Big cats are in crisis

IFAW is calling on you to help pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Passing this bill will finally mean that captive big cats do not threaten public safety, diminish global conservation efforts, or end up living in deplorable conditions.

State Laws: Ban   Permit   No Restriction
Click on any state to find out whether it regulates keeping big cats as "pets". Private possession of big cats is a legal patchwork: 30 states ban private possession, 14 states allow possession with a permit, and 6 states have absolutely no restrictions on private possession at all. All states but for Kentucky, Ohio, and Washington exempt USDA licensees.
Each red dot represents a dangerous incident that involved human injury, human death, and/or a big cat escape in the U.S.
Please note that only incidents reported by the media are listed, so there are likely many unreported incidents.
Click on the red dots to find out more.
Many big cat breeders and exhibitors charge the public to pet and take photos with young big cat cubs, especially tigers. Below is a partial illustration of some of the facilities with websites that advertise cub handling and photo ops (click on the arrows and the websites will pop up). It's never a good idea to pay to pet a big cat cub or take your photo with one. Don't be fooled—you will not be contributing to conservation or rescue.
State-by-state breakdown of dangerous and lethal incidents involving captive big cats in the U.S.
(deaths in the U.S. 1978 – Present; incidents in the U.S. 1997-Present)
Results: 279 incidents
State Category Title Year Link PDF Download
Alabama Escape Animal park closes amid complaints, problems 10/22/2009 PDF
Alabama Human Injury Worker hurt in lion attack at Birmingham Zoo 02/16/2006 PDF
Alabama Human Injury Lawsuit filed against McClelland's Critters 03/26/2009 PDF
Alabama Human Death Pet Lion Kills Owner 10/25/1978 PDF
Arizona Human Injury Tiger Attacks Woman at Nearby Animal Sanctuary 05/04/2008 PDF
Arizona Human Injury Never Trust A Tiger 10/20/2003 PDF
Arkansas Escape Arkansas town on edge after four lions killed in woods 09/20/2002 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars maul handlers at park 01/24/2002 PDF
Arkansas Escape Tiger cubs heading to new home 05/02/2005 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars rescued in Marion County Owner injured just before Turpentine Creek Refuge workers arrive 07/07/2007 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars maul handlers at park 01/24/2002 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Woman is injured by tiger in Gentry 11/11/2004
Arkansas Human Injury Tiger bites firefighter at Crossett Zoo 06/23/2003
Arkansas Escape One of three pet tigers dies after capture 04/09/2001
Arkansas Escape Tiger on the loose 03/16/2001
Arkansas Human Injury Tiger mauls sanctuary volunteer 04/15/1998 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Boy, 3, Mauled By Jaguars After Zoo Fall 10/11/2014 PDF
California Escape Couple admit owning escaped tiger 01/09/2007 PDF
California Escape Big cat goes on walk-about in zoo: Tiger's outing on grounds of Hesperia Zoo prompts excitement, crowd 10/06/2006 PDF
California Escape Couple Arrested in Tiger's Escape 03/17/2005 PDF
California Escape Lion or Tiger, Not Bear, Oh My! Search continues for a 400- to 600-pound cat in the hills of Simi and Moorpark. Residents are urged to be cautious. 02/20/2005 PDF
California Tigers Get Tender Care From Big Cat Lovers 12/11/2003 PDF
California Many Dead Tigers are Found at Big Cat 'Retirement Home' 04/24/2003 PDF
California Human Injury The State Exhibitors Rethink Wildlife Shows 01/06/2003 PDF
California Human Injury Trainer Bitten by Panther on Movie Set at Malibu Park Accident 10/16/1997 PDF
California Human Injury Zookeeper Recovering After Attack by Tiger 03/25/2003 PDF
California Human Injury Woman bitten by zoo's cheetah 11/14/2003 PDF
California Human Injury Cuthbert recalls cougar bite 04/15/2004 PDF
California Human Injury Tiger Mauls Zoo Trainer as Visitors Watch 12/23/2006 PDF
California Human Death Oakland Zoo's tiger exhibit mobbed after fatal SF tiger attack 12/26/2007 PDF
California Escape SF zoo details 2 new animal incidents 01/11/2008 PDF
California Human Injury Sanctuary tiger mauls caretaker 12/04/2007 PDF
