Lions, Tigers, and Bears

1 decade 7 months 1 week ago Wednesday, May 09 2007 May 9, 2007 Wednesday, May 09, 2007 12:24:27 AM CDT May 09, 2007 in News
loading
Two years ago Haley Hilderbrand was posing for her senior photos with tiger cubs at an animal sanctuary in Kansas. Because the cubs weren't cooperating, Haley had to take a picture with an adult tiger instead. Suddenly, the tiger turned and attacked Haley, killing her. In response, Kansas passed Haley's Law, banning the ownership of dangerous exotic animals.

Missouri holds no such regulations and almost anyone in the state can keep an exotic animal captive.  The department of conservation does have regulations on native wildlife of Missouri, such as bobcats. But currently only the USDA regulates any exotic wildlife in the state. Senator Jolie Justus of Kansas City is proposing the Large Carnivore Act--an act that will tighten regulations with lions, tigers, and bears.

"We don't want to be one of the states where a tragedy happens and then we have to react. I'd rather us be a state that is proactive and prevent future tragedies," said Justus.

"It is becoming a bigger problem because all of the states bordering Missouri have passed laws regulating the ownership and the sale and the breeding of these animals. Because of that, Missouri is becoming a safe-haven for people who want to own these animals unregulated," Justus said.

An unregulated photo-for-money operation is what led to Sully the Tiger's downfall. As a cub, Sully traveled to fairs and carnivals, where people paid as much as $25 to have their picture taken with him.

Last month, he was put to sleep after MU doctors attempted to correct bone deformities caused by malnourishment. 

"Everyone at Mizzou and Columbia loves these tigers, and yet they don't necessarily realize that the tiger cubs that they see for photo opportunities or whatever are in the same situation," said Laura Dotson, president of Tigers for Tigers.

D-D Farm, a Columbia animal shelter run by Debbie and Dale Tolentino, attempts to save some of these animals before they reach Sully’s fate.

"They get to be 75 pounds or six months old, they dump them, they sell them to hunts, they sell them for parts, they sell them to roadside zoos...Anywhere they can to get rid of them and they don't care if they die," Debbie said of careless exotic animal owners.

Until regulations do strengthen, Debbie Tolentino offers one piece of advice. "They are what they are, and you got to remember when you are around some of these animals they are essentially dangerous. They are big, they are strong, and they are tigers.”

Justus says her bill is not a priority for this legislature and she will have to try to gain momentum next session. And she's afraid that only until tragedy happens, will the legislatures start to listen.

If you have a problem or concern you'd like us to investigate, give the Target 8 team a call at 573-884-6397, or email us at target8@komu.com

To learn more about the Tolentinos, click on the KOMU.com exclusive link in the KOMU story toolbox.

More News

Grid
List
AUDRAIN COUNTY - After following up on over 40 leads regarding the death of Antonio Jefferson , the Mid-Missouri Major... More >>
8 minutes ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 2:31:26 PM CST December 18, 2017 in News
DUPONT, Wash. (AP) - A U.S. official says the Amtrak train derailment that happened outside of Seattle has killed at... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 1:04:00 PM CST December 18, 2017 in News
HOWARD COUNTY - One woman died following a single-vehicle crash Sunday morning on Highway 5. According to the Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 12:41:28 PM CST December 18, 2017 in News
MEXICO - Police are looking for a suspect in connection with a shooting over the weekend which left one person... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 11:56:00 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 47 year-old female is listed in critical condition after suffering a gun shot wound to the... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 11:02:00 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MU police officers arrested a man on Sunday after finding drugs and a modified gun during a traffic... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 10:52:28 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
BRANSON WEST (AP) - Authorities say two people from Kansas have died in a small plane crash in southwest Missouri.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 10:19:00 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Sunday night on several warrants, including one connected to a shots fired incident in... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 9:31:00 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Fire fighters arrived at the scene of a warehouse fire Monday morning. According to the Division Chief,... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 3:12:00 AM CST December 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Power was restored to 1,922 Columbia customers, according to Columbia Water & Light. The outage affected customers... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:35:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:00:30 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Three years after picking up a disc for the first time, Cynthia Riccotti is thriving in her quest... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 6:25:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
TIPTON - A family is trying to recover after losing everything in a house fire, and with help from the... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:20:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A boil advisory is in affect for Water Supply District No. 10 in Boone County. According... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:18:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Kansas City woman has been arrested in connection with a fatal car crash in Camden County... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:48:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Area educators are opening up the topic of teen suicide for discussion after seeing deaths rise... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:07:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first ever "Christmas Countdown" Sunday is giving Jefferson City an opportunity for some last minute Christmas... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 9:21:00 AM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man charged in an August quadruple homicide that occurred in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
3pm 53°
4pm 52°
5pm 50°
6pm 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Popstar's Best of 2017
8:00p
The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors 2017
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld