Grant Kemmerer

Grant Kemmerer was charged and convictedin 2018 for five violations of state wildlife laws, including three violations of New York’s so-called “tiger selfie” law for allowing members of the public to have direct contact with tigers and a lion during parties at a private residence in Melville, New York, in 2016 and 2017.

Corinne Oltz Wild Animal World FKA Pangea Productions

USDA findings HERE

Palm Beach Post Editorial
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Last week came another reminder that the state shouldn’t allow people to keep wild, potentially dangerous animals unless they actually know how to take care of wild, potentially dangerous animals.

The Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office filed two misdemeanor charges in the mauling in November of a 4-year-old girl at a Coral Gables birthday party. Francisco Unanue, president of Goya Foods, got the bright idea to throw his daughter a party that featured a 62- pound cougar. The big cat came from a company owned, according to reports in The Miami Herald, by an ex-Hooters waitress who once posed for a Playboy video.

In 1999, the paper reported, Corinne Oltz was convicted of a similar violation after an incident involving one of her animals. In 2001, a leopard attacked a child at a birthday party, and Ms. Oltz got probation. An investigator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Herald that the leopard’s bite “was a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem. That would have killed the kid instantly.” In November, according to investigators, the 4-year-old birthday guest walked up from behind and surprised the cougar, which then grabbed the left side of the girl’s face. If Mr. Unanue wanted to make a break from the usual clown and balloons, he did.

This will seem familiar to residents of this area, who watched in 2004 as wildlife officers pursued a tiger that had escaped from a compound in western Palm Beach County. Third-rate Tarzan actor Steve Sipek, apparently unable to get out of character, had amassed several cats. When a wildlife officer sadly but correctly had to shoot Bobo the tiger, the officer drew criticism that should have been directed at Mr. Sipek.

The state, which in 1980 had banned the keeping of such pets, had let Mr. Sipek slide on adding to the animals he had bought before the ban. But a year after Bobo got out, Mr. Sipek had been able to buy two new tiger cubs. A year after that, he got around the state law even more by registering as an exhibitor.

Florida, and this area in particular, are lucky enough to have lots of well-qualified zoos, research centers and sanctuaries for animals that aren’t suitable pets or have been abandoned. Local and state politicians also are doing more to restrict the trade in exotic creatures. With pythons threatening to upset the balance in the Everglades and iguanas overrunning some neighborhoods, Florida has to start saving itself from problems caused by the wrong animals being in the wrong places. One way is to prosecute those who cause the problems.

5-year-old mauled by cougar at birthday party

Coral Gables, Florida — The owner of an exotic wildlife company is charged in a girl’s mauling by a cougar at a Coral Gables party.

Court documents show that Corinne Oltz is charged with first-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence and second-degree misdemeanor charge of keeping wildlife in unsafe conditions.

She operates Wild Animal World.

The girl, who is now five, was attacked in November at the home of Goya Foods president Francisco Unanue during a birthday party for his child.

Police say Oltz removed the leashed cougar from its cage to show it to the children, but the girl sneaked behind Oltz and startled the animal. The declawed cat took the child’s head with her teeth.

State wildlife officials say Oltz failed to use a barrier to protect the children, as a judge had ordered her to do after a previous attack.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=59977

Current comments below:

COMMENTS

Showing posts 1 – 11 of 11 Dapper Dave

Tampa, FL  Friday Jul 27

Deadly combination: A jack@ss with money.

This fool thinks it’s okay to have a cougar wandering around in the midst of little children.

We have too many people filing lawsuits over petty stuff, but I hope the family of this little girl lays a major lawsuit on the imbecile.

rachel clearwater fl

Clearwater, FL  Friday Jul 27

I dont understand why a pitt bull or any other dog can attack a child or grown up and would be put to sleep within 10 days but this animal can attack 2 different people and the owner still 1. not in jail 2.animal removed to a bigger area to run and what not.What about the 5 year old child who now has to suffer like that! and no punishment happening to the owner! as the law says if you cant handle the animal get rid of it….

Mary

Thonotosassa, FL  Friday Jul 27

I agree the owner is liable but what were the parents thinking, having this type of animal as entertainment at a party for small children? A pony or petting zoo, yes, but wildcats? Not a good idea…….

Rheabop

Tampa, FL  Friday Jul 27

Mary wrote:

I agree the owner is liable but what were the parents thinking, having this type of animal as entertainment at a party for small children? A pony or petting zoo, yes, but wildcats? Not a good idea…….

The story didn’t say the Cougar was there to entertain the kids at the party – the owner of the Cougar was having a party for their own child, then decided to take the Cougar out of its cage to show it to the kids – guess they thought it would be fun for the kids – duh! The little girls parents probably never realized this would even take place since “adults are supposed to be responsible human beings” and know what is safe and what isn’t!! This person needs to be penalized greatly for what happened – especially since the same scenario has happened previously and a court order was violated in this case!!

Rheabop

Tampa, FL  Friday Jul 27

Retraction to my previous comment – I re-read the story and now I understand that Oltz was NOT the person “having the party”, so evidently she did in fact bring the Cougar to the party as part of the entertainment for the party, but she still violated a court order by removing the animal from the cage.

Bravo061

Saint Petersburg, FL  Friday Jul 27

Mary wrote:

I agree the owner is liable but what were the parents thinking, having this type of animal as entertainment at a party for small children? A pony or petting zoo, yes, but wildcats? Not a good idea…….

Because your dealing with people that have way more money than brains!

Brenda

United States  Friday Jul 27

But the child startled the animal by sneaking up behind it. Where was her parents? Why wait this long, since Nov to have the story. Guess this means lawsuit?

come on people

New Port Richey, Friday Jul 27

who in the hell would have a cougar at a kids party. who in the hell would have a cougar anywhere other than, say, south america? it’s a wild cat, not some tame kitty cat. who would have thought that a wild animal would attack something small? don’t they eat other small animals in the wild?

some people never use their brains.

scuba

Sarasota, FL  Friday Jul 27

i wonder how you sneak up on a cougar in the first place. my take is the women who owns the cougar should lose total rights to handle or poses any wild animals since she cant learn from past mistakes i guess ill wait to read when she lets one of her wild animals kill before the state decides she completely

incompetent to have such responsibilities.

tazgirl811 Saint Petersburg, FL  Friday Jul 27

its not the cougars fault that the handler is a jackass and cant handle the animal. she deserves to never be able to handle any kind of wild anything anymor. thats just ridiculous having very little supervision over the cat during a party. the girl shouldnt have been allowed to get that close to sneak up on the cat anyway. where were the parents??? good question. big cat, little girl,oooops,bad combination especially when the cat is out of its elimant and being put out for show around tiny tots. go to the zoo next time for the party. at least there the animals are behind fences. parents, just dont understand some of them these days,especially when it comes to taking responsibility for anything that happens to their children.(like this)

Carole Baskin Tampa, FL   1 min ago

Gov. Crist just signed into law a bond requirement that will help stop some of this irresponsible activity. The new law requires that those who use big cats, bears, chimps, etc. must either post a 10,000 bond or carry 2 million in liabitly coverage to cover such incidents. The exotic pet owners aren’t happy about it, but the law will at least give victims some sort of recourse. You can send a letter thanking the governor at CatLaws.com

Posted on Thu, Jul. 26, 2007

BY DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

Corinne Oltz, a former Playboy video vixen who runs an exotic wildlife company, was charged Thursday in the November cougar attack on a 4-year-old girl at a Coral Gables birthday party.

Prosecutors charged Oltz with first-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence and a second-degree misdemeanor charge of keeping wildlife in unsafe conditions.

Oltz, 38, runs Kendall’s Wild Animal World at 10495 SW 60th St. She has a history of citations for animal attacks, and the state is considering permanently revoking her licenses to work with animals.

On Nov. 18, Oltz was hired to show animals at a birthday party for the child of Francisco Unanue, president of Goya Foods.

The girl, now 5, sneaked up behind the 62-pound cougar named Georgia, which lashed out and gripped the child’s face in her mouth. The girl suffered severe cuts to her eyelid, left cheek and ear. Doctors sewed back part of her severed ear.

