Josip Marcan, is the owner of Adriatic Animal Attractions and Tigers of India and probably Bengal Tiger Encounter

It looks like the Bengal Tiger Encounter is just another alias for Josip Marcan who also travels under the name Tigers of India and Adriatic Animal Attractions.  Josip Marcan claims to be a veterinarian but he can not be found as licensed here


Those who have been rescuing tigers from Marcan since the 90’s will tell you that he is a prolific breeder but he only has kept under a dozen of the tigers he has bred, at his “preserve.”  It is not open to public scrutiny, but those who have worked there in the past have been quoted as saying the cats are kept in small cages and sometimes rotated through an exercise pen.  This is not a true sanctuary.


Legal Name (DBA):
Customer No: 3207
Certificate No: 58-C-0270
Certificate Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: Apr 6, 1990

I cannot find a business registered in FL by that name. Some similar, but not exact.

I cannot find a charity listed with the state as approved to solicit funds in FL by that name.

There are only three USDA facilities in N. Ft. Myers and none have cats according to USDA’s 2011 records:

Linda Cardinale, Peggy Mendez and the Nature Park at the Shell Factory

I can’t find any USDA facility on the USDA site by that name or in N. Ft. Myers.

The tabby tigers are most often in Josip Marcan’s acts and the guy looks like one of the Marcan trainers.  They are in N. FL and go by the names Tigers of India and Adriatic Animal Attractions.   He has 10 tigers, but no elephant.

This link makes the connection between Capitol Intl and Marcan so I am pretty sure he is the one.

At the Salem fair the photo looks exactly like the Marcan transport vehicle that was at MOSI.

This same outfit was in GA in July 2011

Same group here in May 2010

In their 2009 promo video they show the same trailer as Marcan and the woman in the act says the trainer’s name is Terry and that he has been working with Dumbo their female elephant for his entire adult life.


This tip came in to facebook in 2011:

Gulf Shores in Alabama, back at the end of January 2011, we visited the Gulf Coast Zoo and they had a baby white tiger cub named Sita that was born at the Marcan Tiger Preserve on Nov 7, 2010. They were charging $50 for a 30 minute encounter with her. The story they were pitching was that she was born to a new mother, her sibling had died at birth and the mother was not wanting to take care of her so the Gulf Coast Zoo was asked to take her and raise her until she was big enough to go back to the preserve.


From the PeTA files:

01-13-2009, 3:02 PM

Tiger in cage

What might have been just another story of shoddy circus animal handling came to a karmic conclusion last week when a tiger trainer, Josip Marcan, agreed to pay nearly 1 million bucks to settle a lawsuit resulting from a huge traffic accident. The accident was apparently caused when one of Marcan’s tigers escaped into the wilds of NYC—in this case, the Jackie Robinson Parkway—while traveling with the Cole Bros. Circus.

Demonstrating the spirit that has made the business of using and abusing animals in circuses the very definition of heartlessness, Marcan blamed everyone but his own whiny self. He called the injured drivers “reckless” and slammed the NYPD officers on the scene, saying “they just wanted to shoot the tiger.”

Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for the tiger, Apollo, who was captured and returned to circus life.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Tiger owner has to cough up 935G in scratch


Wednesday, January 7th 2009, 12:43 AM

The owner of a 450-pound tiger that caused traffic mayhem on the Jackie Robinson Parkway after bolting from a circus is coughing up a lot more than fur balls these days.

Josip Marcan has agreed to pay $935,500 to two drivers who were seriously injured after his cat Apollo got loose in 2004, according to a filing this week in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The settlement ends a nasty legal fight in which Marcan blamed everyone but Apollo for a five-car pileup that ensued on July 31, 2004, as startled motorists slammed on their brakes at the sight of the white tiger.

“A reckless driver, careless and reckless, blaming her recklessness on the poor tiger that was not even close to the highway,” Marcan said, according to a transcript of his deposition. “Trying to blame a tiger to get some kind of money from that.”

Apollo slipped out of his cage in Forest Park and was on the loose for 30 minutes before he was captured by circus handlers.

Marcan even trashed brave NYPD cops who held their fire.

“I don’t know where the New York police got the training on catching a tiger, but they just wanted to shoot the tiger,” Marcan, 70, ranted. “Just so some police comes home and say, ‘Ah, what I did today, I shot a tiger, you know. I’m a hero.'”

The victims, Maureen O’Malley – an off-duty cop forced to retire due to her injuries – and Wanda Colon will split the six-figure lump sum, and also receive $75,000 from the circus and a motorist, under the terms of the settlement.