California Human Death Lion kills worker at Calif. Sanctuary 03/06/2013 PDF
California Human Injury Tiger Mauls Woman at Animal Theme Park 08/01/1998 PDF
California Human Injury Jaguar bites second trainer as film chase turns real 10/24/1997 PDF
Colorado Escape African Lion on the Loose in Colorado 07/14/2008 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Man Mauled by Tigers 06/30/2003 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Leopard Attacks Colo. Boy at Zoo 04/16/1999 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Hero of tiger attack dies 06/01/2000 PDF
Colorado Human Death Jaguar That Killed Denver Zookeeper Had Mean Twin Named Osama 02/27/2007 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Man Bitten By Tiger At Serenity Springs 04/24/2009 PDF
District of Columbia Human Death Woman Found Dead in Lion's Pen Identified 03/07/1995 PDF
District of Columbia Escape What's New at the National Zoo? 12/23/2006 PDF
Florida Escape Pet cougar escapes, kills neighbor's dog 06/15/2012 PDF
Florida Escape Loose Bengal Tiger Causes Chaos at Jungle Island 08/29/2010 PDF
Florida Human Injury ‘It’s biting me!’ Teen recounts terrifying cougar attack 11/24/2008 PDF
Florida Escape State investigates case of the missing lynx in Palm City 10/07/2008 PDF
Florida Escape Tiger and lion escape from Florida animal sanctuary 08/20/2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Scrapes, bites come with the job 05/14/2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Cheetahs' owner says attack 'not a big deal' 03/31/2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger mauls sanctuary volunteer; FWC charges founder for 43rd time 02/21/2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury 4-Year-Old Girl Mauled by Cougar at Kids' Birthday Party 12/08/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Gulf Breeze Zoo Gone Wild With Attack, Escapes 11/22/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger swats its owner inside cage 09/13/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Drunken driver bitten by tiger 03/20/2006 PDF
Florida Part III: Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar 09/23/2002 PDF
Florida Human Injury Chipperfield 'critical' after mauling by tiger 01/08/1998 PDF
Florida Escape Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar 09/23/2002 PDF
Florida Human Death Tiger Kills Zoo Worker 06/07/1994 PDF
Florida Human Injury Loose Tiger Surprises Worker, Mauls His Leg During Feeding Time 03/20/1997 PDF
Florida Human Death Part II: Tiger Kills owner six weeks after killing trainer 10/08/1998 PDF
Florida Human Death 550-pound Tiger Kills Trainer 08/01/2001 PDF
Florida Human Injury Finger In Cage Incited Lion to Bite 05/14/2002 PDF
Florida Human Injury Zookeeper not angry at lion that attacked him 11/12/2002 PDF
Florida Escape Bengal tiger escaped while cage was cleaned 02/06/2003 PDF
Florida Escape Attacks, other incidents involving captive animals 07/14/2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger Attacks 14-Year Old Boy, Handler At Fair 11/21/2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Woman is nipped on hand by tiger 02/24/2005 PDF
Florida Escape Bengal Tiger Escapes From Cage 02/27/2005 PDF
Florida Escape Loose tiger killed at zoo 08/23/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Zoo trainer recovering after tiger bite 02/11/2008 PDF
Florida Escape Pregnant Cougar on the Loose in Osceola County 05/04/2009 PDF
Florida Human Injury Jaguar tears off thumb of visitor to Panther Ridge Conservation Center 03/05/2010 PDF
Florida Human Death Tiger Kills owner six weeks after killing trainer 11/15/1998 PDF
Florida Human Injury Part II: Gulf Breeze Zoo Gone Wild With Attack, Escapes 11/22/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury PETA seeks inquiry into cougar's strangulation 01/27/2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Local pet tiger fractures woman's head 02/03/2002
Florida Human Injury Tiger owner often investigated 11/24/2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Hurt teen will work with animals, mom says 08/25/1998 PDF
Florida Escape Lion on the loose at sanctuary in Fla. found 01/03/2014 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger bites construction worker at FL sanctuary 10/06/2014 PDF
Georgia Escape Cheetah gets loose on Delta flight 10/31/2008 PDF
