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-Big Cat Attacks-

The following is a partial listing (750) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990. The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 23 humans, 16 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 258 more adults and children, 269 escapes, the killing of 146 big cats, and 133 confiscations. There have also been 276 big cat incidents outside the U.S. that have resulted in the deaths of 94 humans and the mauling of 149 humans by captive big cats. These figures only represent the headlines that Big Cat Rescue has been able to track. Because there is no reporting agency that keeps such records the actual numbers are certainly much higher. All info from: Thanks Carole :-) Go Their ? >BCR Big Cat Attacks.

Daily Big Cat News
Posted On My Facebook Group Below.

These Big Cat Attack Stories Are From 2016 - 2018.
There Are So Many That They Won’t All Fit On One Page.

Note: Page 2 Lists Attack Stories From 1990 - 2015

- Categories # By Year -

  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • Page 2

  • Mane Page / Home

  • 2018

    May 1, 2018 S. Africa: A lion whose attack on a Michael Hodge, owner of Marakele Predator Centre in Limpopo province was recorded in a graphic video has been killed. The video shows Hodge walking in an enclosure behind the lion and then running for an exit when the lion turns and chases him. The lion quickly drags him toward some bushes.

    May 1, 2018 Pelham, AL: A serval went missing when he bolted from the front door of Felicia Wilson’s home.

    Mar 19, 2018 Mexico: Gustavo Serrano Carabajal was cleaning the Kimba lion’s cage but forgot to properly lock the gate. The lion opened the gate and attacked Carabajal by savaging his neck. His lifeless body was later found in the enclosure of Kimba – who is kept at Nicolas Bravo Zoo, in Mexico.

    Mar 12, 2018 China: An official with the Fuzhou City Government in East China’s Fujian Province said the tiger “suddenly bit onto and suffocated him to death.” The statement said Wu, who worked for the Fuzhou Zoo, had raised the tiger since it was a cub, and that it had been domesticated through long-term interaction with humans. Officials described the tiger as “usually quite docile”.

    Mar 10, 2018 Jaddah, Saudi Arabia: A horror moment was caught on film when a little girl is mauled by a lion after kids were trapped inside enclosure where their parents had brought them to play with a “cub”. The girl can be seen screaming in terror as lion swipes at her with its paws, pinning her to the wall before forcing her to the ground.

    Mar 6, 2018 Pretoria, SA: A 22-year-old, unnamed woman was mauled to death while visiting a popular private wildlife sanctuary run by Kevin Richardson, the well-known “Lion Whisperer,” near Pretoria at the Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve. Richardson was taking “his” lions for a walk when one broke free and killed the woman almost 2 miles away as she was getting into her car after doing an interview for school.

    Feb 7, 2018 Guatamala: Cipriano Alvarez, 55, had his limbs ripped off after putting his hands too far through the metal bars to give circus tigers a bucket of water to drink from. He had been instructed to fast them every third day. The tigers ate his arms.

    Jan 11, 2018 Krasnoyarsk, Russia: A woman is saved by her thick winter coat when runaway puma attacks her after it escaped from a Russian circus called Dovgalyuk Dynasty. The woman was attacked from behind as she bought tickets. Drivers in the car park honked horns to scare the puma away and stop the attack. The puma was later caught.


    Nov. 24, 2017 Paris, France: Tiger shot dead in Paris after escaping from the Bormann-Moreno circus. The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, founded by the actor turned animal rights activist, expressed horror and called on the ecology minister to ban the use of animals in circuses. “It’s a miracle that there weren’t any human victims this time,” the group said.

    Nov. 23, 2017 China: A curious onlooker passed out in agony, after a circus tiger gnawed on his hand for three minutes as the man was trying to feed the tiger, which was in a circus wagon in Nanyang City, China before a show.

    Nov. 22, 2017 RI: A Savannah cat is caught on camera breaking into a home and attacking the family’s domestic cat right outside the door of a newborn infant. The Savannah cat broke into the house on several occasions by slipping through a vent and then breaking out windows.

    Nov. 8, 2017 PA: An African Serval was found wandering the streets of Berk Co., PA. “We have had everything from monkeys to Nile crocodiles to, you know, mountain lions,” said Tom Hubric, the ARL’s interim executive director. “We’ve had some crazy calls over the years, so our staff really never knows what they’re going to walk into. We did check with [the Pennsylvania] Fish and Game [Commission],” Hubric said. “There is nobody in Berks County that has a current license to own an African serval, and we assume that’s the reason why nobody came looking for her.”

    Nov. 6, 2017 Russia: At the Kaliningrad Zoo horrific photos show the moment the Siberian big cat pounced on his Keeper as she tried to feed him. The images showed the woman lying on her back as the tiger pinned her to the ground, closing in for the kill. Some visitors picked up a table and chairs from a nearby cafe, hurling it towards the animal in a bid to distract him. Others began screaming and shouting as the 15-year-old male tiger named Typhoon, carried on his assault. One witness described how the woman began screaming as she desperately tried to fight off the beast. The zookeeper managed to flee when the tiger became distracted by the crowds. With no other staff in sight, it was also up to the visitors to call for an ambulance. She has since been taken to hospital and, miraculously, is expected to survive.

    Oct. 7, 2017 India: Animal keeper Anjaneya Anji, aged 41, was killed in Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore by two white tiger cubs. Even as young cubs tigers can be deadly. Another animal keeper at the park was badly injured by in an attack at the park in 2015.

    Sep. 29, 2017 South Africa: Ospreys coach Steve Tandy called hooker Scott Baldwin “stupid” after the Welsh international put his hand through a fence and was bitten by a lion in South Africa.

    Sep. 26, 2017 Schnecksville, PA: Shishka, an 18-year-old bobcat, escaped at a beer fest at the Lehigh Valley Zoo, after working her way out of a hole in the cage.

    Sep. 16, 2017 Kelso, MO: A serval owner named Amy Grubb-Klingeman posted on Facebook; (Bella) has gotten off her harness. She’s an African Serval. Last seen in Kelso. $1,000 Reward for any sighting that brings her home.

    Aug 24, 2017 Virginia Beach, VA: Regarding a super size cat prowling the neighborhood, “It appears to be a Savannah cat which is a hybrid of a domestic cat and a serval, which is an African. They are legal to own as pets in Virginia,” Pete Acker, a biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said.

    Aug 22, 2017 Hardeeville, SC: A 45-pound, 2-year-old serval named Toby went missing from a Plantation Drive home in Hardeeville. The owner Christine Ismail says she suspects Toby broke through a window in the home and may be injured.

    Jun 3, 2017 Ontario, Canada: South Georgian Bay OPP reported spotting an African Serval cat in the area of Tiny Beaches Road North and Forest Circle.

    May 29, 2017 UK: A female zoo-keeper has died a “freak accident” after a tiger entered an enclosure at a wildlife park. The attack happened at Hamerton Zoo Park, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

    May 22, 2017 SA: This one is not calculated into the totals above because we have never tracked escapes or big cats killed outside of the U.S. A male tiger named King Corbett was euthanized at by John Varty where a 3-year-old boy was killed by the cheetah in recently. Apparently he was being “too aggressive”, having reportedly escaped from his enclosure at least three times and attacked the owner of the place.

    May 18 2017 SA: Cheetah attack in Cape Town, Africa at Tenikwa Awareness Center. One of the guides was bitten and when the other came over to help the cheetah attacked him next. This place offers walks with their cheetahs just like many trophy hunting facilities in Africa.

    May 15, 2017 TX: A jaguar escaped from its enclosure at the Abilene Zoo and attacked a spider monkey, which later was euthanized due to the extend of the wounds. The zoo can’t figure out how the jaguar escaped.

    May 8, 2017 Doullan, France: A lion grabbed his tamer around the throat and dragged him around the circus ring before an audience of horrified children. According to Francebleu, he has been left bewildered by the attack having raised and trained the animal himself, never having had a problem before.

    Mar 17 2017 SA Emdoneni Lodge in Hluhluwe KwaZulu-Natal: A cheetah attacked a teenage guest from New Zealand. Dave Driver‚ father of 14-year-old Isaac‚ had to rescue his son when he was attacked by one of the cheetahs. His mother Mandy told Radio New Zealand that one of the cheetahs seemed to be restless when the family visited the lodge. It walked through the group before pushing her son‚ Isaac‚ to the ground with “full force”. “[The cheetah] landed [Isaac] on the ground as though it was eating him. It was horrible‚ it was really scary‚” she said. “My husband just seemed to appear from nowhere — he just grabbed the cheetah‚ pulled him off … and just held it to the ground.” Isaac sustained injuries to his back and shoulder. In August 2015‚ a grade four KwaZulu-Natal schoolboy was bitten by a cheetah during a school outing to a midlands conservancy. He was admitted to hospital.

    Apr 8, 2017 SA: 12-year-old Kristian Prinsloo did not survive the April 8 lion attack that left him in a critical condition at a hospital in Pretoria where he died. The Grade 6 pupil died a day after his 12th birthday with two of his neck vertebrae damaged from the attack and a swollen brain that stopped doctors from performing any operation. The boy was attacked by a three-year-old “tame” lion that was kept in a cage at a luxury estate where his grandmother, 75-year-old Marie Strydom – whom he was visiting – lived. The lion was one of three belonging to the grandmother’s neighbours and friends, Cor and Alet Vos outside Lephalale in the Limpopo province.

    Mar 23, 2017 Paterson, NJ: An African Serval was tranquilized and brought to Wildlife Freedom in Wanaque after escaping through the window of the owner’s apartment in a run down section of town. The owner was insisting that the cat is a Savannah Cat, probably to avoid a ban on wild cats, but it is clearly a Serval.

    Mar 19, 2017 SA: A 3 year-old boy has been killed by a captive cheetah on Tiger Canyons, a tiger breeding farm owned by John Varty, near Philippolis in the Karoo region of South Africa. Varty frequently attracts controversy – including a protracted and crippling legal battle with former partners in Tiger Canyons farm and being hospitalised with two broken ribs, lacerations and puncture wounds after one of his tigers attacked him. He also accidentally shot one of his tigers who was a new mother.

    Jan 29, 2017 China: A tourist has been mauled to death by three tigers in front of his wife and child. Chinese media claims the father died after he entered the enclosure and walked towards the hungry cats as they were feeding – one tiger was shot and killed. Horrendous footage shows the visitor writhing in agony on the floor as the three animals bite and claw his body with their massive paws. The tigers attacked the man inside Ningbo Younger Zoo, in east China, and were undeterred when zoo keepers tried to scare them off with firecrackers and water canons. Local reports say the man has died from his injuries after the the captive creatures bit into his head and neck.

    Jan 28, 2017 Rome, Italy: Panicked residents in a small Italian town ran for safety as an escaped Bengal tiger roamed the streets for several hours. The tiger, named Oscar, had escaped from a Swedish circus and took to the streets of Monreale, Italy, for about two hours. Police, with the help of circus trainers, were able to corral the tiger into a cage.

    Jan 26, 2017 Japan: A lion bit the heads and legs of two animal keepers while they were bathing him inside a cage in preparation for a photo shoot. The lion, reportedly a 10-year-old male, was chained and did not escape. The keepers, a man in his 20s, and a female in her 50s, remain conscious but were severely injured. The two employees were bathing the the lion owned by Shonan Animal Production, a company that rears animals for television productions and film projects. While it’s tragic that two people suffered injuries, this is just another story that shows what happens when wild animals are kept captive: they fight back. And it’s a lose-lose situation for both the animals and people

    Jan 18, 2017 South Africa: Two white lions escaped from Lion Tree Top Lodge to the neighbouring property, Ngama Lodge, where they attacked the two gentlemen – who are both employees of Ngama Lodge. One was killed by the lions and the other mauled. According to their website, Lion Tree Top Lodge raised the white lions to educate people about the plight of lions in the wild.

