The National Humane Society is calling for yet another investigation into Tiger Safari in Tuttle, after an adult African lion died there early Thursday morning.
The lion was known as “Pharaoh”, Newcastle Veterinarian Patti Maness said the big cat was between 15 and 18 years old.
Pharaoh is the third big cat to die at Tiger Safari in the past several months, which the Humane Society said is a big problem. However, Dr. Maness said Pharaoh had been cared for well over the years. In fact, she said she’s done a lot of the work herself.
“Pharaoh’s a bit of a miracle cat. I first started treating him back in the early 2000’s. He just about died in 2009. He was one of those rare cases…it was a massive bacterial infection, he lost his intestine lining, his stomach, he was at OSU at the vet school, and they did a CAT Scan, CT,” said Dr. Maness.
Tiger Safari Owner Bill Meadows wouldn’t talk on camera Thursday afternoon, but he told News 9’s Steve Shaw by phone in quote, “I’m going to mourn my cat. I haven’t done anything wrong, except give him care.”
Dr. Maness said she performed a necropsy on the lion Thursday morning. She said the results should come back in a week, and that there probably won’t be any surprises.
“We knew he was old. We talked about it last winter, was he gonna make it through the winter?” said Dr. Maness.