Feds Cite Big-Cat Exhibitor Over Transport of Infant Tiger Cub

PETA Denounces 'A Walk on the Wild Side' for Acquiring 2-Week-Old Animal to Use as Photo Prop

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Canby, Ore. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently cited notorious exhibitor Steven Higgs, owner of the exotic-animal outfit A Walk on the Wild Side, for the illegal transfer of a 2-week-old tiger cub—who was likely forcibly and prematurely separated from his or her mother—from a roadside zoo in Oklahoma. USDA policy acknowledges that nondomesticated neonatal cubs (baby animals 4 weeks of age or younger) are not able to regulate their body temperatures and have underdeveloped immune systems, putting them at risk for disease and infection. Wild Side supplies big-cat cubs for use in photo op exhibits at fairs and private events across the Pacific Northwest.

The cub was reportedly sent to Wild Side from the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (aka “G.W. Zoo”). In June, PETA called on the USDA to investigate G.W. Zoo for its documented transfers of neonatal big-cat cubs to locations across the country.

“A Walk on the Wild Side has a shameful history of acquiring cubs from shady dealers for use in photo ops and other money-making enterprises,” PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet says. “PETA is calling on federal authorities to crack down on this and every other business that puts baby animals’ lives at risk for the sake of human greed.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that in May 2016, Higgs was cited by the USDA for obtaining 3-week-old neonatal bobcats from Dade City’s Wild Things, a Florida roadside zoo sued by PETA in 2016 for prematurely separating tiger cubs from their mothers, forcing them to interact with the public, and confining tigers to virtually barren cages. Recently, Wild Side has come under fire for keeping exotic animals on farm-zoned property after moving its operation to a location just outside Portland.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind