St. Louis, MO Victim of tiger attacks pins blame on "pit bul

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Postby cheekymunkee » August 5th, 2008, 10:26 pm

Animal Sanctuary Volunteer Attacked By Tiger
Last Edited: Sunday, 03 Aug 2008, 11:06 PM CDT
Created: Sunday, 03 Aug 2008, 7:11 PM CDT
.
By; Sean Conroy

(myFOXstl) --


An 800 pound Tiger is dead, shot to death by its handler after it hops a fence and bites a volunteer worker at a Warren County wildlife sanctuary. It happened Sunday morning at the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya Sanctuary off of Route A near Truxton.



The 25-year-old man was preparing to feed the big cat and cleaning out its empty cage when the 9-12 year old Tiger hopped a fence and attacked the volunteer worker. That man was air-lifted to St. Louis and is expected to survive but with a massive wound to his leg, specifically his calf.



The initial call for help mentioned a Tiger but when deputies arrived they say witnesses including the victim and one of the founders said it was pit bull that attacked the man. When the main founder Kent Smith arrived he shot and killed the cat and he tells FOX 2 he made sure that the deputies knew the truth.



Sheriff Kevin Harrison says there were inconsistencies from the start and it was difficult finding the truth. Deputies seized the animal's body as evidence and will forward their findings on to the prosecutor to decide on charges.



The Wesa-A-Geh-Ya Sanctuary has provided a home for Tigers, Lions and Wolves for two decades. The last decade founder and operator Kent Smith tells FOX 2 have been rough, riddled with what he calls are attacks from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.



Via its website PETA officials say the conditions and cages at Smith's sanctuary are inhumane. Smith tearfully defended his work and operation saying he provides a place for Big Cats who have no where else to go and he says all he is trying to do is save these animals from being destroyed.



Wesa-A-Geh-Ya, which Smith says means "Cat Woman" in Cherokee is home to dozens of Tigers, one published report puts the number at 44.



While Sheriff Harrison says this was an accident and the first of its kind at the place he says it also illustrates the danger the sanctuary poses to the public. Harrison says the sanctuary is legal under state laws but county commissioners are looking into their own regulations which would force changes at the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya.

http://www.myfoxstl.com/myfox/pages/Hom ... geId=1.1.1

Jodi Preis
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 5th, 2008, 10:51 pm

Man's leg amputated after tiger attack

...Harrison said the facility has been mostly cooperative throughout the years, but workers tried to cover up the attack Sunday.

Initially, Wesa workers told authorities Barr was attacked by a pit bull. Harrison said the story changed, though, when Barr's father told the department a tiger attacked his son, not a dog.

Then, Wesa workers described the attack, Harrison said. The cover-up, which Smith says was done to keep her animals, is a major concern, Harrison said.

''If they're going to operate that kind of facility, they have a moral and ethical responsibility to the citizens to be honest,'' Harrison said. ''Especially when it could jeopardize other people's safety.''


Jodi Preis
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http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2008 ... 866765.txt
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Postby BigDogBuford » August 5th, 2008, 11:11 pm

Wow. Just wow.

I actually used to work with a girl that interned there one summer and she said the place was awful. Definitely not a sanctuary.
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