Welch’s Tiger Experience aka Awakening Production aka G.W. Exotics aka Beth Corley aka Tigers in Need
Isn’t it time everyone knew?
Every summer, fairs around the country feature wild animal acts to entertain and draw in the public. Though some may know they’re fueling the exotic animal industry, many do not, nor do they care.
Baby photo-op cubs are taken from their mothers far too young and are dumped after they’re only 12 weeks old – the legal limit for allowing general public contact with them.
Where do they all go? More and more litters must be bred, multiple times a year, until the mothers can breed no more. Then they are discarded, too.
Just like some fair organizers are unaware of this, most fairgoers may not know the truth either. They don’t realize zoos won’t take them, accredited non-profit sanctuaries are full, and the exhibitor has no intention of supporting an expensive carnivore for the next 20+ years of its life.
So, what alternative does that leave for these animals…death…being sold for parts…being sold to a taxidermist…being used as a breeder? It’s a cruel reality that the general public wouldn’t support if they knew the horrible fate awaiting these castoff animals – and they certainly wouldn’t want a picture at the fair to remind them of it!
The Davis County Fair scheduled Great Cat Adventures for an exhibition in a few weeks, unaware that a license was even required to exhibit wild animals! Great Cat Adventures had their license suspended in January, after over 2 years of prosecution and while countless animals were bred and abused by them.
Now, Davis County Fair is quickly looking for a replacement act. They’re even considering Welch’s Entertainment a/k/a G.W. Exotics, another exhibitor with a long, notorious history of animal abuse, license suspensions, public endangerment, citations and steep fines from the USDA.
Let Davis County Fair and the USDA hear loud and clear that people who care about animals don’t want these kinds of activities at fairs and won’t support this type of animal abuse any longer. The USDA may not have the manpower to shut these operators down, but you can – with your voice & by not attending fairs that feature these exhibitions.
TAYLOR — When Judi Vig, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, saw exotic animals on display Wednesday at Southland Center, it sent alarms off in her mind.
She called City Hall to check that everything was in order with the display and to voice concerns about the animals’ welfare.
Vig said PETA has had issues with G.W. Exotic Animals of Wynnewood, Okla., which houses the animals Awakening Production uses.
Awakening Production came to Southland with lion and tiger cubs and a baby kangaroo. It set up a display where people could see the animals, and if they wanted, pay $25 for two people to spend eight minutes in a cage with tiger cubs and a trainer. Today is the show’s last day.
Awakening Production had not obtained a permit to hold a special event, which is required, said Joseph Nardone, the city’s executive director of development services. A representative of the company came to City Hall with a letter from Southland Center giving permission for the event and to seek a permit, he said. Ordinance and animal control officers investigated the complaint, he said. Animal control officers found no violations, city officials said. The permit was issued. As of Thursday afternoon, the company was in compliance with all city ordinances, Nardone said. “Getting to touch a baby tiger is a moment in a lifetime,” said Michael Bussey, stage manager for Awakening Production. “You’re seated. You go in with a certified trainer. The tigers will roam around the cage, crawl on your lap, and you can pet them. ” There were plenty of takers, from young children to a 93-year-old woman, he said. But mainly, it was young families, especially mothers with their children.
Awakening Production also put on a free magic show each day. The purpose behind the magic show is to educate the public about ownership of exotic animals, Bussey said.
It booked several visits with General Growth Properties, ggp.com which owns Southland Center and other malls across the country, Bussey said.
Awakening Production came with a 4-month-old white tiger; two 8-week-old tigers, which went into the play cages with visitors; a 13-week-old tiger; two 3-week-old lions; and a 3-month-old kangaroo, said Vicky Welch, road manager and animal caretaker.
