Visitors to Miami’s Jungle Island stampeded over each other to avoid an escaped, 3 yr old, 500 lb. tiger named Mahesh. A monkey escaped while being transported through the zoo and 500 lb. Mahesh bounded over the 14-foot fence into the public area according to the Miami Herald.
The attraction’s three big cats — which include a liger and a white tiger — have been confined to a “night kennel,” while the park investigates. “We were really scared. There were people crying,” Miami mom Dorothy Evans told the Herald, adding that people knocked each other down as they sprinted toward the shelter. “People were running for their lives,” Larry Rhodes, 46, of Pompano Beach, told the Sun Sentinel. Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told the Herald that several people were injured while running, including a mother who fell on top of her 15-month old baby. Another guest was taken to a Miami hospital after suffering a panic attack.
Bhagavan (Kevin) Antle, who also owns T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach, SC and who is the owner of Mahesh, was charged with one count of maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition, resulting in threats to public safety. Park owner Bern M. Levine was charged with two second-degree misdemeanors for conditions resulting in the animals’ escape. The charges for both men have a maximum penalty of $500, FWC officer Pino said. Video
“Doc” Antle is infamous for the cross species email photos you always receive from people saying how cute the orangutan holding the white tiger cubs are. This is a dangerous publicity ploy by his organization that could easily end tragically for the cubs.
Antle founded T.I.G.E.R.S. The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species where people pay as much as $2000 for private photo sessions and as little as $59 to interact with big cat cubs. He has even flagrantly snubbed the law by allowing guests to swim with tigers. If you google him, you’ll see tons of images of him and articles about him and his breeding of ligers, white tigers, etc. You can read more at http://www.911animalabuse.com/00abusers/bhagavandocantle.htm and read what Alan Green had to say about him in his expose book “Animal Underworld” at Doc Antle
With his long history of exploiting all big cat species, how sad that all that came out of this dangerous escape was one charge against him of maintaining captive wildlife in unsafe conditions and a $500 slap on the wrists. What the media really needs to research is what happens to all of the cubs he breeds every year for these photo ops and pimping sessions.