Marcan’s attorney, Kathi Peisner, hotly disputed claims that Apollo was in the roadway and had leaped over the highway divider like some “old, dopey deer.”

Read more:


FL:Tiger bites man said to be drunk (Josip Marcan’s tiger) USDA 58-C-0270

Article published Mar 20, 2006
Tiger bites man said to be drunk

The trucker who pulled a caged tiger to the Putnam County Fair left in a helicopter with a bitten arm early Sunday morning.

Jason Wayne Hardin, 25, of Westville, was attacked after he stuck his arm into the sleeping tiger’s cage about 2:25 a.m., said Major Keith Riddick of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Riddick said Hardin’s sister, Heather Bass, alerted a deputy working at the fair that she needed help transporting her injured brother, who she said was very drunk.

Hardin was taken to the Putnam County Hospital and then flown to Shands at the University of Florida, where he was treated and released for severed tendons in his forearm, said Kat Kelley, a public information officer for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

She said a deputy spotted Hardin stumbling down a flight of stairs earlier that night and told him to go sleep it off. On his way to his trailer, Hardin either brushed the cage or put his hand in the cage, and Kelley said she suspects the tiger was frightened by him. She said the animal has no record of problems at public events.

“This was strictly human error and poor judgment,” she said. “These are wild animals, and no matter how tame they are, they’re still animals.”

Kelley said Hardin was visibly traumatized and had several punctures in his arm. When she talked to him at the hospital Sunday afternoon, he told her he remembered brushing against the cage, but he thought the tiger pulled his arm in with its claw before biting him. But a witness told her otherwise.

“We may never know whether he put his arm in or whether it was pulled in,” she said.

The tiger could be seen playing with other tigers on display at the fair Sunday after Florida Wildlife Lt. Rick Brown inspected the exhibit and ruled it safe. The fair officially opens to visitors today.

Under state safety requirements, there must be a certain distance between the animals’ cages and a perimeter fence around them, and it was set up correctly, Kelley said.

She said Hardin’s trailer was inside the perimeter fence, which is why he was able to access the tiger. The tiger’s owner, Josip Marcan of Adriatic Animal Attractions, recently hired Hardin to transport the animal and put up the fencing, but he was directed not to bother the tiger, Kelley said.

Hardin’s wounds aren’t life threatening but a 15-year tiger stuntman who has nursed several tiger bites of his own said there’s a high risk of infection when a tiger punctures someone’s skin.

If the tiger recently ate and had food particles in its mouth, the risk runs even higher, Randy Miller said.

He should know. Miller owns several tigers, and he’s president of the stunt company Predators in Action, which has reenacted tiger, lion and bear attacks for countless television networks.

A tiger similarly punctured Miller’s forearm while he staged a stunt for the movie, “The Gladiator.” He said doctors typically prescribe heavy antibiotics for such wounds, and often stitches are required.

The stuntman hears of at least one serious tiger biting incident each year. He said he thinks the tiger attack on Roy Horn of famed entertainers Siegfried and Roy – which he has reenacted several times – made tiger attacks seem more common than they are.

“There’s tens of thousands of tigers in captivity. For the amount of exposure there is in zoos, parks, the film industry and private owners, I think that’s a pretty low (injury) ratio from an animal that’s potentially deadly,” he said.

Miller said professional handlers can work with animals that know them, but strangers shouldn’t tamper even with the tamest of tigers.

“Some people misread the animals and think they appear to be affectionate and friendly, and then they stick their arm in and get bit. It’s hard to say why the cat bit the guy, but it’s just bad practice to try to play with the tiger,” he said.

Tiffany Pakkala can be reached at 338-3111 or Drinking and tigers don’t mixThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

FL: Tiger Bites Worker at Putnam County Fair

Tiger Bites Worker at Putnam County Fair   Start Video

By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News

PALATKA, FL — The Putnam County Fair will still open Monday even though a fair worker was bitten by a tiger in an exhibit there the day before.

Investigators say the man stuck his hand into a white Bengal tiger’s cage.

Deputies say Jason Hardin was so drunk early Sunday morning, they threatened to arrest him if he didn’t go to bed. According to officers, Hardin agreed to head back to his trailer and walked off.

But instead of going to bed, deputies say Hardin climbed over a four-foot-high security fence, walked through a grassy area, and stuck his hand into the locked cage of a four-year-old tiger.

Hardin is not one of the people approved to work with the animals.

He was treated for bite wounds to his forearm and hand and later released from Shands Gainesville.