Georgia Human Injury Pet Siberian lynx attacks woman in Atlanta 12/02/2014 PDF
Hawaii Escape Tiger Escapes Honolulu Zoo Enclosure 02/22/2008 PDF
Idaho Human Injury Private zoo operator loses ID Supreme Court fight 12/28/2009 PDF
Idaho Human Injury Animal park faces fines 05/28/2003
Idaho Human Injury Tiger attacks patron at zoo fundraiser 08/12/2000 PDF
Illinois Secret Slaughter of Exotic Animals Revealed 12/08/2002 PDF
Illinois Escape Police shoot, kill escaped tiger Animal fled from owners at B-N truck shop 09/29/2002 PDF
Illinois Human Death Illinois animal keeper killed in tiger attack 04/02/2003 PDF
Illinois Human Death Lion Attacks, Kills Hardin County Man 02/14/2004 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Lincoln Park keeper safe after attack in lion pit 09/10/2004 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Man sues animal facility, says tiger attacked him 06/15/2007 PDF
Illinois Human Injury From his hospital bed, man dismisses tiger attack as 'not a big deal' 08/08/2008 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Owner found guilty after tiger bites child 09/28/2002
Illinois Human Injury Man bitten by leopard at Miller Park Zoo; B-N resident allegedy leapt fence to pet cat 06/07/2000 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Circus trainer clawed by tiger in serious condition 11/23/1998 PDF
Illinois A man brings a tiger into a bar 02/26/2014 PDF
Indiana Escape Tiger escape proves to be wild ride 12/11/2008 PDF
Indiana Escape Cougar Remains Loose After Escaping Rescue Center 01/08/2007 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Young tiger claws trainer during circus 11/26/2008 PDF
Indiana Escape Mountain lion escapes from car, gets shot 02/02/2004 PDF
Indiana Escape Police Suspect Large Cat Attacked Parked Car 05/08/2003 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Zookeeper mauled by lion at Mesker Zoo 10/20/1999 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Potawatomi Zoo worker recovering after leopard attack 05/26/2008 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Zoo worker mauled by Sumatran tiger 02/28/1999
Indiana Escape DNR seizes tigers, lions from facility 05/30/2012 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Employee attacked by tiger at Exotic Feline Rescue Center 06/22/2013 PDF
Indiana Escape Leopard shot, killed in Clark County 06/21/2013 PDF
Iowa Human Injury Tom Sellner, Owner Of Cricket Hollow Zoo, Attacked By Tiger During Feeding 07/17/2011 PDF
Iowa Escape Escaped tiger killed by deputy 11/15/2007 PDF
Kansas Escape Mt. lion killed after escape at Great Bend Zoo 05/25/2009 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Lion Mauls Man At Kansas Refuge 02/25/2009 PDF
Kansas Human Death Tiger kills Kansas teen posing for photo 08/19/2005 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Tiger bites woman who sticks arm in cage 08/22/2001 PDF
Kansas Escape Tiger escape sparks questions over animal permits 05/09/2001 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Tiger attacks child 01/10/1999 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Kansas Woman Mauled 06/26/1999 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Sedgwick County Zoo leopard attacks boy through cage 05/06/2011 PDF
Kansas Human Injury High school student gets nibbled when she puts her hand in cougar's cage 02/25/2000
Kansas Escape Escaped Lions Returned to Cages 11/19/1999 PDF
Kansas Escape Big Cat Seizure 01/09/2004 PDF
Kansas Escape Woman comes face-to-face with escaped tiger in circus bathroom 04/22/2013 PDF
Kentucky Escape Wildlife Officials Looking For Escaped Snow Leopard 07/29/2004 PDF
Louisiana Escape Bengal tiger on the loose eludes police 09/01/2004 PDF
Louisiana Human Injury Louisiana woman is fair after pet leopard bites her 02/11/2004 PDF
Maine Human Injury Leopard injures employee at zoo 09/10/2004 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Zoo owner shares more details on jaguar attack 02/05/2009 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Zoo's Jaguar Mauls Worker Cleaning Den 01/20/2009 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Man injured after sticking hand in jaguar's cage 10/30/2004 PDF
Massachusetts Human Injury Probe May Delay Opening of Animal Farm 05/18/2000 PDF
Michigan Human Death Woman Mauled to Death by Lion 10/31/1995 PDF
Michigan Human Injury Detroit Zoo worker survives lion attack 05/26/2008 PDF