    Jan 12, 2017 South Africa: Hoedspruit police spokesman Luvhuhani Mulaudzi: “Qebekhulu Justice and an unidentified friend of his were attacked by a lion, thought to be from Lion Tree Top Lodge, when they were collecting firewood within their work premises.” An inquest has been registered and investigations are under way.


    Dec 23, 2016 Russia: A 50 yr old male zoo employee in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia was hospitalized with severe bites after he entered the enclosure of a lioness in order to pet her. Unfortunately, the drunken man’s desire to cuddle with the big kitty ended abruptly when she attacked him. The mauling occurred at the Madagascar Zoo in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga River.

    Dec 21, 2016 Russia: A rampaging leopard mauls woman at a circus as she protected her four year old godson from the attack. The woman struggled to protect her friend’s son Tim (Timofey), her godson, who she had taken to see the travelling circus show in Bogotol, Krasnoyarsk region. Moments earlier, the leopard called Loki (a young cub) had been taken out of the arena by its woman tamer after appearing ‘aggressive’. When it came back, it immediately rushed towards the boy and his godmother.

    ‘Suddenly he jumped in front of my nose, I only had time to cover Tim,’ said Lyubov, who saved the child from a possibly fatal attack. The beast grabbed me with its teeth, and began to tear me up.’ Circus staff had pulled the leopard away from the woman and boy, and were also wounded. A police car then rushed her to hospital. ‘I felt weak and nauseous,’ she said.

    The boy’s mother Oksana Uskova was also with them, and said: ‘Doctors put in 10 stitches and her tendon was bitten all the way through, not to mention the stress and consequences in the future… There was no safety, no fencing. We sat in the 6th row, but the animal was there in three seconds. This fear and horror still is in my eyes.’

    She added: ‘No one helped us. We went outside, and were waiting for the ambulance there. But it took so long the traffic police gave us a lift to the hospital. As we got to their car, she [Lyubov] fainted. She lost a lot of blood. There was blood everywhere.

    Nov. 20, 2016 Johannesburg, SA: A child was attacked by a tiger at a show inside a zoo in the city of Sakakah, north of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates based television news channel Al Arabiya reported. People screamed as they managed to rescue the 5 year old girl from the tiger’s grip. See video at

    Oct 5, 2016 S. Africa: A nine year old boy, named Jayden Swanepoel, was hospitalized for bites to the neck by a lion at a cub petting scheme in Tzaneen.

    Oct. 1, 2016 SD: Michael Welchynski, founder of Spirit of the Hills, a pseudo sanctuary located at 500 Tinton Rd. Spearfish SD, was found by first responders to be covered in bites to his head, neck, shoulders and arms. He had been bitten by a tiger (presumably Louise or Raphael) who escaped through an open gate. At first no one knew where the tiger was lurking. Deputies approached the tiger’s enclosure to secure the still open gate. “It peeked its head out of the door a couple times, and the third time it crouched down and started coming out the door,” deputy Paul Hansen said. “There is really nothing fence-wise, they told us, that would keep something like (the tiger) in the perimeter, because they are not tall fences,” Hansen said. The tiger was shot and killed. Welchynski is in the hospital in fair condition. The remaining big cats were relocated to Wild Animal Sanctuary in CO. The USDA had been camped out at the facility since Sept. 28th for undisclosed reasons.

