Tails of the Wild Jarrod Davis
POTENTIAL BIG CAT PUBLIC SAFETY ACT VIOLATIONS AT TAILS OF THE WILD
Reported to USFWS and USDA on October 31, 2023
Tails of the Wild is an exhibitor located at 383 Dawes Rd, Frostproof, FL 33843, Phone: (863) 576-8077 operated by Jarrod Davis. Below is background information on Davis from their website:
Jarrod Davis has trained big cats for more than 20 years. He has been featured as an expert on Animal Planet’s “King of the Jungle” and has additionally been a filmmaker for Animal Planet. Mr. Davis has worked for Seigfried and Roy, specializing in the handling cats of that famed duo’s Las Vegas Show. He also was pivotal to the design and development of the MGM Lion Habitat, thereafter, educating the Habitat staff and working with groups of lions in front of large audiences. At “Tails of the Wild,” he designed and developed a wild animal park which has hosted the nationally known “Swim with the Tiger” show. He has also appeared in a show for Ripley’s Aquarium “Swim with the Shark” and for performances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
There appears to be a misimpression among a few exhibitors that volunteers are exempt from the contact and the 15 foot requirements of the BCPSA. As someone actively involved in the drafting of the law, I can tell you with certainty that such an exemption was very intentionally not included because it would have created a huge loophole that would have emasculated the law. In fact, one organization that advocates for private ownership of exotic animals lobbied Congress to include such an exemption and it was successfully resisted.
The URL for the Facebook page of Tails of the Wild is:
Six days ago the following post was made showing individuals who they describe as volunteers clearly violating the contact and 15 foot prohibitions in the law:
Further, the Facebook page shows that they have acquired a number of tiger cubs recently, including a white cub. There is no reference to the cubs having been born there and no rescue story.
It is well known, and specifically documented in the Joe Exotic trial, that for decades exhibitors have evaded the prohibitions in the ESA against sale of endangered species by claiming that animals were “donated” and taking payment in cash, by barter, or via inflated “transportation costs.” Establishing that the animals were donated is often done by checking off the donated box on state and federal forms or just writing “donation” on transfer related forms. Falsifying transfer forms is a violation of the Lacey Act and part of the reason Joe Exotic is in prison.
While it is conceivable, although unlikely, that an orange tiger cub might be given by one facility to another, it is extremely unlikely that a rare and valuable white cub would be donated. There is also at this point only one very active breeder of tiger cubs, i.e., Bhagavan Antle. The presence of these cubs raises a trafficking issue.
Last, it is unclear whether the person having contact with the white cub in this image is an employee or a member of the public, but a review of employees would answer that question.
383 DAWES ROAD POLK COUNTY, FROSTPROOF, FL 33843 USDA# 58-C-1137
When Jarrod Davis decided to call it quits and sell his backyard zoo, he advertised on ExoticAnimalsForSale.net and that raised him on our radar for the first time in 2023. There seems to be a rash of backyard breeders trying to get out of the business now that the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which passed in December 2022 has reached the expiry date of June 18, 2023 for people to register their big cats if they did not have a USDA license. Jarrod Davis has one, but if you try to search the USDA data base for his name, his business name, or even his unusual city name of Frostproof, FL, nothing comes up. I did have his USDA license number to search by, however, and that revealed that he does still have a license, valid through 2024. Without lucrative cub petting operations we believe most of these menageries will fold and the abuse of big cats will become a part of the barbaric past.