Larry Wallach Plays With Cubs, Then Discards Them

Even though we have been reporting Larry Wallach for obtaining cubs to exploit and then dumping them since 2005, the USDA has done nothing to stop him even after PETA reported him using an electric cattle prod on an endangered species tiger cub named Sheba before dumping them at a roadside zoo.  This just emphasises the need for a ban on cub handling and private possession of big cats.,133497

In 2012 USDA filed this complaint against Larry Wallach for a litany of animal welfare violations.


21-C-0069 USDA #


2016 He’s displaying tiger cubs at bike week in Florida.

He was inspected twice by USDA in 2014 and they said he had no animals present since his suspension.

Cited in 2010 for failure to provide proper documentation and putting the public at risk by not securing tigers safely out of reach of the public.

Lion Cub Recuperating in Jax Beach | 13 Week Old Lion Cub in Jax Beach (Kyle Meenan photos)

By Kyle Meenan | First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL — A 13-week-old lion cub nearly died from an infection in Minnesota. Now he’s growing stronger every day on the First Coast.  “This is an African Lion. A little male. He was really sick. In fact, he nearly died about two weeks ago,” said exotic animal expert Larry Wallach. When he heard about the cub, Wallach called the Minnesota owner and had the animal rushed to Jacksonville Beach, where Wallach and his family live on their boat in the Beach Marina.  “He’s getting stronger every day,” said Wallach.  At 13 weeks, the cub is growing about a pound a day. As an adult he’ll weigh in at 500 or 600 pounds.  Wallach told First Coast News the number one concern for anybody who owns an exotic pet should be protecting the public safety. He says anyone considering a lion or tiger should have thousands of hours of documented experience working with big cats, along with a federal permit, and they should have a minimum of five acres of land.  “A lot of people that buy them, buy them illegally and the buy them for the wrong reasons,” said Wallach, who offered sobering advice to would-be big-cat owners.  “They don’t make good pets. Just ’cause he’s cuddly to me, doesn’t mean he’s a good pet. He’s a very bad pet. He’ll end up hurting you or killing someone in your family. He’s a wild animal!”

Wallach says big cats never lose their hunting instincts.  Over his career he’s provided cats to stars like Siegfried & Roy and Michael Jackson. But as small cubs like the one suckling on a milk bottle in his arms, it’s a good age to show them off for educational purposes.  “When they’re this big, they can go to hospitals and stuff for kids. Schools. But after about 75 or 80 pounds they need to find their resting place and have a good life with other big cats.”  Wallach knows that today his five year old son Parker can enjoy the baby lion, but soon it will be time to say goodbye.

On Tuesday, May 31st, the lion cub is going to be at the Ocean Reef Pet store in Neptune Beach, where Wallach welcomes visitors of all ages to come for a visit.  Then later on in the week, he’ll be brought to a wild animal park in North Carolina, where he should have a permanent home.

Created: 5/30/2005 4:50:20 PM | Updated: 5/30/2005 6:04:32 PM | Edited by  Kyle Meenan, reporter

The following tells you more about Larry Wallach


Big cats cause stir in US April 2002  | There are 10,000 tigers kept as pets in the US | By Jane Standley | BBC New York Correspondent

Spike the Bengal Tiger is Larry Wallach’s pride and joy. She is only a year old, but is already 90 kilos (200lbs) – she’ll be double that size when fully grown.  But like the lion and the mountain cougar before her – Spike is already too big for her cage in Larry’s back garden in the suburbs of New York.  Larry fancies another lion cub next – and sees no problem with that.  Larry says he didn’t think about the responsibilities of owning a big cat.  “I think if you’re capable, financially property wise, and you want it – we’re Americans, we live in a free country – then go get it!” says Larry.

Spike is one of an estimated 10,000 tigers kept by private citizens in America – that is more than remain in the wild.

Educational purposes

Some owners, like Larry, are allowed to because they use them for educational purposes, such as taking them to schools and on TV shows.  But what makes people get big cats as pets in the first place?  Larry says it’s mainly ego.  Animal behaviourist Steve Zawistowski from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would probably agree.  Stick to normal cats is his message – big ones aren’t just meant to be pets.

Big cats are sold on the internet to bypass state laws

“It would be safer for the community if this was made illegal,” he says.  “We already a wonderful collection of animals who we’ve spent thousands of years domesticating – so they make great pets – be happy with those.  “These big cats are going to suffer when you have them – and you’re going to be a danger to yourself and your community.”

Internet sales

For the thousands of Americans who do not agree, just knowing where to find big cats on the internet is all it takes.  You can get them from ranchers and breeders – who trade quite discreetly to sidestep state laws.  One site is offering tiger cubs for $1,800 each – and there are lions available for $1,000. There are some big cats available for as little as $500.

This woman is fighting to keep her 24 pet tigers

More attention is now being paid to the issue – as a woman in suburban New Jersey is battling in court to keep her 24 pet tigers.  Her permit to keep them as “theatrical” animals was revoked – and she ia trying to move them to neighbouring New York. But in both states, residents are not happy – and perhaps not surprisingly – want a tightening of the law.