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 Oct 22 2009 PDF
Alabama Human Injury Worker hurt in lion attack at Birmingham Zoo Feb 16 2006 PDF
Alabama Human Injury Lawsuit filed against McClelland's Critters Mar 26 2009 PDF
Alabama Human Death Pet Lion Kills Owner Oct 25 1978 PDF
Arizona Human Injury Tiger Attacks Woman at Nearby Animal Sanctuary May 4 2008 PDF
Arizona Human Injury Never Trust A Tiger Oct 20 2003 PDF
Arkansas Escape Arkansas town on edge after four lions killed in woods Sep 20 2002 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars maul handlers at park Jan 24 2002 PDF
Arkansas Escape Tiger cubs heading to new home May 2 2005 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars rescued in Marion County Owner injured just before Turpentine Creek Refuge workers arrive Jul 7 2007 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Cougars maul handlers at park Jan 24 2002 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Woman is injured by tiger in Gentry Nov 11 2004
Arkansas Human Injury Tiger bites firefighter at Crossett Zoo Jun 23 2003
Arkansas Escape One of three pet tigers dies after capture Apr 9 2001
Arkansas Escape Tiger on the loose Mar 16 2001
Arkansas Human Injury Tiger mauls sanctuary volunteer Apr 15 1998 PDF
Arkansas Human Injury Boy, 3, Mauled By Jaguars After Zoo Fall Oct 11 2014 PDF
California Escape Couple admit owning escaped tiger Jan 9 2007 PDF
California Escape Big cat goes on walk-about in zoo: Tiger's outing on grounds of Hesperia Zoo prompts excitement, crowd Oct 6 2006 PDF
California Escape Couple Arrested in Tiger's Escape Mar 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. Feb 20 2005 PDF
California Tigers Get Tender Care From Big Cat Lovers Dec 11 2003 PDF
California Many Dead Tigers are Found at Big Cat 'Retirement Home' Apr 24 2003 PDF
California Human Injury The State Exhibitors Rethink Wildlife Shows Jan 6 2003 PDF
California Human Injury Trainer Bitten by Panther on Movie Set at Malibu Park Accident Oct 16 1997 PDF
California Human Injury Zookeeper Recovering After Attack by Tiger Mar 25 2003 PDF
California Human Injury Woman bitten by zoo's cheetah Nov 14 2003 PDF
California Human Injury Cuthbert recalls cougar bite Apr 15 2004 PDF
California Human Injury Tiger Mauls Zoo Trainer as Visitors Watch Dec 23 2006 PDF
California Human Death Oakland Zoo's tiger exhibit mobbed after fatal SF tiger attack Dec 26 2007 PDF
California Escape SF zoo details 2 new animal incidents Jan 11 2008 PDF
California Human Injury Sanctuary tiger mauls caretaker Dec 4 2007 PDF
California Human Death Lion kills worker at Calif. Sanctuary Mar 6 2013 PDF
California Human Injury Tiger Mauls Woman at Animal Theme Park Aug 1 1998 PDF
California Human Injury Jaguar bites second trainer as film chase turns real Oct 24 1997 PDF
Colorado Escape African Lion on the Loose in Colorado Jul 14 2008 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Man Mauled by Tigers Jun 30 2003 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Leopard Attacks Colo. Boy at Zoo Apr 16 1999 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Hero of tiger attack dies Jun 1 2000 PDF
Colorado Human Death Jaguar That Killed Denver Zookeeper Had Mean Twin Named Osama Feb 27 2007 PDF
Colorado Human Injury Man Bitten By Tiger At Serenity Springs Apr 24 2009 PDF
District of Columbia Human Death Woman Found Dead in Lion's Pen Identified Mar 7 1995 PDF
District of Columbia Escape What's New at the National Zoo? Dec 23 2006 PDF
Florida Escape Pet cougar escapes, kills neighbor's dog Jun 15 2012 PDF
Florida Escape Loose Bengal Tiger Causes Chaos at Jungle Island Aug 29 2010 PDF
Florida Human Injury ‘It’s biting me!’ Teen recounts terrifying cougar attack Nov 24 2008 PDF
Florida Escape State investigates case of the missing lynx in Palm City Oct 7 2008 PDF