Fourteen people, including stage crew and animal caretakers, travel with the animals, Welch said.
all you sorry people that have no clear understanding related to animal rights….The show at Southland was for self gain……Do you all know HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MADE! At the expense of breeding tigers that they can take around the country…to make money off you fools then they give or sell those tigers when they are too big…they end up in China and so on for their herbal cures….you people need to wake up, your just as guilty as they are….don’t tell this woman to wake up she is very much awake…which is more then what I can say to you sorry people that can’t engage your children into more productive activity to protect the environment and rights of animals…..you all get off easy putting your kid in a cage with an abused animal and you think your TEACHING or putting a star on your forehead for being a good parent….do your homework first!!!! Also, PETA along with other animal groups are all around…what do you think your local animal shelters, PAWS, etc…..what do you think they do…Also, The circus animals are also in a mess of abuse….pay attention and get involved…Don’t attend GIB. Trade Center Circus……I wonder how many of you people that gave your hard earned money or welfare check money to this group just ignored putting a good meal on your table for your kids….Oh I know I forgot people like you get off easy…..processed food for the kids…right…$1.00 burgers at mcdonalds….PS…..I’m proud of my kids they wanted NO part of this! ” go michigan
” I’m not a member of PETA but would NEVER EVER put my kids in a cage with a wild animal…..I don’t ever want them to think that it is cute or FAIR to the animal, they do not need to be in cages they need to be in their natural environment…..free….not caged! City of Taylor and Southland should be ashamed for allowing this! I’m HAPPY this girl made the phone call….we need more people like her… ” non member of PeTA
” while everyone who paid money to sit with an exotic animal and said it was a great family moment talk about wake up and smell the real world if u thought that was so great an experience WHAT ABOUT THE ANIMALS where are their parents? how about the family experience for the wild animals?For areal family experience try the park, playing catch with ur kids when are parents going to get it MEMORIES CANNOT BE BOUGHT THEY MUST BE EXPERIENCED!!Thankfully this woman knew that and tried to point that out, good for her THANK YOU!!! ” wendy
” I was at the mall today doing some shopping with my son. We didn’t even know about the ‘show’ until we were walking through the mall.
We wandered over and looked into one of the cages. There was a man sitting on the floor, holding his toddler daughter. The little girl was terrified of the baby tiger. She was screaming and kicking at the tiger. I think she made contact at one point. The employee never suggested the child be taken out of the cage, nor did the father have enough brains to cut the ‘visit’ short.
Now, repeat that scenario several times a day, in different cities, year round and tell me that these animals aren’t being exploited and mistreated. It made me sick.
I am not a member of PETA. I agree that the organization is full of kooks. They were correct in their assessment of this ‘show’, however. ” calumet
” This is another sad excuse for an “educational show”, where in reality these animals are being exploited for one reason only – monetary gain. These cute baby tiger and lion cubs will grow up to be 300-500 lb big cats and are destined for a life in captivity or worse, can end up in canned hunts or killed for the black market. There are more tigers in captivity in the United States then there are in the wild. Until laws are passed restricting private ownership and exploitation of these great cats, this type of animal cruelty will continue. For more information about “Big Cat Exhibition” visit: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/bigcatexhibition.htm ” tigress62
Why would you ask such a question? “Are you with them 24/7”? Well, what you do think? NO! That is why I said hopefully, they get fed and are well taken care of. I do not associate with the animals mentioned in this article nor do I know the trainers and/or owners.
Think about this, “protectanimals”, they MUST be PROPERLY TRAINED, because why else would this company allow people to GO INSIDE THE CAGES WITH THE ANIMALS? It would be insane to let in-experienced people into a cage with a wild animals, babies or not.
