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Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary receives critical USDA violation for the death of 11 big cats

Tibor, a tiger who passed away at Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary with no medical treatment.

Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, Tyler, TX, has received three violations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Two of the violations are considered non-critical and one of the violations is a critical violation.

The nonprofit pseudo-sanctuary received a non-critical violation for failing to provide environment enhancement for the primates at the facility, which promotes their psychological well-being.

The USDA also gave Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary a non-critical AWA violation for failing to provide records of acquisition for numerous animals including:

  • Bellatrix (bobcat)

  • Ember (bobcat)

  • Sitaara (tiger)

  • Lily (ring-tailed lemur)

  • Dunkin, Sweet Pea, Rocket (raccoons)

The most serious violation Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary received was for their failure to provide accurate and timely veterinary care for 11 big cats that died.

In the report, USDA inspector Cynthia Digesualdo outlined the following incidents that occurred at Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary from 2018-2020:

  • A tiger named Amir was losing weight and not eating in 2018. From May 9-June 19 he consistently refused to eat larger and larger portions of his food and on June 19 he was found dead in his yard. At no time between May 9-June 19 was Amir seen by a veterinarian.

  • A tiger named Greg had a distended abdomen and was not eating his complete diet for several weeks prior to Sept. 18, 2018. Greg was euthanized on Oct. 2. At no time between Sept. 18-Oct. 2 was Greg seen by a veterinarian.

  • In Jan. 2018 a lion named Juda was noted to be thin, had muscle atrophy in his rear legs and was wobbly. Records indicate the veterinarian recommended that a medication be given to Juda for a couple days and stated if there was no improvement the veterinarian should be contacted. Juda was euthanized on July 15. Juda was not examined by a veterinarian from Jan.-July 2018.

  • The only available medical records for a tiger named Kumari start on Sept. 7, 2019. From that day until she died Kumari was not eating her complete diet and on Sept. 19 she was observed to be eating dirt. On Sept. 24, Kumari underwent an ovariohysterectomy. She died the next day. Records show Kumari was not examined by a veterinarian before Sept. 24, 2019.

  • A lion named Kenya was bloated on June 3 and breathing heavily on June 9. Kenya was euthanized on June 17, 2020. There are no records indicating Kenya was examined by a veterinarian prior to being euthanized.

  • A tiger named Sarge had blood taken on March 31, 2020. Sarge had diarrhea in Sept. and Oct., then was euthanized on Nov. 2. Sarge was not examined by a veterinarian between March 31, 2020 and the date of euthanasia.

  • A lion named Scrunches experienced vomiting and nausea in Aug. 2018. Scrunches was not seen by a veterinarian and on Jan. 9, 2019, she was noted to be dragging herself around the enclosure. A veterinarian was consulted via phone call on Jan. 17, 2019, however, Scrunches was not examined by the veterinarian until she was euthanized on Jan. 23, 2019.

  • On April 21, 2018, a tiger named Sierra “looked dizzy” and over the next several months had multiple episodes of stumbling, back end weakness, and collapsing. Sierra was not seen by a veterinarian between April 21 and the day she was euthanized on Aug. 18, 2018.

  • A tiger named Tara was vomiting on Feb. 17, 2020, but was not evaluated by a veterinarian until Feb. 24, 2020, when she died under anesthesia.

  • A cougar named Coco was noticed to be lame in March, 2018, and was euthanized on June 8. There are no records indicating Coco was examined by a veterinarian between March-June 2018.

  • A sick serval named Dakari was treated by Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary for a week before seeking veterinary treatment. Dakari ultimately died.

According to the USDA inspection report, all 11 of the deceased animals showed clinical signs for weeks, sometimes months, without being examined by a veterinarian.


Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary April 2021 USDA Inspection Report

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