggling in from Mexico and selling to federal agents.
It’s not every day a couple gets arrested for smuggling jaguar skins from Mexico to sell to people in South Florida, but today’s one of those days.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Elias Garcia Garcia and Maria Angela Plancarte, both 52 years old, were arrested late last week on a trip crossing over from Mexico to Texas as part of an investigation that alleges they’ve been operating their jaguar-skin business in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
The feds say the duo started selling the skins to people in-person around Texas, and also “by electronic means elsewhere.”
Garcia and Plancarte allegedly started selling the skins to undercover U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service agents in November 2010, and also started going on road trips to South Florida to sell them to the undercover agents there, too.
The feds say they sold two of the pelts to agents in Texas for $3,000 cash, and promised to sell them ten more.
In South Florida, prosecutors say the agents made the same purchase, but coughed up an extra $1,000 for a deposit on the ten future jaguar skins.
Unfortunately for Garcia and Plancarte, the jaguars — known as “Panthera onca” in the science world — are on the endangered species list.
Under the Endangered Species Act, it’s a violation of federal law to sell an animal, dead animal, or its body parts if it’s on the endangered list.
Garcia and Plancarte are charged with conspiring to traffic in protected wildlife and violating the Endangered Species Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of six years each if convicted.