It has now been two months since Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary has made any posts on social media. The Texas facility abruptly announced they were closing on August 6 and there have been no updates since. Here’s what we know:
After heavy campaigning from concerned followers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finally completed an inspection at Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary in early April and cited the facility with a critical violation for failing to provide adequate and timely veterinary care to 11 animals that died. The animals that died included six tigers, three lions, a cougar and a serval.
“All 11 of the deceased animals showed clinical signs for weeks, sometimes months, without being examined by a veterinarian,” according to the USDA report.
Also in April, Tiger Creek posted a fundraiser with photos of construction they were completing for a habitat for three bears that they said they were obtaining. In emails sent to sanctuary supporters, Tiger Creek indicated the bears were being surrendered from a private owner who could no longer financially care for them.
Documents provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Division indicate that Tiger Creek applied for a permit to obtain three black bears from an individual in Texas named Dwayne Nance. Roadside Zoo News has not been able to confirm the identity of Nance and the bears have not materialized at the sanctuary.
In June, Tiger Creek owner Brian Werner (Ferris) listed the for profit Tiger Creek Safari Clubhouse and 10 acres of land for sale. The Tiger Creek Safari Clubhouse was part of the Tiger Creek Safari Resort, a failed business venture that resulted in the loss of more than $166,515 of sanctuary funds.
In July, the USDA confirmed that Tiger Creek was under investigation and they removed all of Tiger Creek’s 2021 inspection reports from the USDA website. The reports have not been restored.
In late July, Werner opened another for-profit business he named Bluebird Farmstand. The new business venture makes Werner the owner of four for profit Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). Werner also owns Decision Points, Cat Daddy’s Properties and Lonestar Priority Services. In addition to Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, Werner is also the director of the nonprofit American Mammoth Jacks.
Individuals who participate in fraudulent financial dealings often create multiple LLCs to hide money, avoid Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements and to drain financial resources without detection.
Roadside Zoo News received several tips indicating Werner and Tiger Creek may be under investigation related to financial and tax records.
Also in July, the USDA confirmed Tiger Creek had obtained two sloths that were being kept in a room shielded from public view. Tiger Creek has not publicly announced their acquisition of the sloths.
On August 1, Tiger Creek posted to Facebook that they would be closed for construction from Aug. 2-6. Then on Aug. 6, Tiger Creek posted on social media that they would remain closed due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the area. The Tiger Creek website indicates the facility is open to members by appointment.
Tiger Creek stopped making social media posts after Aug. 6.
In late July, a tiger named Bengali that lives at Tiger Creek was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest tiger alive in captivity. On Aug. 30, Bengali turned 26-years-old. Tiger Creek made no posts announcing Bengali’s Guinness Book of World Records achievement or her birthday.
Tiger Creek’s lack of transparency has worried donors and former employees who fear some of the elderly animals at the sanctuary may have passed away in secrecy.