Florida Escape Tiger and lion escape from Florida animal sanctuary Aug 20 2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Scrapes, bites come with the job May 14 2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Cheetahs' owner says attack 'not a big deal' Mar 31 2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger mauls sanctuary volunteer; FWC charges founder for 43rd time Feb 21 2008 PDF
Florida Human Injury 4-Year-Old Girl Mauled by Cougar at Kids' Birthday Party Dec 8 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Gulf Breeze Zoo Gone Wild With Attack, Escapes Nov 22 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger swats its owner inside cage Sep 13 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Drunken driver bitten by tiger Mar 20 2006 PDF
Florida Part III: Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar Sep 23 2002 PDF
Florida Human Injury Chipperfield 'critical' after mauling by tiger Jan 8 1998 PDF
Florida Escape Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar Sep 23 2002 PDF
Florida Human Death Tiger Kills Zoo Worker Jun 7 1994 PDF
Florida Human Injury Loose Tiger Surprises Worker, Mauls His Leg During Feeding Time Mar 20 1997 PDF
Florida Human Death Part II: Tiger Kills owner six weeks after killing trainer Oct 8 1998 PDF
Florida Human Death 550-pound Tiger Kills Trainer Aug 1 2001 PDF
Florida Human Injury Finger In Cage Incited Lion to Bite May 14 2002 PDF
Florida Human Injury Zookeeper not angry at lion that attacked him Nov 12 2002 PDF
Florida Escape Bengal tiger escaped while cage was cleaned Feb 6 2003 PDF
Florida Escape Attacks, other incidents involving captive animals Jul 14 2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger Attacks 14-Year Old Boy, Handler At Fair Nov 21 2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Woman is nipped on hand by tiger Feb 24 2005 PDF
Florida Escape Bengal Tiger Escapes From Cage Feb 27 2005 PDF
Florida Escape Loose tiger killed at zoo Aug 23 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Zoo trainer recovering after tiger bite Feb 11 2008 PDF
Florida Escape Pregnant Cougar on the Loose in Osceola County May 4 2009 PDF
Florida Human Injury Jaguar tears off thumb of visitor to Panther Ridge Conservation Center Mar 5 2010 PDF
Florida Human Death Tiger Kills owner six weeks after killing trainer Nov 15 1998 PDF
Florida Human Injury Part II: Gulf Breeze Zoo Gone Wild With Attack, Escapes Nov 22 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury PETA seeks inquiry into cougar's strangulation Jan 27 2006 PDF
Florida Human Injury Local pet tiger fractures woman's head Feb 3 2002
Florida Human Injury Tiger owner often investigated Nov 24 2004 PDF
Florida Human Injury Hurt teen will work with animals, mom says Aug 25 1998 PDF
Florida Escape Lion on the loose at sanctuary in Fla. found Jan 3 2014 PDF
Florida Human Injury Tiger bites construction worker at FL sanctuary Oct 6 2014 PDF
Georgia Escape Cheetah gets loose on Delta flight Oct 31 2008 PDF
Georgia Human Injury Pet Siberian lynx attacks woman in Atlanta Dec 2 2014 PDF
Hawaii Escape Tiger Escapes Honolulu Zoo Enclosure Feb 22 2008 PDF
Idaho Human Injury Private zoo operator loses ID Supreme Court fight Dec 28 2009 PDF
Idaho Human Injury Animal park faces fines May 28 2003
Idaho Human Injury Tiger attacks patron at zoo fundraiser Aug 12 2000 PDF
Illinois Secret Slaughter of Exotic Animals Revealed Dec 8 2002 PDF
Illinois Escape Police shoot, kill escaped tiger Animal fled from owners at B-N truck shop Sep 29 2002 PDF
Illinois Human Death Illinois animal keeper killed in tiger attack Apr 2 2003 PDF
Illinois Human Death Lion Attacks, Kills Hardin County Man Feb 14 2004 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Lincoln Park keeper safe after attack in lion pit Sep 10 2004 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Man sues animal facility, says tiger attacked him Jun 15 2007 PDF
Illinois Human Injury From his hospital bed, man dismisses tiger attack as 'not a big deal' Aug 8 2008 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Owner found guilty after tiger bites child Sep 28 2002
Illinois Human Injury Man bitten by leopard at Miller Park Zoo; B-N resident allegedy leapt fence to pet cat Jun 7 2000 PDF
Illinois Human Injury Circus trainer clawed by tiger in serious condition Nov 23 1998 PDF
Illinois A man brings a tiger into a bar Feb 26 2014 PDF
Indiana Escape Tiger escape proves to be wild ride Dec 11 2008 PDF
Indiana Escape Cougar Remains Loose After Escaping Rescue Center Jan 8 2007 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Young tiger claws trainer during circus Nov 26 2008 PDF
Indiana Escape Mountain lion escapes from car, gets shot Feb 2 2004 PDF
Indiana Escape Police Suspect Large Cat Attacked Parked Car May 8 2003 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Zookeeper mauled by lion at Mesker Zoo Oct 20 1999 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Potawatomi Zoo worker recovering after leopard attack May 26 2008 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Zoo worker mauled by Sumatran tiger Feb 28 1999
Indiana Escape DNR seizes tigers, lions from facility May 30 2012 PDF
Indiana Human Injury Employee attacked by tiger at Exotic Feline Rescue Center Jun 22 2013 PDF
Indiana Escape Leopard shot, killed in Clark County Jun 21 2013 PDF
Iowa Human Injury Tom Sellner, Owner Of Cricket Hollow Zoo, Attacked By Tiger During Feeding Jul 17 2011 PDF
Iowa Escape Escaped tiger killed by deputy Nov 15 2007 PDF
Kansas Escape Mt. lion killed after escape at Great Bend Zoo May 25 2009 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Lion Mauls Man At Kansas Refuge Feb 25 2009 PDF
Kansas Human Death Tiger kills Kansas teen posing for photo Aug 19 2005 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Tiger bites woman who sticks arm in cage Aug 22 2001 PDF
Kansas Escape Tiger escape sparks questions over animal permits May 9 2001 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Tiger attacks child Jan 10 1999 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Kansas Woman Mauled Jun 26 1999 PDF
Kansas Human Injury Sedgwick County Zoo leopard attacks boy through cage May 6 2011 PDF
Kansas Human Injury High school student gets nibbled when she puts her hand in cougar's cage Feb 25 2000
Kansas Escape Escaped Lions Returned to Cages Nov 19 1999 PDF
Kansas Escape Big Cat Seizure Jan 9 2004 PDF
Kansas Escape Woman comes face-to-face with escaped tiger in circus bathroom Apr 22 2013 PDF
Kentucky Escape Wildlife Officials Looking For Escaped Snow Leopard Jul 29 2004 PDF
Louisiana Escape Bengal tiger on the loose eludes police Sep 1 2004 PDF
Louisiana Human Injury Louisiana woman is fair after pet leopard bites her Feb 11 2004 PDF
Maine Human Injury Leopard injures employee at zoo Sep 10 2004 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Zoo owner shares more details on jaguar attack Feb 5 2009 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Zoo's Jaguar Mauls Worker Cleaning Den Jan 20 2009 PDF
Maryland Human Injury Man injured after sticking hand in jaguar's cage Oct 30 2004 PDF
Massachusetts Human Injury Probe May Delay Opening of Animal Farm May 18 2000 PDF
Michigan Human Death Woman Mauled to Death by Lion Oct 31 1995 PDF
Michigan Human Injury Detroit Zoo worker survives lion attack May 26 2008 PDF
Michigan Human Injury Woman loses part of finger during lion attack Jul 29 2014 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Part I: Boy Attacked by Tiger, Lion in Minn. Jun 23 2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Pet tiger cub taken from Albert Lea home Feb 11 2003 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Midwest: Minnesota: Tiger That Bit Girl is Killed Aug 28 2001 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Tiger-keeper faces possible fine, jail time Feb 20 2004 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury A jungle of confusion: tigers in Minnesota May 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 Apr 8 2006 PDF