Michigan Human Injury Woman loses part of finger during lion attack 07/29/2014 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Part I: Boy Attacked by Tiger, Lion in Minn. 06/23/2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Pet tiger cub taken from Albert Lea home 02/11/2003 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Midwest: Minnesota: Tiger That Bit Girl is Killed 08/28/2001 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Tiger-keeper faces possible fine, jail time 02/20/2004 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury A jungle of confusion: tigers in Minnesota 05/25/2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Death Tiger trainer was fearless, but one cat was a killer Pine County mauling death is Minnesota's first fatality in a string of animal attacks 04/08/2006 PDF
Minnesota Escape Police respond to loose lions in Beltrami County 04/15/2010 PDF
Minnesota Man without tiger's paperwork arrested 06/25/2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury 7-Year-Old Girl Attacked by Tiger 02/11/2009 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Duluth zoo aid is OK after first aid; The zookeeper was released from a hospital a day after being bitten by an anesthetized Siberian tiger just out of paw surgery 10/08/2005 PDF
Minnesota Escape Part II: Boy Attacked by Tiger, Lion in Minn. 06/23/2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Minoters witness cougar attack 05/19/2010 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Man scratched by cougar at Como Zoo, police say 10/07/2014 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Part II: Missouri sees second tiger attack in 2 days 08/04/2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Deputy kills jaguar ... or was it leopard? 05/20/2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Cheetah Escape Baffles Mo. Zoo Officials 11/21/2007 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Part I: Missouri sees second tiger attack in 2 days 08/04/2008 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Sheriffs: 2 tiger attacks show tougher laws needed 08/06/2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Cheetah Cub Briefly Escapes Zoo Exhibit 11/20/2007 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Safety of Branson West attraction question after leopard bite 12/02/2004
Missouri Escape Fence going up after cheetah briefly escaped yard at zoo 08/14/2003
Missouri Escape Lion on the loose in Morgan - Big cat escapes from troubled wildlife facility near lake; school alerts parents on bus route, cops search woods 03/26/2001
Missouri Human Injury Pet lion attacks 5-year-old boy 12/04/1999
Missouri Human Injury Omaha Wowed 05/21/2001
Missouri Robber leaves 'pet' 12/21/2000 PDF
Nebraska Human Injury Tiger bites Omaha zoo veterinarian 02/11/2009 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Trainer bitten in MGM Grand lion habitat 09/02/2010 PDF
Nevada Escape Tiger Does a Disappearing Act From Las Vegas Magic Show... and Prowl's the City's Streets 08/01/2009 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Lion handler gets bitten at MGM 12/12/2008
Nevada Escape Man to surrender exotic animal license after panther attack 10/23/2008 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Roy of Siegfried and Roy critical after mauling 10/04/2003 PDF
Nevada Human Death Tiger Kills Animal Trainer 03/26/2001 PDF
Nevada Escape Part II: Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar 09/23/2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Tigers Spotted on Vegas Rooftop 10/28/2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Leopard attacks, injures zoo worker 03/11/2004 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Group rescues pet tigers, says private ownership should end 03/02/2005 PDF
Nevada Escape Panther Attack Worries Northwest Residents 03/24/2008 PDF
Nevada Escape 2 leopards seized from home's roof 08/20/2008 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Nye sued over tiger bite 02/08/2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Cougar jumps on bus 01/26/2001
New Jersey Human Injury Tiger Lady's Husband Gets Mauled 10/12/2002 PDF
New Jersey Escape N.J. Woman Defends Her Tiger Preserve 02/01/1999 PDF
New Jersey New Jersey: Toms river: Tiger Owner Ordered To Pay Fees 03/22/2004 PDF