She now has permanent scars and suffers psychological problems, said Dan Dolan, her family’s attorney.

“This is recognition by the state attorney’s office that her company is a public threat and her conduct is criminal,” Dolan said Thursday.

Because the charges are misdemeanors, Oltz was not jailed and instead will be mailed a court date. The case is being prosecuted by Miami- Dade Assistant State Attorney Sasha Bardelas.

Reached by phone, Oltz accused the media of misconstruing the story.

“I choose not to comment,” she said before hanging up.

Oltz’s charges add another chapter to a saga that has infuriated South Florida’s animal trainers. The attack also cast scrutiny on “edutainment” companies that showcase exotic animals at schools
and birthday parties.

Oltz’s company has long been criticized for unsafe practices.

In 1999, she was cited in a similar attack, also in Coral Gables. She received a conviction for a wildlife cage violation.

In 2001, a Wild Animal World leopard attacked a child at a company picnic in Broward County. Oltz received probation for wildlife possession violations.

“She’s put a black eye on people who really do a good job. She’s been, quite frankly, careless,” Miami Metrozoo trainer Ron Magill, who testified against Oltz as an expert witness, said Thursday.

At the time, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allowed her to keep showing certain cats.

Oltz is a former Hooters waitress who once posed as a police officer in the Playboy video Girls at Work. She joined the animal company of her then-boyfriend, Grant Kemmerer, and eventually took it over after he left.

On Nov. 18, she was hired to perform at Unanue’s posh Coral Gables home. However, she failed to use a barrier to protect the children, the wildlife commission said.

After a previous feline attack, a judge had ordered Oltz to use barriers — usually chain-link fences arranged in a semicircle.

Georgia the cougar was euthanized and tested negative for rabies.

Oltz’s license, which allows her to exhibit animals such as cougars and serval cats, was suspended, although she can still exhibit raccoons, snakes and lemurs. A judge will decide in the fall whether she can keep her licenses.

“She’s supposed to be a professional,” said wildlife commission Lt. Pat Reynolds, who investigated the case. “She’s been in the business for 10 years or so and she has seen tragedies. She should have taken precautions and yet she did not.”

BY DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

A former Hooters waitress who once appeared in a Playboy video, Corinne Oltz’s ability to control wild animals has long been suspect.

The animal handler’s leopard and cougar have lunged at children. Her serval cats have escaped, terrorizing neighbors. Once, a co-worker saw her mace a cat.

But after last month’s mauling of a child by a cougar at a birthday party, the state has finally agreed to strip her of her license.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday banned Oltz, who runs Kendall’s Wild Animal World, from exhibiting animals like cougars and serval cats, medium-sized felines often confused with cheetahs.

“The family has been working with the commission and is pleased that they have taken this measure,” said Dan Dolan, the attorney for the 4- year-old mauled by a cougar named Georgia on Nov. 18.

“However, the community deserves to know why she had her license in the first place, given her track record.”

The mauling has also renewed calls to limit the exhibition of exotic cats while casting scrutiny on so-called “edu-tainment” companies that showcase wildlife at schools, fairs and birthday parties.

Oltz did not return phone calls Friday from The Miami Herald.

Though one of her licenses has been revoked, she isn’t out of business. Oltz’s company, also known as Pangea Productions, can still showcase more benign animals like raccoons, snakes and lemurs.

In recent years, she has been a polarizing figure in the animal exhibition industry, authorities and observers say.

Pangea was co-founded in the early 1990s by Grant Kemmerer, who later brought in then-girlfriend Oltz to help finance and run the company.

At the time, she waitressed at a Kendall Hooters and dabbled in modeling. In 1997, she appeared as a policewoman in the Playboy video Girls in Uniform.

Her first brush with the law came in May 1998 when she sent a cougar named Shasta to a restaurant with an inexperienced trainer and it bit an 8-year-old boy, officials say.

At a Coral Gables birthday party in December 1998, Oltz was showing a cougar named Chase when he attacked and injured a 5-year-old girl.  Chase was later euthanized and tested for rabies.

After Chase’s attack, Miami-Dade Judge Beth Bloom ordered the handler to use barriers when exhibiting cougars.