Minnesota Escape Police respond to loose lions in Beltrami County Apr 15 2010 PDF
Minnesota Man without tiger's paperwork arrested Jun 25 2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury 7-Year-Old Girl Attacked by Tiger Feb 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 Oct 8 2005 PDF
Minnesota Escape Part II: Boy Attacked by Tiger, Lion in Minn. Jun 23 2005 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Minoters witness cougar attack May 19 2010 PDF
Minnesota Human Injury Man scratched by cougar at Como Zoo, police say Oct 7 2014 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Part II: Missouri sees second tiger attack in 2 days Aug 4 2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Deputy kills jaguar ... or was it leopard? May 20 2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Cheetah Escape Baffles Mo. Zoo Officials Nov 21 2007 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Part I: Missouri sees second tiger attack in 2 days Aug 4 2008 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Sheriffs: 2 tiger attacks show tougher laws needed Aug 6 2008 PDF
Missouri Escape Cheetah Cub Briefly Escapes Zoo Exhibit Nov 20 2007 PDF
Missouri Human Injury Safety of Branson West attraction question after leopard bite Dec 2 2004
Missouri Escape Fence going up after cheetah briefly escaped yard at zoo Aug 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 Mar 26 2001
Missouri Human Injury Pet lion attacks 5-year-old boy Dec 4 1999
Missouri Human Injury Omaha Wowed May 21 2001
Missouri Robber leaves 'pet' Dec 21 2000 PDF
Nebraska Human Injury Tiger bites Omaha zoo veterinarian Feb 11 2009 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Trainer bitten in MGM Grand lion habitat Sep 2 2010 PDF
Nevada Escape Tiger Does a Disappearing Act From Las Vegas Magic Show... and Prowl's the City's Streets Aug 1 2009 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Lion handler gets bitten at MGM Dec 12 2008
Nevada Escape Man to surrender exotic animal license after panther attack Oct 23 2008 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Roy of Siegfried and Roy critical after mauling Oct 4 2003 PDF
Nevada Human Death Tiger Kills Animal Trainer Mar 26 2001 PDF
Nevada Escape Part II: Lower Towamensing to debate allowing a backyard cougar Sep 23 2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Tigers Spotted on Vegas Rooftop Oct 28 2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Leopard attacks, injures zoo worker Mar 11 2004 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Group rescues pet tigers, says private ownership should end Mar 2 2005 PDF
Nevada Escape Panther Attack Worries Northwest Residents Mar 24 2008 PDF
Nevada Escape 2 leopards seized from home's roof Aug 20 2008 PDF
Nevada Human Injury Nye sued over tiger bite Feb 8 2002 PDF
Nevada Escape Cougar jumps on bus Jan 26 2001
New Jersey Human Injury Tiger Lady's Husband Gets Mauled Oct 12 2002 PDF
New Jersey Escape N.J. Woman Defends Her Tiger Preserve Feb 1 1999 PDF
New Jersey New Jersey: Toms river: Tiger Owner Ordered To Pay Fees Mar 22 2004 PDF
New Jersey Escape Essex County Turtle Back Zoo orders lockdown after leopard eludes keepers Sep 5 2010 PDF
New Jersey Escape Tiger on the Prowl Escaped from Farm Jun 29 1999
New Mexico Human Injury Man Loses Finger, Zoo Visiting Rights May 18 2004 PDF
New Mexico Human Injury White tiger cub removed from fair for biting Sep 14 2000
New York Human Injury Tiger Attacks Little Boy on Opening Day of County Fair Jul 20 2006 PDF
New York Escape Escaped tiger causes brief scare in NYC Aug 1 2004 PDF
New York Human Injury Tiger, gator removed from Harlem apartment Oct 5 2003 PDF
New York At Long Island Home, Police Find Abuse Claim, and 2 Leopards May 31 2005 PDF
New York Escape Tiger caught after brief escape Nov 17 2005 PDF