    Sept 29, 2016 Germany: A lion cub was shot dead at Leipzig zoo after escaping from enclosure. The one-year-old lions, named Majo and Motshegetsi, had slipped into the main grounds of the zoo at about 8.40am local time, before the park opened to the public. Staff determined they had lost control of the situation and a zookeeper shot and killed Motshegetsi. The two lions, originally from Namibia, arrived in Leipzig last month from Basel zoo. The escape “surprised all of us because the enclosure had been in operation for 15 years. Of course we assume that it is secure,” Junhold, the zoo director said. Last March, one tiger was killed by another at Leipzig zoo when a partition separating the animals was removed by accident.

    July 7, 2016 Berlin, Germany: Two lions escaped from the zoo in the German town of Baruth, which is 46 miles from Berlin. The lions made a run for it at 11am into an area full of guests. A sharpshooting veterinarian was able to sedate the intrepid female lion so that she could be placed back in its cage, along with her male counterpart who stayed at the entry of the cage. No one knows how they made their escape, but the executive director of the wildlife park, Julian Dorsch, told the press that the outbreak was apparently due to ‘human error’.

    July 7, 2016 Devon, UK: A Siberian lynx has escaped from Dartmoor Zoo and is on the loose. Keepers have warned it could attack ‘if alarmed or cornered’. Flaviu, arrived the night before his escape by chewing through a board in the wall of the enclosure. Police are on site and a helicopter is combing the area while children in a local nursery are being kept inside. Around 30 visitors were ushered to safety this morning and the zoo was shut for the day on the advice of the local council.

    July 2, 2016 Spain: An animal caretaker has been killed by a tiger at a nature park in the southern Spanish town of Benidorm. The 37-year-old woman was attacked by the tiger while she was in his cage. According to news website Ultima Hora, she had left a gate to the tiger area open. Police contacted the Red Cross and ambulances rushed to the scene – Terra Natura de Benidorm nature park – but they were not able to act until the tiger had been tranquilised.

    June 16, 2016 OR: Josephine County Animal Protection Officer David Pitts reports that the Great Cats general manager, Sarah (or Sherrie Johnson?), told him keeper Sara Romswinckel hadn’t noticed that the tiger’s “den” was unlocked when she pulled a cable opening a “guillotine” door, which in turn allowed the cat, a white tiger named Scooby, to enter the den. When the tiger then rubbed his face against the gate, it opened, prompting Romswinckel to push her body against it an effort to close the gate. When the keeper then put her arm across the slightly open gate, to gain leverage, the tiger struck. Romswinckel suffered fractures and extensive soft-tissue damage. Pitts reported that the tiger, if it escaped the den, could have hopped a 6-foot wooden fence. Craig Wagner, the park President, previously was cited for a “photo shoot,” where a teenager handled a tiger and leopard was bitten by the leopard, according to a USDA complaint filed in 2013.

    June 12, 2016 Canada: A lynx scratched a little girl at the Ringtail Ranch in Wainfleet. The child pulled on a Plexiglas window on the enclosure, opening it wide enough that the lynx was able to reach out its paws and scratch the girl on either side of her head. She was standing there with her parents. Welland and District Humane Society executive director John Greer said the cat’s claws could easily cut through skin, and “it’s ridiculous the amount of damage they can do in a very short period of time.” “The little girl really got lucky,” he said.

    June 7, 2016 UT: An Amur leopard escaped and was at large at the Hogle Zoo during peak visiting hours. Zeya, a 60-pound, four-year-old Amur Leopard, is one of the smallest animals to live at the zoo’s Asian Highlands exhibit. They said she apparently climbed up some mesh fencing that surrounds the enclosure and squeezed through one of the 6″ by 6″ holes at the top. A large quantity of Zeya’s fur was found on the mesh, which led zoo officials to reach this conclusion about Zeya’s escape. Zeya was found sleeping on a beam about 15 feet in the air just outside the fence to her cage. Her escape prompted a lockdown at the zoo and guests were ushered into buildings as workers contained Zeya. An emergency response time shot her with a tranquilizer dart and she was taken to the zoo’s hospital for observation.

