Most of these “loose cats” included in the source material were sighted only a single time in rural areas in those same Midwestern states, and no potential owner for an escaped big cat was ever identified in the area. Many animals can and do bite humans including Animal welfare coalition applauds reintroduction of “Big Cat Public Safety Act” to prohibit private ownership of dangerous big cats [Press release]. Hours, Tickets + Directions; Big Cat Attacks 2000-2005. Where the risk is: Tiger licking his trainer. TLDR: Captive exotic cat attacks are rare, and attacks from small to medium-sized cats are extremely rare. Results will be summarized by each category, by year, by the type of facility, and by outcome. In my research, escaped animals tend to be more deadly if the victim is in the direct vicinity of its enclosure. Groups like the Humane Society often paint the impression that tigers and lions are causally purchased by 'regular' people as one might a dog or cat. Closed Compound: A situations in which an entity maintains a professional or semi-professional location for housing animals that is not open to the public. Species Involved in Big Cat Safety Incidents by Year. It had bitten her and was eating her while she was still alive. She was alone at the facility at the time. But because there are far more bully breed owners than exotic mammal owners, few have bothered to examine the claims being made about them. An unfortunate risk of allowing the public to come into contact with adult big cats are spontaneous attacks by animals that are not 100% predictable, as all animals are. We will never know how or why she forgot to close the guillotine door to the lock-out before entering the main enclosure. The press had a terrible time getting the story correct because of the grandstanding erroneous comments made by the Fresno Coroner. Hi Melissa~ I work with Dale at Project Survival and am sending you the links to the correct reports. This is one example of the inherent risks that is involved when working with big cats. Children under the age of 13 were most likely to be injured (71.9%). Around 885,000, require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries (and I would guess a near-equivalent amount of dogs per human victim), which is my criteria for the exotic cat listings. Redirected Aggression: Lashes out at owner after sensing something it can't access.May seem like it occurs for no reason because the source of agitation isn't present. April 29, 1997, Oklahoma City, OK: A leopard escaped from his cage killed a woman Eunice Esquivel at an exotic animal “sanctuary.” Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the leopard seven hours later when he was found along a road nearly a half-mile from Oak Hill Center for Rare and Endangered Species. The percentages on my pie chart didn't change as I only have 8 incidences now with gate errors so everything is good now. There are numerous big cat trainers but there are no more than 24 fatalities and 300 severe injuries caused by captive big cats in a 25 year time frame, which means this fatality was a freak tragedy with an even more dangerous individual animal. What happens when big cats attack? Pfaff opened the cage door to the jaguar enclosure and violated two zoo protocol rules in doing so. Logic let's me guess that the animal was a serval, not a leopard. In order to verify the claim that 'captive exotic cats are dangerous to the public' and people's fears that privately owned big cats may escape and cause fatalities such as domesticated dogs do annually, we need to assess how many of these incidences actually involved someone that did not make the decision to visit the animal, either caged or directly contacted. Twenty-five animals identified in incidents in the data set as pets were judged more likely to have been wildlife, and set of corrected of graphs incorporating the elimination of those “escapes” were created and are shown below. “The other girl who was there grabbed a shovel and joined in and beat the tigers to get them away from her and that’s when they removed the deceased’s left arm.” Bracket was brought to Tulsa for treatment, but she died. Did he run in to her? It's hard to say because it depends on what you call a pet. The friend was severely injured when he tried to stop the attack. 29. How well a big cat works with humans is often dependent on the individual personalities of the animals. Anyone who does not knowingly visit places where exotic cats are being held has an almost non-existent, but not impossible, chance of being mauled by one. Animals are not 100% predictable and small children are at a high risk of being seen as prey by tigers that only see adult humans as authority figures. Big Cat Safety Incidents by Type and Outcome - All Situations*, *Unlabeled dark brown slice represents Escape with Death, 0.3%, *Unlabeled dark blue slice represents Public Endangerment, 0.3%. While a number of organizations track incidents that are relevant to their own interests, no comprehensive and publicly available data set of incidents involving big cat is known to exist in the United States. Teenagers were injured at a rate of just over 3% at each of zoological facilities, entertainment / outreach settings, and sanctuaries (3.3%), Figure 21. Most of these were thought to be cougars, or were recorded in the source incident lists as “unidentified large felids.” Studies have shown that cougars, whose current range is generally reported as only being west of the Rocky Mountains, have been recolonizing the Midwest since the 1990s (Larue et al., 2012). The remaining tigers and many other big cats are primarily at unaccredited breeding facilities, poorly run roadside zoos, traveling zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, and