“As soon as the owner came out of the trailer, the tiger released its grasp of him — so it’s probably about a thirty second event,” said Putnam County Sheriff Dean Kelly.

“A foolish thing, and I’m sure the subject — if he had to do it all over again — wouldn’t stick his hand inside the tiger cage,” Kelly said.

The state says the cat involved has no past problems.

“Wild animals — when provoked — are going to do what wild animals do, and that’s protect themselves and their territory,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Kat Kelley explained.

The state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission inspects every traveling exotic exhibit like this one. This particular show passed a state review just two weeks ago, Officer Kelley said.

“It [also] passed the inspection this morning. They’ve done everything right, they’ve got the correct safety barriers, the cage is locked, everything is in order. This was simply a matter of an error in judgment,” Officer Kelley said.

“There’s no fault of the owner here at all. So it’s, again, a safe event for the citizens to come here and enjoy the fair,” Sheriff Kelly added.

Created: 3/19/2006 8:29:57 PM

The fact that Florida’s Wildlife Conservation Commission permits and defends this sort of reckless behavior is an embarrassment to Floridians.  This story was picked up by Associated Press and run all over the globe.  These are just a few of the places that aired the story:

Worker is bitten by tiger at fair
Palatka Daily News – Palatka,FL,USA
EAST PALATKA — A 4-year-old Bengal tiger bit the hand of an exhibit employee who, for unknown reasons, stuck his arm in the cage Sunday morning, according to

Man bitten by tiger at county fair
St. Augustine Record – St. Augustine,FL,USA
A 25-year-old man was bitten by a Bengal tiger at the Putnam County Fair when he stuck his arm into the tiger’s cage while he was intoxicated, according to

Tiger bites man at county fair in Florida – IL, USA
March 20, 2006 (GAINESVILLE, Fla.) – Authorities say a trucker who transported a tiger to a county fair in Florida was treated at a hospital after the animal

Tiger bites man at Putnam County Fair
Miami Herald – FL,USA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was treated at a hospital after the animal bit his arm, authorities said.

Tiger bites man at county fair in Florida
Seattle Post Intelligencer – USA
— A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bit in the arm after he apparently stuck his arm in the big cat’s cage, officials said.
See all stories on this topic

Tiger bites big cat hauler at Fla. fair
Florida Today – Melbourne,FL,USA
“This was strictly human error and poor judgment,” she said. “These are wild animals, and no matter how tame they are, they’re still animals.”.

Tiger bites man at Putnam County Fair
Gainesville Sun – Gainesville,FL,USA
trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was treated at a hospital after the animal bit his arm, authorities said.

Animal Worker At Putnam County Fair Bitten By Tiger – Jacksonville,FL,USA
PALATKA, Fla. — A 25-year-old employee of the tiger exhibit at the Putnam County Fair was bitten by one of the tiger early Sunday morning.

Tiger Bites Worker at Putnam County Fair
First Coast News – Jacksonville,FL,USA
PALATKA, FL — The Putnam County Fair will still open Monday even though a fair worker was bitten by a tiger in an exhibit there the day before.

white tigers
All Headline News – 52 minutes ago
Gainesville, FL (AHN) – A Central Florida man who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was treated after authorities say he used “poor judgment

Tiger bites man at county fair in Florida
KESQ, CA – 4 hours ago
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Authorities say a trucker who transported a tiger to a county fair in Florida was treated at a hospital after the animal bit his arm.

Tiger Bites Man at County Fair in Florida
ABC News – 2 hours ago
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Mar 20, 2006 (AP)— A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bit in the arm after he apparently
Tiger Bites Man at County Fair in Florida
Forbes – 4 hours ago
A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bit in the arm after he apparently stuck his arm in the big cat’s cage, officials said.
Tiger Bites Man at County Fair in Florida
Newsday, NY – 4 hours ago
By Associated Press. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bit in the arm after he
Tiger bites man at Putnam County Fair, FL – 1 hour ago
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was treated at a hospital after the animal
Tiger bites man at county fair in Florida,  USA – 1 hour ago
March 20, 2006 (GAINESVILLE, Fla.) – Authorities say a trucker who transported a tiger to a county fair in Florida was treated at a hospital after the animal
Drinking and tigers don’t mix
Tampa Bay’s 10, FL – 1 hour ago
Putnam County ,Florida – Authorities say a trucker who transported a tiger to the grounds of the Putnam County Fair was treated at a hospital after the animal
Tiger bites drunk man at county fair in Florida
WIS, SC – 2 hours ago
(Gainesville, Florida-AP) March 20, 2006 – Authorities say a trucker who transported a tiger to a county fair in Florida was treated at a hospital after the
Tiger bites drunk man at Fla. county fair
The News-Press, FL – 2 hours ago
By The Associated Press. GAINESVILLE — A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was treated at a hospital after
Tiger Bites Man At Floria County Fair
WCSH-TV, ME – 3 hours ago
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says 25-year-old Jason Hardin of Westville apparently stuck his arm
Tiger bites man at county fair in Florida
News & Observer, NC – 4 hours ago
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bit in the arm

