These maps show how tigers have been traded across the U.S.

Tourism drives tiger breeding in the U.S., where many roadside zoos and other businesses charge guests to pet and pose with cubs. Some exhibitors and breeders make thousands of dollars a day from cubs that are sometimes as young as four weeks. These maps illustrate transfer records obtained from state wildlife agencies and watchdog organizations monitoring two of the largest facilities in the industry and their transactions with 48 other businesses. Records of all tiger trades are not available.

Serenity Springs

Wildlife Center

Records from 1996 to 2016 show

this business (now closed) received

147 tigers and shipped out seven.

Tiger transfers

Transferred into location

1

Transferred out from location

1

Both in and out

1

Number shows total tigers transferred

6

Serenity Springs

Dirk Arthur

Wild Magic

1 in,

6 out

12 in, 3 out

11

Doc Antle's

Myrtle Beach

Safari

7

12

15

2

5

2

5

2

4

5

2

9

3

3

Tigers at risk

Famous exhibitor

When former owner Nick Sculac sold the facility in 2016, it housed 74 tigers,

many in dire health.

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle

is known for offering cub petting and for breeding hybrids and white tigers.

Greater Wynnewood

Exotic Animal Park

Records from 2010 to 2018 show this business shipped out 168 tigers

and received 28.

Tiger transfers

Transferred into location

1

Transferred out from location

1

Both in and out

1

Number shows total tigers transferred

Animal

Entertainment

4

26

4

Greater Wynnewood

Woody's

Menagerie

31

29 in, 2 out

5

6

4

12

8

Breeder behind bars

The former operator

of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park,

“Joe Exotic,” was a prolific tiger breeder before being convicted of wildlife violations and murder-for-hire charges. His business partner, Jeff Lowe, still runs the park.

Hybrids on display

This traveling act advertises its ligers (the offspring of a lion father and a tiger mother) as the world’s largest cats.

BEFORE 2016, GREATER WYNNEWOOD WAS CALLED EITHER G.W. EXOTIC ANIMAL PARK OR GAROLD WAYNE EXOTIC ANIMAL MEMORIAL PARK.

State laws on keeping big cats as pets

Tigers, native to Asia, were first brought to the U.S. in the early 1800s. Today the Endangered Species Act outlaws imports

of tigers or tiger parts for commercial use.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act, currently before Congress, would ban commercial breeding, public handling, and ownership of big cats as pets across the U.S.

No law (4 states)

Permit required (10 states)

Ban (36 states and D.C.)

Despite state bans, it’s still possible for breeders and exhibitors to obtain a license from the USDA to transfer and keep big cats.

AK AND HI NOT TO SCALE

States without laws regulating big cats as pets

Nevada

Oklahoma

North Carolina

Wisconsin

States requiring a permit to keep big cats as pets

Delaware

Mississippi

Pennsylvania

Texas

Idaho

Missouri

Rhode Island

Indiana

North Dakota

South Dakota

States with a ban on keeping big cats as pets

Alabama

Arkansas

Connecticut

Hawaii

Kansas

Maine

Michigan

Nebraska

New Mexico

Oregon

Utah

Washington

Alaska

California

Florida

Illinois

Kentucky

Maryland

Minnesota

New Hampshire

New York

South Carolina

Vermont

West Virginia

Arizona

Colorado

Georgia

Iowa

Louisiana

Massachusetts

Montana

New Jersey

Ohio

Tennessee

Virginia

Wyoming

RILEY D. CHAMPINE, JOHN KAPPLER, NGM STAFF; SCOTT ELDER.

SOURCES: OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND FORESTRY; COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE; TURPENTINE CREEK WILDLIFE REFUGE; HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES; CARNEY ANNE NASSER, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW; ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS; PETA; SPECIES360; IUCN; PANTHERA; WWF

These maps show how tigers have been traded across the U.S.

Tourism drives tiger breeding in the U.S., where many roadside zoos

and other businesses charge guests to pet and pose with cubs. Some exhibitors and breeders make thousands of dollars a day from cubs that are sometimes as young as four weeks. These maps illustrate transfer records obtained from state wildlife agencies and watchdog

organizations monitoring two of the largest facilities in the industry

and their transactions with 48 other businesses. Records of all

tiger trades are not available.