    May 21, 2016 Chile: Two lions were killed after a man jumped into the lion enclosure at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo in Chile, local police said. They say the man climbed over the fence and removed his clothes before he approached the lions inside the enclosure, and zoo staff shot the lions to protect him. The incident has provoked outrage on social media, while the zoo is defending its actions.

    Apr 21, 2016 TX: The Conroe Police Department began receiving phone calls reporting a small tiger on the loose. Given that tigers are not native to the Houston, Texas suburb, this probably seemed pretty strange. Conroe police are not pleased with the young tigress’ presence. Dorcy McGinnis of the Conroe Police Department told KHOU, “[The tiger] is a very strong animal. It definitely would not be appropriate here in the City of Conroe.” Although tigers can be legally kept as pets in the state of Texas, Conroe’s city ordinances prohibit owning or harboring a “dangerous animal” in the city. A day later and no owner has come forward.

    Apr 15, 2016 Palm Beach, FL: A woman has died after a tiger injured her inside the tiger’s night house at the Palm Beach Zoo. The victim was said to be “very knowledgeable about the tigers and loved them dearly”. She was flown by Trauma Hawk to St. Mary’s for treatment, according to Naki Carter, a zoo spokesperson. Police said the tiger was tranquilized. Authorities had to wait until the drugs took effect on the tiger before rescue crews could get to the victim. Yes, that’s two people killed by captive tigers on the same day. A new record.

    Apr 15, 2016 San Salvadore: A white tiger being kept in a private zoo in El Salvador fatally attacked its keeper and escaped but was recaptured hours later. “It looks like the keeper wasn’t following safety protocols as he fed the white tiger and it attacked him, causing serious injuries that caused his death.” The big cat was being kept in an animal park run by a group called the Wildlife Refuge Foundation on the outskirts of Jayaque, a town just west of the capital San Salvador.

    Apr 2, 2016 Malta: The hunters’ international fair, organised by the Hunters’ Federation, attracted thousands of visitors to Montekristo Estates for a weekend of guns, ammunition and hunting paraphernalia. It also attracted visitors to the animal park that had been closed last Nov after the mauling of another child by a tiger on the loose. While the zoo was inexplicably open, a second child, this time a young boy, suffered scratches to his neck and back from another animal, a juvenile lioness.

    Mar 7, 2016 Russia: A toddler has been mauled by a lion cub after it was left to run loose in a Russian park in Vladimir, east of Moscow. A traveling “zoo” owner was showing off the lion cub in the park. Within seconds the young animal’s attention is diverted to a small child sitting nearby and the cub races to the boy and begins to maul his neck. His mother can be heard screaming in Russian “get him” as the helpless child cries out “mummy.” The handler quickly pulls the lion off the toddler and proceeds to beat it.

    Feb 28, 2016 Canada: The owner of Papanack’s Exotic Animals shot and killed a five-year-old male lion named Zeus that had escaped from its enclosure. Officers from Hawkesbury OPP rushed to the scene and found the African lion walking near the entrance of Papanack Park Zoo, an unfenced area. There was no way to contain the animal, police say, and the zoo owner was forced to shoot it. Kerri Bayford posted on behalf of the park “At approximately 5:19 p.m. our male lion breached its primary perimeter fence. Police were called immediately and within minutes our staff, with police present, made the decision to euthanize the lion on our property,” Bayford wrote. “The risk to the public of trying to sedate the lion was simply too high as the sedative takes too long to kick in and this would have put everyone at risk.”

    Jan 21, 2016 Australia: A 12 year old tiger has attacked a keeper at an Australian zoo founded by the late Steve Irwin. The incident, which took place Thursday morning at the Sunshine Coast’s Australia Zoo, left 41-year-old Che Woolcott with “significant puncture wounds” to his head and forearm, according to local media reports. He was treated at the scene before being transferred to the hospital.

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