Underwood woman agrees to move tigers to ranch
A rural Underwood, Minn., woman has until June 20 to transport nine tigers and a lion to a ranch in southeastern Minnesota. Wendy Mears agreed Monday to place the animals at the Pathfinder Spirit Ranch in Racine to comply with a public health nui...
A rural Underwood, Minn., woman has until June 20 to transport nine tigers and a lion to a ranch in southeastern Minnesota.
Wendy Mears agreed Monday to place the animals at the Pathfinder Spirit Ranch in Racine to comply with a public health nuisance abatement order, said Diane Thorson, the county's public health director.
The order initially required Mears to get rid of the animals from Arcangel Wildlife by Monday.
Thorson said she agreed to extend the deadline because Mears had a plan but needed more time to implement it. If the cats are not out of Otter Tail County by June 20, they will be confiscated, Thorson said.
Mears said Monday she thinks the ranch will be a good place for the animals, but she hopes it will be temporary.
"I love these animals dearly. They're my life," Mears said. "It's just like taking my children away from me."
She would like to raise money to build an improved facility and turn it into an educational zoological park.
Mears began the farm about 18 months ago with David Piccirillo, who has since moved to Florida.
Piccirillo was arrested March 17 in Orlando, Fla., and charged with possessing a tiger cub and a cougar cub without having the necessary permit. He is scheduled to go to trial June 15.
The animals have bitten three people since early 2004, two adult handlers last year and a teenage girl earlier this year, Thorson said.
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