Police: Tiger Bites Drunken Fair Worker Trying To ‘Communicate’ – Orlando,FL,USA
— A Florida fair worker was hospitalized Sunday after he put his hand into a tiger cage at The white tiger bit the man and severed a tendon in Hardin’s arm.

Tiger Bites Worker At Putnam Co. Fair – Winter Park,FL,USA
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — A drunken man learned a tough lesson Saturday after being bitten by a tiger. The tiger severed a tendon in Hardin’s arm.

Tiger Bites Man At County Fair In Florida
NBC – Philadelphia,PA,USA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Authorities said a trucker who transported a tiger to a county fair in Florida was treated at a hospital after the animal bit his arm.

Drunken driver bitten by tiger
United Press International – USA
Jason Wayne Hardin had been hired to drive a tiger to the Putnam County Fair and to put up fencing around the tiger’s cage, the Gainesville Sun reported.

Tiger bites man at county fair in Fla.
Chicago Sun-Times – United States
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A trucker who transported a tiger to the Putnam County Fair was bitten after he apparently stuck his arm in the big cat’s cage.

Tiger Bites Worker at Fair – Regensburg,Germany
Early Sunday morning, while drunk, he stuck his hand into the cage of a four-year-old white Bengal tiger. Hardin had bite wounds on his forearm and hand.

USDA twice cited event for violations

By Lisa Wolverton
Ka Leo Copy Editor
June 03, 2004

Lisa Wolverton * Ka Leo O Hawai’i
An investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture found that tigers from Adriatic Animal Attractions were being mistreated. Animal Rights Hawai’i now wants to boycott the show.

Animal rights activists gathered outside Aloha Stadium’s 50th State Fair last Sunday, in order to protest the Bengal tiger show.

Members of Animal Rights Hawai`i, a local nonprofit animal anti-cruelty organization, encouraged fair patrons to boycott the tiger show. They distributed bright yellow flyers, which revealed the animal cruelty citations against the tigers’ owner.

“The whole traveling animal act business is wrong for the animals,” said Cathy Goeggel, founding member and president of Animal Rights Hawai`i. “The lives these animals live is pretty terrible”.

The traveling tiger show is comprised of seven adult tigers and two cubs. It is sponsored by Adriatic Animal Attractions, which is based in Florida. The adults perform three 20-minute shows each day. The cubs are kept in a small pen for patrons to watch as they play with plastic balls and interact with their handlers.

According to a United States Department of Agriculture investigation report, Josip Marcan, owner of Adriatic Animal Attractions, was cited in 2000 and 2001 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The investigations found unsanitary food preparation and storage, inadequate ventilation and water supply, and failure by handlers to make regular checks on the tigers. The report was obtained by Goeggel from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights organization.

“The violation write-ups were intentional”, said Mike Inks, a tiger handler for Marcan’s show.

Inks said that after a group of tigers was contracted out to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Marcan was told the animals must travel by train. A train does not allow for a proper watering system or allow the handlers to give the tigers the attention they require. Because of this, Marcan chose to report the situation to the USDA, realizing the negative publicity, in order to allow the tigers to travel by semi trailer.

“‘If this is the only way I can get them off the train, I’m going to do it,'” Inks said, quoting Marcan.

Inks said the tigers were transported to Hawai`i via container ship. The voyage took four days.

The fair will host the tiger show through the month of June. Because the tigers only perform on weekends, they spend most of their days sleeping in open metal cages on a flatbed truck or on wood shavings in the performing arena.

“Tigers naturally sleep for 15 to 20 hours a day,” Inks said, adding that when the tigers return home to the 80-acre Marcan Tiger Preserve in Florida, they usually spend their time sleeping, despite having more than enough room to roam and run.

According to Inks, there are 30 tigers in Marcan’s breeding program but only 7 adults are in the traveling act. Some are out on loan and the rest stay home due to their varying inabilities to perform.