Serenity Springs Wildlife Center

Records from 1996 to 2016 show this business (now closed) received 147 tigers and shipped out seven.

Number of transactions

Tiger transfers

1

1

Transferred into location

2–7

1

Transferred out from location

8 or more

Both in and out

1

Number shows total tigers transferred

West Coast

Game Park

6

Tigers at risk

When former owner Nick

Sculac sold the facility in

2016, it housed 74 tigers,

many in dire health.

Prairie Wind

Animal Refuge

Wild Things Inc.

Famous exhibitor

6 out, 1 in

11

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle

is known for offering cub

petting and for breeding

hybrids and white tigers.

7

Serenity Springs

Wildlife Center

12

Dirk Arthur Wild Magic

5

15

2

12 in, 3 out

Alamo

Tiger Ranch

2

Hollywood

Animals

2

Jungle Exotics

Doc Antle's

Myrtle Beach Safari

5

4

5

Bridgeport Nature Center

Jungle Safari

2

Noah's Land

9

Jungleland Zoo

3

3

Animal Adventures

Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

Records from 2010 to 2018 show this business shipped

out 168 tigers and received 28.

Tiger transfers

Number of transactions

1

1

Transferred into location

1

2–7

Transferred out from location

Both in and out

8 or more

1

Number shows total tigers transferred

Tiger Preservation Center

4

Animal Entertainment

26

2

Barry R. Kirshner

Wildlife Sanctuary

3

4

Noah's Lost Ark

Hybrids on display

Woody's Menagerie

This traveling act advertises

its ligers (the offspring of a

lion father and a tiger mother)

as the world’s largest cats.

31

29 in

2 out

2

Wildlife

in Need

3

Big Cat Encounters Ranch

3

Forever Wild Exotic

Animal Sanctuary

2

Tiger World

3

2

National Tiger Sanctuary

3

Jungle Exotics

Greater Wynnewood

Exotic Animal Park

5

Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary

6

Sharkarosa

Wildlife Ranch

4

12

Jungle Safari

Breeder behind bars

2

8

The former operator of Greater Wynnewood

Exotic Animal Park, “Joe Exotic,” was a prolific

tiger breeder before being convicted of wild-

life violations and murder-for-hire charges. His

business partner, Jeff Lowe, still runs the park.

Animal Adventures

2

BEFORE 2016, GREATER WYNNEWOOD WAS CALLED EITHER G.W. EXOTIC ANIMAL PARK OR GAROLD WAYNE EXOTIC ANIMAL MEMORIAL PARK.

2

State laws on keeping big cats as pets

Tigers, native to Asia, were first brought to the U.S. in the early 1800s. Today the Endangered Species Act outlaws imports of tigers or tiger parts for commercial use.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act, currently before Congress, would ban commercial breeding, public handling, and ownership of big cats as pets across the U.S.

Permit required (10 states)

Ban (36 states and D.C.)

No law (4 states)

Despite state bans, its still possible for breeders and exhibitors to obtain a license from the USDA to transfer and keep big cats.

WASHINGTON

MAINE

NORTH

DAKOTA

MONTANA

MINNESOTA

VT.

OREGON

N.H.

MASS.

WISCONSIN

SOUTH

DAKOTA

IDAHO

NEW YORK

MICHIGAN

WYOMING

R.I.

CONN.

PENNSYLVANIA

IOWA

NEW

JERSEY

NEBRASKA

NEVADA

OHIO

DELAWARE

IND.

ILLINOIS

UTAH

MARYLAND

D.C.

W. VA.

COLORADO

CALIFORNIA

VIRGINIA

KANSAS

MISSOURI

KENTUCKY

NORTH

CAROLINA

TENNESSEE

OKLAHOMA

SOUTH

CAROLINA

ARIZONA

NEW

MEXICO

ARKANSAS

GEORGIA

MISS.

ALABAMA

TEXAS

LA.

FLA.

ALASKA

HAWAII

ALASKA AND HAWAII NOT TO SCALE

RILEY D. CHAMPINE, JOHN KAPPLER, NGM STAFF; SCOTT ELDER. SOURCES: OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND FORESTRY; COLORADO PARKS & WILDLIFE; TURPENTINE CREEK WILDLIFE REFUGE; HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES; CARNEY ANNE NASSER, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW;

ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS; PETA; SPECIES360; IUCN; PANTHERA; WWF