private menageries where the greatest risk of fatal attacks or injuries are likely to occur. All zoos that are accredited by the AZA are also USDA licensed. More than two-thirds of incidents occurring in private non-professional settings (72.3%), caused no injuries to humans [Figure 16], regardless of whether they were the result of attacks or escapes. Cheetahs and other exotic cats not considered 'big cats' are substantially less dangerous. Deaths of animal owners and zookeepers comprised fully two thirds (66.7%), or 10, of those 15 deaths. Leopards were involved in almost as many incidents as cougars and lions, comprising 9.7% of the total incidents. Big cat attacks happen throughout the world. We don't know. The data set for this study was derived from records maintained publicly by four major organizations that track big cat safety issues: Born Free (Exotic Incidents Database; 2018), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Big-Cat Incidents in the United States, n.d.), The Humane Society of the United States (Big Cat Incidents, n.d.), and Big Cat Rescue (Baskin, 2018a; 2018b; 2018c; 2018d). It is perfectly feasible for zoos and private owners to never contact the cats or use extreme caution. Another incident of a private owner entering the enclosure, the animal was probably agitated as the owner was trying to get it to move. Cats attack instinctively to a smaller person running away from them - just look at domesticated kittens in the household. Michigan Radio Newsroom. Fact Or Fiction: Examining Current Knowledge About The Captive Big Cat Crisis, Media Claims About The Tiger Population In The United States Are Frequently Exaggerated. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://www.centralmaine.com/2012/05/01/ohio-wild-animal-stampede-ignites-vast-law-review/, Mountain Lion. I also wanted to add~ When we feed the cats, we do not have direct contact but feed them in a "lock-out" system, never coming into contact with the cats. Mean and Median of Fatalities per year: 1. The number of incidents in zoological facilities decreased rapidly in the last few years off the period evaluated, dropping from 13 incidents in 2014 to five in 2015, and continuing to drop each year thereafter. Facts about Big Cats 4: the roaring of big cats. Of the two that attacked their owners, what species were they? Via Flickr Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0). Given that there is no single source tracking the occurrence of incidents external to federal and state licensure, it is highly unlikely that there are more accurate data sets in existence than those maintained by the animal rights organizations that have been working for over a decade to end the private ownership of dangerous exotic animals. Facts about Big Cats 3: the ranges of big cats. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2011-2017/, Baskin, C. (2018c, November 30). The victim had expressed concerns about her safety prior to the day of the incident. Unsurprisingly, big cats are the most dangerous when being directly contacted instead of being confined to a cage. The big cats are horribly easy to kill with poisoned meat, allowing poachers to hack off their faces and paws – but rangers are now on their trail This list can be bigger as I couldn't verify if someone was doing something unauthorized in other incidences (and people would be inclined to lie about such actions). Cat, Big. While the media frequently references populations of 10,000 tigers in the Unites States, these population claims have been inflated by a lack of accurate sources. Tigers were the most common species involved in big cat safety incidents each year [Figure 10], followed by cougars and then lions in a pattern that reflects the frequency with which those species were involved in the total number of incidents. Of this number, 89 occurred in zoos, and 50 of these zoos were or are AZA accredited. While it’s true there’s little to go on in this case other than the testimony of two witnesses, there have been other anomalous big cat sightings in Cornwall as recently as October 2018. The resulting data set contained 359 distinct incidents that occurred over 18 years. Even though there are millions of dogs compared to the thousands of big cats in the U.S., take into consideration that around 80% of owned dogs weigh under 40 pounds, while 100% of big cats weigh 70+ pounds (starting with cheetahs, even though they aren't technically big cats). Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-attacks-2000-2005/, Big Cat Incidents (Publication). Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d6), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 13, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 10; Special Attacks rake (1d4); Special Qualities low-light vision, scent. Attack: An incident in which a big cat made physical contact with a human in a manner inappropriate for the situation in which it occurred, Barrier Crossing: An incident in which someone specifically crossed, leaned over, or reached through a barrier that they were specifically prohibited from moving beyond, Escape: An incident in which an animal was outside it’s normal containment for a given situation, Dumped: An incident in which an animal was purposefully released in a public space, Public Endangerment: An incident in which someone removed a big cat from its proper containment, but remained in control of the cat. I believe that the truth supports my arguments, and that's why I harbor my brand of opinions. There is no entity in the United States tracking safety incidents involving captive wildlife, which makes identifying all possible candidates for a big cat safety incident list difficult. 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2020 big cat attacks statistics