“We pick the animals that thrive in this kind of atmosphere,” Inks said of the animals on tour. “The performing tigers are usually on the road for a couple of months then home for a month”, Inks said. All were born into Marcan’s breeding program.

Marice Horiuchi attended the show but was not aware of Animal Rights Hawaii’s flyers.

“They demonstrated their natural behavior. I don’t think they exploited them,” Horiuchi said about the act.

Although the fair usually hosts an animal act every year, this is the first year for the tiger show.

Goeggel said Animal Rights Hawai`i has been protesting animal acts at the fair for the past 10 years, which include a high diving mule, alligator wrestler and a chimpanzee show.

Goeggel said about 300 flyers were handed out, and the group plans to hand out more in the coming weekends in hopes of persuading patrons to boycott the show.

Goeggel concluded, “It’s a bad life for the animals and it does nothing to enhance people’s appreciation for their beauty.”
© 2004 Ka Leo O Hawaii



On March 8, 2006 while Josip Marcan’s Tigers of India show was in Tampa we interviewed his keeper Andy about the life these 9 tigers have on the road and what life is like at their facility in the panhandle. Andy said that Josip was a vet in Germany and we did a search on him under the name Josip Marcan and can find no professional license in that name. He said he was involved in a circus act and then bought some tigers and started breeding them. He said there are more than 30 tigers now and the nine we saw were on the road most of the time; sometimes for three months at a time. He claimed the tigers liked to travel because they were so bored at home.

He described home as being in the panhandle on 80 acres but said that only a small portion of the land was being used. He said the tigers live in a barn that is much like the trailer they live in on the road that opens up on one side to a small cage and on the other side to a cage about 60 x 100. He said as long as the tigers are getting along, they can all share the same space, but if they fight, as they do when the females are in heat, then some of them have to be locked up. He said they are not open to the public and that no one can come in and see how the cats live when we pressed him to let us visit. Andy said that they are starting a 501 c 3 charity so that they can ask for donations to support them since he said they can’t make much money doing these traveling shows. He acknowledged that the cost of setting up at one of these shows costs about what they make from it.

He said that Josip breeds and sells tigers but he didn’t know for how much and couldn’t name anyone who had bought a tiger.  He said, “Places like Busch Gardens” but when we asked if Busch Gardens had actually gotten any cats from Marcan he didn’t know.  Andy seemed to believe that the SSP wouldn’t include Marcan tigers because they didn’t have any pure Bengal tigers for breeding, but that makes one wonder why an ex-circus performer would have pure bred Bengals when no zoo in America does.  More curious is why one would intentionally breed for characteristics, such as white coats, that cannot survive in the wild when the supposed reason for breeding is conservation.

Andy volunteered that the cats get stir crazy with nothing to do, but that the cats at home never get a break from the boredom because they do not get to travel.  He said the oldest cat was 18 and that most of them were around 7 years of age.  He said that during shows he walks around with the 9 unrestrained cats and “loves all over them to show people how nice they are.”  In a country where almost anyone can go out and buy one as a pet, this is particularly disturbing “education.”

Seeing an air conditioner on the human portion of the travel trailer, I asked if the cats had air conditioning.  He said that to have air conditioning would be worse for them than the heat.  He said the metal trailer, with metal doors that fold in to make it totally enclosed for travel, had fans but I couldn’t see them.  There were small vents at the top of the trailer about 6 inches high by 12 inches long that slide half open to allow air into the trailer while it is in motion.  How many times have you been stuck in traffic where there was motion to create any breeze?

In a state where temperatures are often up into the 90’s and traffic is always a problem, imagine being one of nine 500 pound, fully furred cats locked inside a metal trailer atop a virtual parking lot of asphalt.  When you visit the Renaissance Festival or a Fairground is this the sort of thing that you want your ticket to be paying for?

Andy said that Josip is working on legislation that will allow him to exchange breeders with pure bloodlines from India.  Currently CITES does not allow tigers to be taken from the wild and bred for circus acts or the pet trade.  Andy really seems to believe that what he is doing is good for the cats and he was not trying to disparage Josip Marcan in his candid answers.  It is this abject ignorance of the big picture and all that is wrong with breeding a big cat for a life of confinement and boredom that is most disturbing.

Check for yourself to see if they meet the sanctuary standards for an accredited animal refuge.   He claims to be breeding white tigers and tabby tigers for conservation purposes, but his tigers are not part of the only internationally sanctioned Species Survival Plan. Given the amount of inbreeding necessary to create a white tiger or a tabby tiger (a color that sometimes appears when trying to breed the recessive white mutation) it is understandable why no real conservation program would include his stock.