Here’s something else to think about. If the animals weren’t trained, don’t you think the company would of done something about that? Obviously they are, because why would a company like this allow in-experienced people into a cage with a wild animal? I don’t post on this blog to argue! ” josh
” Josh…..they are pretty harmless at this age……..they are far from trained, they are helpless and are used for money (it’s a million dollar company), when they get too big they are not used anymore, they only breed them for their shows and once they get a certain age thats it for them…..’cause they can not be on the shows anymore..they sure would not let a child go in a cage with an adult tiger…this person who made the call to the city did it out of concern and I have to agree with her…this company just came in for the money and they will go to the next town….they made alot of money from the downriver residents, they are pros! ” ” Also, Josh, Those workers would NEVER get in a cage with an adult tiger or lion….Never….the workers are only trained to work the crowd for the money and once again they have duped the public….those poor animals….their fate will not be good…I’m a retired teacher and have been a advocate for animals for many many years and have also known about this G.W. Exotic Animal group for a long time, they are very sly and never let anyone know what town they are going to next. “protectanimals
” How can any reporter do a story about baby lions and tigers at a mall and not investigate how it was that they were bred into such a miserable life and what will happen with them in a couple of months when they are too big to pet. Any one with access to the Internet could easily find out that these precious animals will spend the rest of their lives in tiny, filthy cages, be shot for their pelts, cut up for meat or worse. If people don’t know, it is because they choose to be ignorant, but that doesn’t ease the suffering. More at Dying To Be Held http://www.bigcatrescue.org dot org/000news/0articlesbybcr/2008DyingToBeHeld dot htm ”
” You are so right BIGCATRESCUE…the news herald was very partial with this article….they could have done more, they wanted this to be just another cute article…shame on them…..most of the article is centered around the people who put on the show…what do you think they are going to say..they are making a lot of money..they sugar coated the whole event..make phone calls and complain…I wonder if they will post any of these comments as a follow up in the paper…and phone calls need to go to the city hall and southland mall for allowing this……Why didn’t the news herald reporter talk to the crowd about this animal show? They took one phone call and then went out and let the event employees make it look so great…and why wasn’t the permit pulled prior to the show…how come that wasn’t asked? How come this animal show wasn’t advertised anywhere prior to coming? How come that wasn’t asked? You know why…they don’t want anyone to know they are coming to a local mall. How come the paper didn’t asked “where do the animals go when they are grown, is it right to pull these babies away from the mother, how ’bout the baby kangaroo that should be in the mothers pouch not a purse hanging from a rack….the paper could have done BETTER asking questions…..maybe next time they will send a smarter reporter that thinks outside the box and doesn’t just interview the event employees or take cute pictures of these babies….The paper should have had the pictures of reality of these tigers/lions stuck in cages or cut up for meat etc. Dear News Herald…take a good look at your cute little pictures you put in the newspapers of the baby tigers and I hope you always remember that cute little face will be shipped off when too big, sold for meat/hide/herbal and have a life of abuse before they are killed….next time news-herald TELL the whole story! ” protectanimals
” PETA, DOESN’T THAT STAND FOR “PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS,
IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, LOOKING AT ANIMALS IN CAGES IS ONE THING, BUT ALLOWING PEOPLE TO GO INSIDE THE CAGE WITH A WILD ANIMAL IS NOT A GOOD IDEA, PERHAPS EVERYONE SAW THE HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR IN THE CAGE GETTING HER YEARBOOK PICTURE TAKEN IN MINNESOTA LAST YEAR, SHE WAS MALLED TO DEATH, (ITS OKAY THE TRAINER SAID, WE DO THIS EVERY YEAR!) WHAT ABOUT THE TELEVISION COMMERICAL CHIMP WHO RECENTLY ATTACKED BITING A WOMAN HANDS OFF, HER FACE, AND EYES, FORGOT ABOUT SIGFRIED & ROY, OR THE FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN CROCIDILE MAN? THIS WEEK ON THE NEWS A WOMAN FOUGHT OFF A COUGAR WHO ATTACKED HER SON ON A WALKING TRAIL, ANIMALS NEED TO BE SECURED IN A ZOO (TWO YOUNG MEN WERE KILLED RECENTLY AT SAN FRANCISCO ZOO WHEN A LION ESCAPED) LEAVE THEM IN THE WILD, & REMEMBER WHEN YOU VISIT YOU ARE PART OF THE FOOD CHAIN!!!!!!!!1 ” hello
” Why would any parent let their child get in a cage with an animal?????This isn’t like a visit to santa or the easter bunny. Bad Parenting! ” why
” Who CARES to what group the woman who reported it belongs. You people are so busy shooting the messenger you’ve completely ignored the message.
You REALLY can’t see anything wrong with taking babies away from their mothers? THREE WEEK old lion cubs don’t send up a red flag with you? Three week old cubs (three MONTH for that matter) should be with their mother, and vice versa. SHAME on this greedy company for exploiting animals (AND taking advantage of people with thicker wallets than brains). ” K
” The news herald is a great local paper and they do a good job however they got it wrong with this story. They need to tell the whole true story about this company and the future of these poor animals its like they just protected this company and forgot about the abuse to these animals. ” freespeech
This blog post lists dozens of aliases used by Joe Schreibvogel and business names he uses to disguise who he is and what he does.