New York Human Injury Grandma's caged cougar mauls girl, 4, in Massena Mar 17 2004 PDF
New York Human Injury Zookeeper bitten and clawed by leopard Oct 31 1999
New York Human Injury Man mauled after jumping into tiger den at Bronx Zoo Sep 21 2012 PDF
North Carolina Human Death N.C. boy, 10, fatally mauled by aunt's tiger Dec 16 2003 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Surry County teenager seriously injured in tiger attack Jan 25 2004 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Investigation Continues, New River Zoo Is Still Closed Nov 2 2006 PDF
North Carolina Escape Tiger cub gets out of cage during training exercise Apr 24 2010 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Cougar Attack; Just a Big Mac to him Nov 20 1998
North Carolina Human Injury Zoo owner pries worker's head from lion's jaw Apr 8 1998 PDF
North Carolina Human Injury Playful leopard nearly kills trainer as 100 watch Feb 11 1998
North Dakota Human Injury Boy, 5, Clawed by a Tiger at North Dakota State Fair Jul 31 1998 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet cougar bites caseworker, perplexing police Jun 27 2012 PDF
Ohio Escape Terry Thompson, Muskingum County Animal Farm Owner, Allegedly Killed Self After Freeing Exotic Animals Oct 19 2011 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Suit Filed Over Cougar Attack Sep 7 2011 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Ashville Game Farm owner indicted, arrested Dec 17 2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Escaped Cougar 'Tasha' Found In Knox County Aug 6 2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Lion gets Humane Society's attention in Pike County Nov 25 2007 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Vet Attacked at L&L Exotic Animal Farm Oct 16 2006 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Volunteer cage keeper attacked by tiger Jun 19 2001 PDF
Ohio Human Death Ohio 'Liger' Mauls Keeper Oct 22 1992 PDF
Ohio Escape Pet mountain lion mauls dog Aug 21 2003 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet lion given away after woman attacked Jun 1 2004 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Tiger attacks zoo keeper at Toledo Zoo May 11 2008 PDF
Ohio Human Injury Pet Mountain Lion Bites Girl May 27 2009 PDF
Ohio Escape Metroparks Zoo: Leopard briefly escapes from exhibit Oct 9 2009 PDF
Ohio Escape Mountain Lion Sightings Reported in Ohio May 28 2010 PDF
Ohio Escape Alleged lioness remains elusive Apr 29 2001
Ohio Human Injury Big cats attack boy, Kenyon student Oct 26 2000
Ohio Escape Uncaged lion found lounging in front yard Sep 3 2013
Oklahoma Human Death Animal sanctuary worker dies after attack by ‘liger’ Oct 31 2008 PDF
Oklahoma Human Death Woman dies after attack by tiger Apr 3 2003 PDF
Oklahoma Human Death Leopard Kills a Woman At an Animal Sanctuary Apr 29 1997 PDF
Oklahoma Alleged abuse at GW Exotic Animal Park seen on tape May 16 2012 PDF
Oklahoma Human Injury Park director injured by texas mountain lion Apr 1 2002
Oklahoma Human Injury Oklahoma zoo tiger mauls employee's arm Oct 5 2013
Oregon Human Injury Couple wants Columbia County to impose ban on exotic animal Dec 14 1999
Oregon Human Death Worker killed at Portland-area wildcat sanctuary Nov 10 2013
Pennsylvania Human Injury Lake Tobias employee 'doing well' after suffering injuries from tiger attack Aug 12 2011 PDF
Pennsylvania Human Death Circus Tiger Kills Its Trainer During Fundraising Event May 9 1997 PDF
Pennsylvania Escape Oh, the cat came back May 4 2007 PDF
South Carolina Human Injury Boy suffers leg bite from father's tiger Apr 28 2002 PDF
South Carolina Escape Woman fined for failing to confine lions Jul 26 2002
South Dakota Human Injury Alleged Zoo Tiger Attack Jan 26 2005 PDF
South Dakota Human Injury Wild Animals Kept As Pets Can Pose Danger Sep 22 2000 PDF
Tennessee Human Injury Memphis zookeeper OK after tiger bites him in leg May 24 2009 PDF
Tennessee Human Injury Knox County Boy, 4, Clawed by Caged Exotic Lion-Tiger May 5 1997
Texas Human Injury Child Mauled by Mountain Lion in West Odessa Oct 17 2011 PDF
Texas Escape Anxious hours end in cougar's capture Nov 19 2010 PDF
Texas Escape Pet tiger escapes, prowls Ingram area before capture Jan 18 2009 PDF
Texas Human Injury Texas Man Recovers From Tiger Attack Jun 21 2006 PDF
Texas Human Injury Texas circus worker bitten by Bengal tiger Dec 5 2004 PDF
Texas Human Injury Sheriff deputies shoot escaped lion Apr 7 2003 PDF
Texas Human Injury Wild Kingdom Dec 8 2003 PDF
Texas Human Death Girl Killed by pet tiger Jun 8 1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Surgeons Save Little Jayton Tidwell's Arm After His Uncle's Pet Tiger Bites It Off Apr 3 2000 PDF
Texas Human Death Catch Those Tigers Feb 28 2002 PDF
Texas Human Injury Tiger Mauls San Antonio Zookeeper Jul 15 2007 PDF
Texas Human Injury Volunteer bitten by mountain lion at Bastrop County Zoo Jan 23 2008 PDF
Texas Escape Cheetah escapes at San Antonio Zoo Feb 25 2006
Texas Human Injury Woman mauled in leopard attack at Wildlife Extravaganza Feb 12 2005
Texas Escape Tiger escapes owners back yard, caught Jun 7 2000 PDF
Texas Human Injury Victim of tiger attack making good recovery Mar 31 1999
Texas Human Injury Owner attacked by pet lion Nov 20 1998
Texas Escape Second of 2 Escaped Tigers Shot To Death Nov 10 1998 PDF
Texas Human Injury Lucky stripes; Cougar trouble leads woman to tiger in need of home Jan 21 1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Relatives sue animal refuge after tiger attacks 4-year-old May 7 1999 PDF
Texas Human Injury Family plans to keep tigers in wake of attack May 8 1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Man injured by tiger at animal orphanage Apr 28 1997 PDF
Texas Escape Tiger takes morning stroll after escaping Mar 20 1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Darling-but dangerous Jun 22 1997 PDF
Texas Human Injury Big cats and other wild reasons to dream Jan 19 2003
Texas Meow Mix: Texans Are Wild About Exotic Cats, but at What Cost? Aug 4 2000 PDF
Texas Humane Society trying to find homes for 2 cougars Feb 9 2000 PDF
Texas Human Injury Part II: Darling-but dangerous Jun 22 1997 PDF
Texas Escape Full-grown lion escapes and takes shelter in a church Sep 16 2008 PDF
Texas Human Injury Keeper Injured During Lion Transfer At Dallas Zoo Aug 23 2014 PDF
Virginia Human Injury Tiger Bites Zoo Employee Nov 17 2008 PDF
Virginia Escape More lion sightings in Chesterfield Nov 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 Dec 8 2003 PDF
Virginia Animal Watch; Who Let the Cat Out? Dec 15 2002 PDF
Washington Escape Kennewick Thriving at Cat Sanctuary Nov 17 2005 PDF
Washington Human Injury Boy bitten by tiger Oct 1 2005 PDF
Washington Human Injury Suit against Cat Tales dropped Nov 13 2004 PDF
Washington Escape Charlie Cougar’s Big Day Exotic Pet Escapes Cage; Roams Community For 2 Hours Mar 22 1997 PDF
Washington Human Injury Pet lynx attacks woman inside Bellevue home May 4 2012 PDF
Washington Human Injury Leopard claws zoo handler, banished from stage in favor of breeding Jul 26 2002
West Virginia Escape Owner Shoots Escaped Tiger in WVa Dec 1 2008 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Siberian tiger bites man in Wisconsin Oct 22 2010 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Lion Cub Nips Girl in Pet Store Jan 22 2005 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Big cats, heart rule on opening day of Riverfest Jul 3 2003 PDF
Wisconsin Escape Vandals Release Cougars at Manitowoc's Lincoln Park Zoo Dec 1 2007 PDF
Wisconsin Human Injury Cougar bites park maintenance worker Jul 12 2000 PDF
Wyoming Escape Officials Tranquilize, Relocate Central Casper Mountain Lion Sep 30 2008 PDF
Get the latest information on the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.
Celebrities, supporters rally to protect wildlife in Hawaii; house passes bill
10 March 2016 Jeffrey Flocken
Last week, IFAW staff, along with a coalition of partners and a group of celebrities and champions, including actress and Read more »
The author and Staci McLennan, IFAW’s EU Political Officer, Wildlife Programmes,
21 January 2016 Jeffrey Flocken
Last week, IFAW participated in the 66th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Read more »
Groups like IFAW are being pleaded to rescue the thousands of animals that will
26 March 2015 Kelly Donithan
Undeniably, good news has been streaming in recently regarding the use of wild animals in circus performances such as the Read more »
Recently, Australia’s Environment Minister announced a ban on the import of all
18 March 2015 Jeffrey Flocken
Recently, Australia’s Environment Minister announced a ban on the import of all African lion parts, spurred in part by Read more »
It is true that education can be the foundation for conserving endangered specie
4 February 2015 Kelly Donithan
What better way to make people love and conserve tigers and other big cats than by allowing them the opportunity to hold and Read more »
Until African lions are officially listed as a threatened species, it will be pe
7 January 2015 Jeffrey Flocken
When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing African lions as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Read more »
This "Save Vanishing Species" stamp brought in millions of dollars for USFWS.
5 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 »
Disheartening calmness as neglected exotic animals find forever homes
13 June 2014 Kelly Donithan
~~~ The afternoon sun continued to beat down mercilessly, burning my skin, and the warm breeze still swirled the stale Read more »
It was not that long ago that Sheba, a beautiful tigress, was being kept in a sm
23 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 »
National Tigers for Tigers coalition continues to inspire
11 April 2014 Tracy Coppola
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
31 March 2014 Tracy Coppola
At IFAW, our vision is a world where animals like tigers, lions and other big cats are respected and protected. This is why Read more »
Recently initiated bill would end public contact with big cats in New York
13 March 2014 Tracy Coppola
Momentum for the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act continues, with a record 89 co-sponsors in the House, and an Read more »
West Virginia on its way toward becoming less wild, more wonderful
12 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
11 March 2014 Kelly Donithan
Research shows that newly declawed cats shift their body weight backward onto the large central pad of the front feet and Read more »
21 February 2014 Kelly Donithan
UPDATED: 3.6.14 Sheba has been gaining more and more confidence in her new environment, as her keepers report that she Read more »
Big cat owner recalls initial excitement, now only love, heartbreak and regret
14 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?
6 February 2014 Tracy Coppola
Today, IFAW joined the HSUS, Big Cat Rescue, and Born Free USA in filing a legal petition to the U.S. Department of Read more »
(Holding t-shirt) Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsor of the big cats bill
19 November 2013 Tracy Coppola
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.
7 November 2013 Kelly Donithan
As I awoke Tuesday morning in rural Missouri, I could hear a steady pitter-pattering on the windowsill: it’s raining. Read more »
4 November 2013 Kelly Donithan
It was only less than a week ago that I was sitting among dozens of like-minded individuals who are spending their lives to Read more »
Participants at the 2013 Big Cat Workshop held at Carolina Tiger Rescue.
28 October 2013 Kelly Donithan
“When people talk, great things happen.” I heard this tagline on a TV commercial a few nights ago just before I Read more »
Majority of American voters support Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act
8 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
2 October 2013 Tracy Coppola
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:
24 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
14 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 »
Given the lions’ grave circumstance, IFAW is proud to take part in the inaugural
10 August 2013 Jeffrey Flocken
Whether you know him as the "King of the Jungle", the co-star to the" Witch and the Wardrobe", or even Read more »
The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, aimed at banning private possessi
30 July 2013 Tracy Coppola
Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (a respected Democrat of Connecticut, and former Attorney General of that state) Read more »
IFAW strongly believes that wild animals belong in the wild; however, when kept
18 July 2013 Kelly Donithan
This summer, a popular American pastime is occurring all over the country involving music, food, and family-related Read more »
The event kicked off IFAW’s first-ever national rally call to police officers, v
3 July 2013 Tracy Coppola
On July 2, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) led a successful big cats forum at the Ohio Statehouse Building Read more »
If you are in Ohio on July 2, please attend IFAW’s Big Cat Forum at 10 a.m. at t
24 June 2013 Tracy Coppola
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.
28 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.
16 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.
23 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
1 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
13 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”
7 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.
15 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
2 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
26 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
9 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.
22 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 »
19 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
18 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
12 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.
11 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 »
10 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.
21 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
17 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
10 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
20 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”
14 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
13 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.
20 December 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them.  But those who respect their natures and Read more »
28 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 »
23 September 2011 Jeffrey Flocken
By imposing minimum reporting requirements on the owners of all tigers – not just purebreds -- authorities create the Read more »
3 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