Newly obtained documents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture appear to indicate that two traveling tiger shows based out of Illinois are working together to exploit and neglect tigers.
Adam Burck owns Royal Bengal Tigers and he’s been cited 11 times in the past year for numerous USDA violations related to his four tigers. When they’re not performing, Burck forces his tigers to live in small transport cages inside a barn, documents indicate.
Judit and Juergen Nerger own Nerger’s Tigers and at their last completed USDA inspection in 2019 they were cited three times. Documents indicate Nerger’s Tigers forces seven tigers to live in enclosures which measure 4 feet high by 8 feet square.
In 2017, Nerger’s Tigers dumped two dying tigers at Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary in Tyler, TX, before heading to the East Texas State Fair to perform with their remaining tigers. One of the tigers was so sick it had to be euthanized immediately. The second tiger, named Tibor, was left to suffer at Tiger Creek for nearly two months with no veterinary care before dying.
The USDA has attempted to complete three inspections at Nerger’s Tigers in the past year but none of the inspections were completed because no one was available to allow the inspector access to the property, documents indicate.
The address for Nerger’s Tigers is listed as a post office box in Richmond, IL. Richmond is located in McHenry county. The address for Royal Bengal Tigers is listed in McHenry, IL. The city of McHenry is also located in McHenry county.
Records indicate Royal Bengal Tigers and Nerger’s Tigers have two separate USDA licenses.
Today the USDA released inspection reports for Royal Bengal Tigers and Nerger’s Tigers that are identical and appear to indicate both facilities were keeping their animals at the same place.
Both inspection reports indicate Animal Care Inspector Chad Moore arrived at the McHenry, IL facility at 4:35 PM on August 25 but no one was available to allow him to complete an inspection.
Moore said he called the licensee's cell phone, honked the vehicle horn and waited at the facility for 30 minutes in order to complete the inspection, but all attempts were unsuccessful.
“I was able to speak to the new property owner and was informed that there are no longer animal facilities on the property and the licensee is no longer allowed on the property,” Moore said in his report.
If both Royal Bengal Tigers and Nerger’s Tigers are located at the same facility, it is unclear why the USDA has not inspected Nerger’s Tigers in two years but has inspected Royal Bengal Tigers four times in the past three months.
In addition, with no permanent USDA licensed facility for Royal Bengal Tigers and Nerger’s Tigers, it is unclear where the animals will be kept when they’re not traveling or how the USDA will inspect the facility when both traveling tiger shows have apparently vanished without updating their address.