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Nearly one dozen wild animals were found abandoned in enclosures when authorities were called out to investigate at an Atchison, KS, property. The Atchison County Sheriff’s Office seized the animals, which included a tiger, two cougars, three bobcats, two lynx, a serval, and two skunks.
The Humane Society of the United States, Big Cat Rescue, In-Sync Exotics, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Zoo helped to remove the animals from the property and transport them to sanctuaries around the country.
Under current state law, people in Kansas who have a U.S. Department of Agriculture license can maintain an inventory of dangerous animals but they are required to provide adequate shelter for the animals as well as ensure the safety of the surrounding community. The Sheriff’s Department found that these animals were living in enclosures that were inadequate in size and security as well as lacking proper maintenance, food, and water.
“This case exemplifies the inherent problems with the existing law and the need for it to be strengthened,” said Atchison County Undersheriff Joe Butner. “Most private individuals cannot provide humane and safe care for captive wild animals, which leaves law enforcement, taxpayers and sanctuaries left to shoulder the financial burden. We are thankful for the assistance and expertise of the organizations that helped rescue these animals.”
After discovering that the animals had been abandoned, the sheriff’s office worked with the Kansas City Zoo and The HSUS to provide food for the animals on an emergency basis. Veterinarians with the zoo and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association were also on hand during the animal seizure.
The tiger was transported to The Fund for Animals’ Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, TX; the two cougars were taken to In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie, TX; the bobcats, lynx and serval will be provided homes at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL.; and the skunks will go to Operation Wildlife in Linwood, KS.
Photos courtesy of The HSUS.