By then, Kemmerer, one of the company’s owners, said he was disgusted with Oltz’s blatant disregard for safety and animal abuse — he cited a time she maced a caged cougar to instill fear in the animal.

“The animals are a way for her to get attention from people,” said Kemmerer, who left the company after that.

Oltz’s reputation in the animal exhibit industry grew.

In October 1999, one of her serval cats escaped from a Miami townhome, terrorizing neighbors and landing on the local TV news. She was convicted of not properly caging the cat.

Two years later, Oltz was exhibiting a leopard on a leash for a company picnic in Broward County when it nearly killed a 7-year-old boy. To The Miami Herald, she identified the animal as a serval cat.

“It’s so devastating because we try to be as positive as possible,” she said then. “There’s nothing I can do. It’s so disheartening.”

Broward Judge Leonard Feiner banned her from showing leopards, which fall under a wildlife class designated Class 1, which includes lions and tigers.

At the time, Fish and Wildlife Commission Capt. John West, then an investigator in Broward, recommended all her permits be revoked or allowed to expire.

But fish and wildlife officials in Tallahassee — then under different leadership — never heeded the request. Oltz kept her permit to exhibit Class II animals like cougars.

To obtain a Class II permit, a person needs to prove he owns the proper cages and has at least one year of training in handling, feeding and caring for the animals.

In the Broward mauling, Metrozoo animal expert Ron Magill served as an expert witness in the criminal case, saying cougars should be kept in enclosures, not allowed on leashes or allowed to pose for photos with children.

“I find it amazing she still had a license,” Magill said Friday.

However, the state usually offers exhibitors the chance to correct their mistakes.

Speaking generally, fish and wildlife spokesman Henry Cabbage said: “The permit holders do have some rights. We don’t want to be too draconian about pulling their permits.”

Later in October 2006, officials say, Oltz allowed an African serval cat to escape from a Halloween exhibit at the Palm Aire Resort in Pompano Beach. It eluded authorities — until this week when it was spotted and recaptured on the resort’s golf course.

On Nov. 18, Oltz was hired to show animals at a birthday party for the child of Francisco Unanue, president of Goya Foods.

But when a 4-year-old sneaked up behind the cougar, the animal gashed the child’s face and severed her ear. The girl, now 5, is recovering.

It’s unclear whether Oltz allowed children to pet the cat. Witnesses have been uncooperative. While a home video exists of the attack, Unanue’s attorney will not give it to investigators.

One factor is clear. Oltz did not use a barrier as ordered by Judge Feiner, said Fish and Wildlife Commission Lt. Pat Reynolds. In the past, the company had used chain-link panels strung to posts, arranged in a semi-circle.

“She just disregarded the judge’s orders,” Reynolds said.

Oltz faces a misdemeanor charge of endangering public safety, although it has not been filed yet.

Meanwhile, the mauling has again ignited debate over companies like Wild Animal World.

Carole Baskin, who heads Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue, said in an e-mail that such businesses deliver conflicting messages.

“While their lips say, `These animals make bad pets,’ their actions show wild animals being leashed, bottle-fed and fondled — and actions speak louder than words,” said Baskin, who supports laws to limit exotic cat exhibitions.

Others, like Metrozoo’s Magill, say the companies fill a valuable role in educating children, but exhibitors who skirt safety rules must be weeded out.

Kemmerer, Oltz’s former business partner, who now runs Wild World of Animals in Pennsylvania, said of his former girlfriend: “Everyone who does this for a living is ashamed of her.”

Wild Animal World’s web site: http://www.wildanimalworld.net/

**************

BY DAVID OVALLE
dovalle@MiamiHerald.com
Posted on Thu, Dec. 07, 2006

For his child’s birthday party, Goya Foods executive Francisco Unanue hired a troupe of exotic animals that included a 62-pound cougar named Georgia.

The party ended badly when Georgia mauled a 4-year-old guest.

Now the owner of the Kendall-based Wild Animal World — who has been cited in two similar past attacks — faces a misdemeanor charge of allowing injury to the public.

The child is recovering from injuries to her face. Georgia was euthanized last week as part of a rabies test.

“The family wants this to be the last child who is attacked by these animals,” said Dan Dolan, the attorney of the injured girl, who has not been identified.

“We feel that Wild Animal World has a horrible history of these kinds of events and we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure this is the last one.”

The entire attack was videotaped by a man hired by Unanue to film the party for his 7-year-old child.

Unanue’s attorney, Frank M. Smith, has not allowed authorities access to the tape.

The Nov. 18 party was held near the pool at Unanue’s luxurious home on the 7300 block of Los Pinos Blvd. in Coral Gables.

According to Coral Gables police, Wild Animal World owner and trainer Corinne Oltz said she instructed the children to remain calm and quiet as she brought Georgia out.

Oltz was seated with her back to the pool so “no one could sneak up from behind.”

But during the presentation, the girl walked behind the animal kennels and startled the cougar, police said.

One witness told police that “no one saw the child approach the animal until it was too late.”

The declawed cat grasped the child’s head with her teeth. The girl suffered severe lacerations to her eyelid, left cheek and ear.  Doctors sewed back part of her severed ear.

The attack is being investigated by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is also examining whether Oltz keeps her animals caged properly. The misdemeanor charge has not been filed yet.

Miami-Dade County also is looking at whether Oltz carries the proper permits.

Wild Animal World, a non-profit, offers a “wide variety of educational, exciting and professional interaction with exotic animals,” and one-hour birthday party shows for $270 in Miami-Dade, according to its website.

Animals include Charlie the ringtail lemur, Popeye the anteater and Cookie the Guyanese porcupine.

Georgia is described as the smallest of the company’s three cougars, which are not considered endangered.

From the company’s website: “She is a tremendous lover, constantly wanting attention and always grooming her trainers with her rough tongue.”

Oltz, the owner and trainer, insisted to police that the cat had proper vaccinations.

After the family of the injured child called the health department, officials asked Oltz to release the animal for testing.

She refused, the health department went to court and Circuit Judge Leonard Glick authorized the cat’s seizure.

“Cougars are wild animals,” health department attorney Morton Laitner said Thursday. “There is no vaccine that works on wild animals.”

The cat was seized Dec. 1 at Wild Animal World, 10495 SW 60th St. The girl’s father joined investigators to help identify the cat.

As is done in such rabies tests, the cat’s head was removed and sent to a lab where its brain was tested.

Results showed the cat did not have rabies, officials say, so the injured child will avoid painful rabies shots.

Oltz has been cited for attacks in the past, authorities said.

In 1999, she was cited in a similar attack, also in Coral Gables. She received a conviction for a wildlife cage violation, court records show.

In 2001, a Wild Animal World leopard attacked a child at a company picnic in Broward County. She received probation for wildlife possession violations, court records show.

“That one was a fraction of an inch from going to the brain stem.  That would have killed the kid instantly,” remembered FFW Lt. Pat Reynolds, who is investigating the Coral Gables attack.

Oltz, Unanue and Smith did not return phone calls from The Miami Herald.

Oltz’s qualifications, as listed on the company website: she worked at a bond brokerage firm and modeled for “for catalogues [sic], t.v.
and movies.”

Of why she works at Wild Animal World, Oltz says, “I always wanted to do a photo session with a big cat. They provided one on a modeling shoot and I was hooked!”

Grant Kemmerer

Grant Kemmerer went on to start a business of providing big cats as props to television shows under the name of https://wildworldofanimals.org  Below are a list of venues that have exploited big cats and their cubs due to his business model.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
The Late Show with David Letterman
The Steve Harvey Show
The Tyra Banks Show
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Conan
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Piers Morgan Live
Anderson Cooper
Martha Stewart
The Meredith Vieira Show
Harry Connick Jr Show
CBS Early Show
The Today Show
Good Morning America
Wendy Williams
Rachel Ray
Live with Regis and Kelly
Live with Kelly and Michael
Live with Kelly
Fox and Friends
Maury Povich

Although Grant Kemmerer bashed his ex-girlfriend for using the big cats to get attention for herself, he seems to have made a business of appealing to that darker nature in celebrities.