Animal Activist Calls for Tougher Tiger Laws
Reported by: Jeremy Stevens
Friday, Aug 8, 2008 @09:16pm CST
Just days after a teenager is hospitalized from a possible tiger attack in Stone County, a local animal activist is now calling for tougher laws on where large exotic animals can be kept.
"Facilities like that need to have regulations,” says Lawanna Jones, “and they need to know that those regulations are going to be checked on and enforced.”
Lawanna Jones is a private contractor with "Big Cat Rescue" and says the incident, where a 16-year old employee was supposedly attacked by three tigers at the Branson Interactive Zoo and Aquarium-- should never have happened.
She says this facility known as "Predator World" promotes itself as a zoo, but needs more regulations for standard procedures and safety protocol.
For example, Jones shot video at predator to observe the animals. She says the walls would shake and rattle when the tigers jumped at them and the animals were not even full grown at the time.
“If that had gave way the Plexiglas and the tiger would have been right out in the sidewalk on people, not just with people but on people,” says Jones. “And what they had told me was prior to putting those cubs in there, the female tiger was in there."
Predator World didn't return our phone call to comment on this footage or the current condition of its facility.
We did reach state representative Bob Dixon who says he's concerned with employee and visitor safety in places like this.
A representative from Warren County is working to pass legislation that would add additional oversight and regulations to owning exotic animals.
Dixon says the legislation died the last two years but he’s looking to strengthen the bill and pass it through the General Assembly.