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Feds cite Adam Burck again; Royal Bengal Tigers living in travel cages for more than 18 months

Adam Burck and his Royal Bengal Tigers traveling circus act has again been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for keeping tigers in small, cramped travel cages inside a rancid barn.

Burck was cited with the two newest violations on Aug. 24, bringing his total USDA violations for the past year to seven non critical violations, three direct violations and one official warning.

The most serious violations came in June when USDA Veterinary Medical Officer Michael Tygart completed a new site inspection at Burck’s McHenry, IL, facility, and found dangerous conditions for the tigers.

Tygart found that for more than a year the tigers were being forced to live in travel cages inside a barn with no climate control. The temperature inside the barn was recorded at 92.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Documents indicate the facility had a rancid odor and it was infested with flies and many live maggots.

One tiger was noticeably thin with prominent hips and vertebrae and had not been seen by a veterinarian in over a year, Tygart noted in his inspection report.

The facility was also not safe. The USDA report indicated there was a lack of security and the absence of any secondary containment measure which presented “a constant, ongoing potential threat both to the animals and to the surrounding community.”

Tygart declined to approve the Illinois site for conducting regulated activity.

Tygart completed two inspections of the facility in July, once at the Illinois location and a second time at the Tulsa Fair in Oklahoma while Burck was on the road with the tigers. No violations were found at those inspections.

In August, Tygart again completed a new site inspection at the Illinois location of Royal Bengal Tigers and found Burck had done little to improve the conditions for the tigers.

“The tigers are [still] being held in their travel cages,” Tygart said.

He noted that Burck had been using his circus performance ring to allow the tigers out of the cages to exercise, “but the ring had been taken down and loaded in preparation for an upcoming performance.”

A circus performance ring is occasionally used by Adam Burck to allow his tigers out of their travel cages to exercise.

At the June inspection, the exercise pen was also not up and the tigers were found to be pacing in their small travel cages and appeared agitated; indications of chronic stress from their unnatural environment.

“Without the exercise ring, the tigers do not have adequate space to make normal postural and social movements,” Tygart said.

Tygart also found that the facility was still unsafe, and had not made changes to add secondary containment measures to protect the animals and prevent them from escaping.

Tygart notified Burck that the site was still not approved for conducting USDA regulated activity.

“Conducting regulated activities at a non-approved site is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act,” Tygart said.

Tygart cited Burck's Royal Bengal Tigers with two non critical violations.


How can you help these tigers?

Pressure the USDA to inspect Royal Bengal Tigers and ask them to take enforcement action against Adam Burck.

File a complaint by visiting:

Name: Adam Burck

License number: 33-C-0387

Location: McHenry, IL

Thank you for being a voice for the animals.


Adam Burck August 2021 USDA Inspection Report:

PST_Inspection_Report_ADAM BURCK (5)
Download PDF • 118KB

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