New Jersey Escape Essex County Turtle Back Zoo orders lockdown after leopard eludes keepers 09/05/2010 PDF
New Jersey Escape Tiger on the Prowl Escaped from Farm 06/29/1999
New Mexico Human Injury Man Loses Finger, Zoo Visiting Rights 05/18/2004 PDF
New Mexico Human Injury White tiger cub removed from fair for biting 09/14/2000
New York Human Injury Tiger Attacks Little Boy on Opening Day of County Fair 07/20/2006 PDF
New York Escape Escaped tiger causes brief scare in NYC 08/01/2004 PDF
New York Human Injury Tiger, gator removed from Harlem apartment 10/05/2003 PDF
New York At Long Island Home, Police Find Abuse Claim, and 2 Leopards 05/31/2005 PDF
New York Escape Tiger caught after brief escape 11/17/2005 PDF
New York Human Injury Grandma's caged cougar mauls girl, 4, in Massena 03/17/2004 PDF
New York Human Injury Zookeeper bitten and clawed by leopard 10/31/1999
New York Human Injury Man mauled after jumping into tiger den at Bronx Zoo 09/21/2012 PDF
North Carolina Human Death N.C. boy, 10, fatally mauled by aunt's tiger 12/16/2003 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Surry County teenager seriously injured in tiger attack 01/25/2004 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Investigation Continues, New River Zoo Is Still Closed 11/02/2006 PDF
North Carolina Escape Tiger cub gets out of cage during training exercise 04/24/2010 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Cougar Attack; Just a Big Mac to him 11/20/1998
North Carolina Human Injury Zoo owner pries worker's head from lion's jaw 04/08/1998 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Playful leopard nearly kills trainer as 100 watch 02/11/1998
North Dakota Human Injury Boy, 5, Clawed by a Tiger at North Dakota State Fair 07/31/1998 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet cougar bites caseworker, perplexing police 06/27/2012 PDF
Ohio Escape Terry Thompson, Muskingum County Animal Farm Owner, Allegedly Killed Self After Freeing Exotic Animals 10/19/2011 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Suit Filed Over Cougar Attack 09/07/2011 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Ashville Game Farm owner indicted, arrested 12/17/2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Escaped Cougar 'Tasha' Found In Knox County 08/06/2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Lion gets Humane Society's attention in Pike County 11/25/2007 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Vet Attacked at L&L Exotic Animal Farm 10/16/2006 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Volunteer cage keeper attacked by tiger 06/19/2001 PDF
Ohio Human Death Ohio 'Liger' Mauls Keeper 10/22/1992 PDF
Ohio Escape Pet mountain lion mauls dog 08/21/2003 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet lion given away after woman attacked 06/01/2004 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Tiger attacks zoo keeper at Toledo Zoo 05/11/2008 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet Mountain Lion Bites Girl 05/27/2009 PDF
Ohio Escape Metroparks Zoo: Leopard briefly escapes from exhibit 10/09/2009 PDF
Ohio Escape Mountain Lion Sightings Reported in Ohio 05/28/2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Alleged lioness remains elusive 04/29/2001
Ohio Human Injury Big cats attack boy, Kenyon student 10/26/2000
Ohio Escape Uncaged lion found lounging in front yard 09/03/2013
Oklahoma Human Death Animal sanctuary worker dies after attack by ‘liger’ 10/31/2008 PDF
Oklahoma Human Death Woman dies after attack by tiger 04/03/2003 PDF
Oklahoma Human Death Leopard Kills a Woman At an Animal Sanctuary 04/29/1997 PDF
Oklahoma Alleged abuse at GW Exotic Animal Park seen on tape 05/16/2012 PDF
Oklahoma Human Injury Park director injured by texas mountain lion 04/01/2002
Oklahoma Human Injury Oklahoma zoo tiger mauls employee's arm 10/05/2013
Oregon Human Injury Couple wants Columbia County to impose ban on exotic animal 12/14/1999
Oregon Human Death Worker killed at Portland-area wildcat sanctuary 11/10/2013
Pennsylvania Human Injury Lake Tobias employee 'doing well' after suffering injuries from tiger attack 08/12/2011 PDF
Pennsylvania Human Death Circus Tiger Kills Its Trainer During Fundraising Event 05/09/1997 PDF
Pennsylvania Escape Oh, the cat came back 05/04/2007 PDF
South Carolina Human Injury Boy suffers leg bite from father's tiger 04/28/2002 PDF
South Carolina Escape Woman fined for failing to confine lions 07/26/2002
South Dakota Human Injury Alleged Zoo Tiger Attack 01/26/2005 PDF
South Dakota Human Injury Wild Animals Kept As Pets Can Pose Danger 09/22/2000 PDF
Tennessee Human Injury Memphis zookeeper OK after tiger bites him in leg 05/24/2009 PDF
Tennessee Human Injury Knox County Boy, 4, Clawed by Caged Exotic Lion-Tiger 05/05/1997
Texas Human Injury Child Mauled by Mountain Lion in West Odessa 10/17/2011 PDF
Texas Escape Anxious hours end in cougar's capture 11/19/2010 PDF
Texas Escape Pet tiger escapes, prowls Ingram area before capture 01/18/2009 PDF
Texas Human Injury Texas Man Recovers From Tiger Attack 06/21/2006 PDF
Texas Human Injury Texas circus worker bitten by Bengal tiger 12/05/2004 PDF
Texas Human Injury Sheriff deputies shoot escaped lion 04/07/2003 PDF
Texas Human Injury Wild Kingdom 12/08/2003 PDF
Texas Human Death Girl Killed by pet tiger 06/08/1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Surgeons Save Little Jayton Tidwell's Arm After His Uncle's Pet Tiger Bites It Off 04/03/2000 PDF
Texas Human Death Catch Those Tigers 02/28/2002 PDF
Texas Human Injury Tiger Mauls San Antonio Zookeeper 07/15/2007 PDF
Texas Human Injury Volunteer bitten by mountain lion at Bastrop County Zoo 01/23/2008 PDF
Texas Escape Cheetah escapes at San Antonio Zoo 02/25/2006
Texas Human Injury Woman mauled in leopard attack at Wildlife Extravaganza 02/12/2005
Texas Escape Tiger escapes owners back yard, caught 06/07/2000 PDF
Texas Human Injury Victim of tiger attack making good recovery 03/31/1999
Texas Human Injury Owner attacked by pet lion 11/20/1998
Texas Escape Second of 2 Escaped Tigers Shot To Death 11/10/1998 PDF
Texas Human Injury Lucky stripes; Cougar trouble leads woman to tiger in need of home 01/21/1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Relatives sue animal refuge after tiger attacks 4-year-old 05/07/1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Family plans to keep tigers in wake of attack 05/08/1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Man injured by tiger at animal orphanage 04/28/1997 PDF
Texas Escape Tiger takes morning stroll after escaping 03/20/1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Darling-but dangerous 06/22/1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Big cats and other wild reasons to dream 01/19/2003
Texas Meow Mix: Texans Are Wild About Exotic Cats, but at What Cost? 08/04/2000 PDF
Texas Humane Society trying to find homes for 2 cougars 02/09/2000 PDF
Texas Human Injury Part II: Darling-but dangerous 06/22/1997 PDF
Texas Escape Full-grown lion escapes and takes shelter in a church 09/16/2008 PDF
Texas Human Injury Keeper Injured During Lion Transfer At Dallas Zoo 08/23/2014 PDF
Virginia Human Injury Tiger Bites Zoo Employee 11/17/2008 PDF
Virginia Escape More lion sightings in Chesterfield 11/11/2008 PDF
Virginia Human Injury A Growing Craze for Big Cats Has Led to Maulings and Deaths. Beware—It's a Jungle Out There 12/08/2003 PDF
Virginia Animal Watch; Who Let the Cat Out? 12/15/2002 PDF
Washington Escape Kennewick Thriving at Cat Sanctuary 11/17/2005 PDF
Washington Human Injury Boy bitten by tiger 10/01/2005 PDF
Washington Human Injury Suit against Cat Tales dropped 11/13/2004 PDF
Washington Escape Charlie Cougar’s Big Day Exotic Pet Escapes Cage; Roams Community For 2 Hours 03/22/1997 PDF
Washington Human Injury Pet lynx attacks woman inside Bellevue home 05/04/2012 PDF
Washington Human Injury Leopard claws zoo handler, banished from stage in favor of breeding 07/26/2002
West Virginia Escape Owner Shoots Escaped Tiger in WVa 12/01/2008 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Siberian tiger bites man in Wisconsin 10/22/2010 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Lion Cub Nips Girl in Pet Store 01/22/2005 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Big cats, heart rule on opening day of Riverfest 07/03/2003 PDF
Wisconsin Escape Vandals Release Cougars at Manitowoc's Lincoln Park Zoo 12/01/2007 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Cougar bites park maintenance worker 07/12/2000 PDF
Wyoming Escape Officials Tranquilize, Relocate Central Casper Mountain Lion 09/30/2008 PDF
Get the latest information on the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.
