Zoo cited after taking 6-month-old tiger to local fundraiser

Zoo cited after taking 6-month-old tiger to local fundraiser
Iredell County zoo cited after taking 6-month-old tiger to local fundraiser (WSOCTV.com)

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — A zoo in Iredell County, North Carolina, was cited after taking a tiger to a family event.

In a video posted to Facebook, you can see the 6-month-old tiger named Sheldon lying on the ground at a local fundraiser. People were standing all around it. At one point the owner, Scottie Brown, pulls the tiger, it stumbles and lays back down.

Federal officials who saw the video cited Brown for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

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They said the tiger in the video “does not respond with normal feline behavior to stimulation.” And that may be due to exhaustion and/or sedation.

They also said that “insufficient physical barriers were present to protect the public and the animal.”

Brown, owner of Zootastic near Lake Norman, told WSOC-TV the animal was just tired from playing and was not sedated.

He said the tiger weighed less than 50 pounds and he believes both the animal and the public were safe.

“He was fine. He was good. He was on a leash. I’m right there with him. We would not let people touch them,” said Brown.

WSOC-TV contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It sent part of its regulations that prohibit the “exhibition of such animals without sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals and the viewing public to assure the safety of the public and the animals.”