Abandoned Wild Big Cats Rescued from Home in Kansas

Animal rescue groups help authorities confiscate an abandoned tiger, cougars, and other wild cats

Recently in Atchison, Kansas a wild animal problem was brought to the attention of the authorities. Nearly one dozen dangerous wild animals had been abandoned in their enclosures without access to food or clean water. The animal’s owner has been charged for 10 violations, including cruelty to animals and violations of the Dangerous Regulated Animals Act.

wild big cats

Once the abandoned animals were discovered, the sheriff’s office worked with the Kansas City Zoo and The HSUS to provide food for the animals on an emergency basis. Zoo Veterinarians and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association personnel were also on hand during the animal seizure.

The Atchison County Sheriff’s Office seized all of the animals. The animals, included a tiger, two cougars, three bobcats, two lynx, a serval, and two skunks. They were all living in enclosures that were inadequate in size and security. Sadly,the enclosures were also full of mud and feces and there was no appropriate enrichment for the animals.

Although Kansas law currently prohibits the keeping of dangerous regulated animals, including big cats, as pets, there are several provisions that render the law virtually ineffective. Specifically, the law allows people who have a U.S. Department of Agriculture license to maintain an inventory of dangerous animals.

According to Atchison County Undersheriff Joe Butner, “This case exemplifies the inherent problems with the existing law and the need for it to be strengthened. Most private individuals cannot provide humane and safe care for captive wild animals, which leaves law enforcement, taxpayers, and sanctuaries to shoulder the financial burden. We are thankful for the assistance and expertise of the organizations that helped rescue these animals.” 

The Humane Society of the United States, Big Cat Rescue, In-Sync Exotics, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Zoo were all involved in placing the animals from the property and transported them to sanctuaries around the country.

The tiger was transported to The Fund for Animals’ Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, an affiliate of The HSUS; the two cougars were taken to In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie, Texas; the bobcats, lynx and serval will be provided homes at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla.; and the skunks will go to Operation Wildlife in Linwood, Kan.

All the animals will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and will receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. They will be held at the sanctuaries pending final disposition in this case.

VIDEO Big Cats and Other Exotic Animals Rescued in Kansas

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