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Undeniably, good news has been streaming in recently regarding the use of wild animals in circus performances such as the Read more »
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When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing African lions as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Read more »
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5th August 2014 Jeffrey Flocken
Late last week we received good news from Congress: Before breaking for their August recess, the Senate passed the Read more »
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13th June 2014 Kelly Donithan
Having trouble seeing the slideshow? Visit the Flickr set page. ~~~ The afternoon sun continued to beat down mercilessly, Read more »
It was not that long ago that Sheba, a beautiful tigress, was being kept in a sm
23rd May 2014 Kelly Donithan
It was not that long ago that Sheba, a beautiful tigress, was being kept in a small concrete enclosure in the middle of an Read more »
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This past weekend, I participated as a speaker at the Second Annual National Tigers for Tigers (T4T) Summit at Read more »
Panel including Tippi Hedren, Joely Fisher addresses big cat issues at packed LA
31st March 2014 Tracy Coppola
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13th March 2014 Tracy Coppola
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West Virginia on its way toward becoming less wild, more wonderful
12th March 2014 Tracy Coppola
UPDATED 3.26.14: Great news! The bill was signed into law on March 21!   West Virginia may be on its way toward ending Read more »
Why the declawing of big cats needs to stop now
11th March 2014 Kelly Donithan
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21st February 2014 Kelly Donithan
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Big cat owner recalls initial excitement, now only love, heartbreak and regret
14th February 2014 Kelly Donithan
He remembers that joyous day as if it were yesterday. The engine was already sputtering as he and his son-in-law loaded a Read more »
Petition asks USDA, how many more animals need suffer?
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(Holding t-shirt) Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsor of the big cats bill
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During the past two days, I had the special privilege of meeting nearly twenty big cat advocates who traveled all the way to Read more »
Danka takes in the view in her new enclosure.
7th November 2013 Kelly Donithan
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4th November 2013 Kelly Donithan
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Participants at the 2013 Big Cat Workshop held at Carolina Tiger Rescue.
28th October 2013 Kelly Donithan
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Majority of American voters support Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act
8th October 2013 Tracy Coppola
Watch the CNN story about this incident and the larger issue of big cats in the United States, above. ~~~ This past Read more »
Stop! Die Regierung sorgt nicht dafuer! Wenn du den Andrang in die Grossstaedte
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When I speak about IFAW’s big cats campaign, I focus on three different aspects: the vision of how things should be; Read more »
Image source:
24th September 2013 Tracy Coppola
Wednesday, September 18 marked the 2013 annual International Conservation Caucus Foundation Gala in Washington, D.C. Read more »
Speak Out Against Public Handling of Big Cats
14th August 2013 Tracy Coppola
Update: The comment period has closed, and your support helped us deliver over 21,000 comments in support of this petition! Read more »
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Whether you know him as the "King of the Jungle", the co-star to the" Witch and the Wardrobe", or even Read more »
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Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (a respected Democrat of Connecticut, and former Attorney General of that state) Read more »
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This summer, a popular American pastime is occurring all over the country involving music, food, and family-related Read more »
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On July 2, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) led a successful big cats forum at the Ohio Statehouse Building Read more »
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The end of last week marked a particularly tragic and frightening time for big cats and public safety in Indiana, a state Read more »
The number of bobcats being trapped and killed has doubled since 2010.
28th May 2013 Tracy Coppola
10.15.113 UPDATE: Success! I'm extremely happy to share the news from Project Bobcat that Governor Jerry Read more »
One of our new ads, on display in transit shelters.
16th May 2013 Tracy Coppola
One of the milestones in our efforts to protect big cats in the US has arrived! Today, in the House of Representatives, U.S Read more »
Participants of the first Tigers For Tigers Summit at Clemson University.
23rd April 2013 Tracy Coppola
GO TIGERS! This past weekend, I participated in the National Tigers for Tigers (T4T) Summit at Clemson University in Read more »
Detroits' tiger cub photo represents the opposite of hope for big cats
1st April 2013 Tracy Coppola
UPDATE: Since this posting, the Detroit Tigers organization has taken these photos down from its website and Read more »
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas transferred the final two tigers fr
13th March 2013 Kelly Donithan
The four month struggle to rescue 34 large cats has finally come to an end. Last Friday, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Read more »
More lives lost as lion fatally mauls young woman at “sanctuary”
7th March 2013 Tracy Coppola
A video report on the mauling from - CBS Affilliate WFMY News Yesterday, a 26-year old female intern at Read more »
Lilly, a moderately petite orange tigress.
15th February 2013 Kelly Donithan
This past weekend, as a powerful blizzard pounded the Northeast with snow and ice, I hunkered down in my cold, powerless Read more »
Good News for Big Cats and Other Exotics in Ohio
2nd January 2013 Tracy Coppola
On Dec. 20 2012, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division upheld Ohio's new exotic Read more »
Slowly but surely, African lions roaming closer to ESA protection
26th November 2012 Jeffrey Flocken
Today, embattled African lions took one step closer to receiving much needed protections from American trophy hunters still Read more »
Continuing to be a voice of action for big cat welfare
9th November 2012 Tracy Coppola
Now that the election is behind us, I’m reminded that, no matter what party you support, we all need to take a Read more »
Taz, one of the rescued tigers before loading on the transport to Indiana.
22nd October 2012 Kelly Donithan
The sound of reassuring chuffs swirled in the evening air, mixing with buzz of mosquitos as the sun set in rural Indiana. Read more »
19th October 2012 Kelly Donithan
If you’ve been following the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s animal rescue work, you may remember a Read more »
On the anniversary of the Zanesville, Ohio wildlife tragedy, one year ago today
18th October 2012 Tracy Coppola
Today marks the one-year anniversary of one of the most horrific exotic animal tragedies of all time. On October 19, 2011, I Read more »
Take a moment to Encourage Gov. Kasich to reconsider this well-intentioned but c
12th October 2012 Kelly Donithan
Next week marks the one year anniversary of the unforgettable tragedy that took place in Zanesville, Ohio when a troubled Read more »
Swimming with tigers? Roaring success? No. A roaring shame.
11th October 2012 Tracy Coppola
It’s heartbreaking but true. A private zoo in Dade City, Fla., is now allowing the public to swim, bottle feed and Read more »
10th October 2012 Tracy Coppola
A recent episode of Fox’s hit series BONES follows a farmer’s decision to purchase a tiger, which ultimately Read more »
Zanesville Sheriff Matthew Lutz and IFAW DC office campaigner Tracy Coppola.
21st September 2012 Tracy Coppola
On September 20th, the International Fund for Animal Welfare led a successful Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to Read more »
With Sen. Kerry's leadership, another milestone is reached in the U.S. Big Cats
17th September 2012 Tracy Coppola
Exciting news! U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has introduced S. 3547, the Senate companion to H.R. 4122, the House version Read more »
c. IFAW/K. Brannon
10th September 2012 Tracy Coppola
We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the unforgettable Zanesville, Ohio tragedy when a backyard exotic animal Read more »
Ticking time-bombs: the big cats epidemic isn’t going away on its own
20th August 2012 Tracy Coppola
Now more than ever, Congress needs to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (HR 4122) to protect big cats and Read more »
The Sad Tale of Tony the “Truck Stop Tiger”
14th May 2012 Jeffrey Flocken
Here’s a report from Gina Miller, IFAW’s legal policy analyst, about a captive tiger in Louisiana: Laws that Read more »
Big cats face big threats, here’s how the U.S. can help
13th March 2012 Jeffrey Flocken
Last week, a federal judge sentenced Maria Angela Plancarte and her husband, Elias Garcia Garcia, to a year and a day in Read more »
A two-week old Siberian tiger cub at Kolmarden Zoo, in Kolmarden central Sweden.
20th December 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them.  But those who respect their natures and Read more »
28th October 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
In today’s USA Today, science reporter Dan Vergano offers a look at the current decline of big cat populations— Read more »
23rd September 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
By imposing minimum reporting requirements on the owners of all tigers – not just purebreds -- authorities create the Read more »
3rd March 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
Americans kill hundreds of African lions each year. They don’t do it for protection or for food or as a cultural Read more »


Passing the Big Cat Public Safety Act would mean a general end to private possession and breeding of live lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, or cougars, or any hybrid of these species. Current owners of any of these big cats could continue possession of their animals as long as they register them with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill would provide exemptions for the following: Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), wildlife sanctuaries (that do not breed or allow public handling of their animals), wildlife rehabilitators, some research and education institutions, and some travelling circuses.

Other Resources


A Conversation with First Responders


Confessions of a Big Cat Owner