Friday’s tiger attack isn’t the first at Exotic Feline Rescue Center

Can’t believe ANOTHER accident at another animal sanctuary…this time Joe Taft’s Exotic Feline Rescue Center…How many more accidents until they learn to work in teams?!? Or working under the direct direction of the owner?!? Just after a year past the taking of my cats, Jeff Kozlowski of WBCR had an accident…The volunteer working on his own without supervision and Kozlowski was sited by the USDA as responsible for the accident…We now see 3 more incidents in one year-WHY?!? Are they becoming so lax or desperate for help that they no longer go as a team or under the direct supervision of the owner as they do at GW Exotics?!? Even owners will often go with a team to supervise, accompany and never allow others by themselves; especially if the door is going to be opened and someone going inside the cage for cleaning. Not saying that this would totally prevent an accident from happening but most certainly would decrease the number of incidents from occurring.

So, they take the animals from their rightful owners where they are without incident and place them in places where they would be using volunteers and possibly unsupervised-real smart…And just wondering what Ohio will do when an incident occurs in Alcatraz… 

Indiana refuge center worker in critical condition after tiger mauling

A worker cleaning a cage at an exotic cat refuge in western Indiana was critically injured Friday when she was attacked by a tiger that held her head in its mouth until co-workers were able to free her by spraying the animal with a hose, authorities said.

Marissa Dub was listed in critical condition Friday evening at Wishard Memorial Hospital, spokeswoman Natalie Moya said. Clay County Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said he was told Dub, who is from the Chicago area, has some cuts and bone fractures, but the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Dub was working at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis, when the full-grown male tiger attacked. Gambill said the 21-year-old woman forgot to close a gate separating the cage from a holding area.

“She got to about 10 feet away from that opening when the tiger attacked her,” Gambill told Fox 59.

Dub was out of the cage by the time sheriff deputies arrived. Rescue center workers told authorities the tiger had been holding the woman’s head in its mouth.

“The tiger was basically resting with her head in its mouth,” Gambill told Fox 59.

“They were afraid to rush in immediately because they thought that it might cause the together to become more aggressive and continue hurting her,” he said.

When the center’s director, Joe Taft, saw that the tiger had loosened its hold a bit, he sprayed it with a water hose and the tiger released Dub, Gambill said. The workers used meat to lure the tiger back into the small enclosure.

Taft declined comment about the attack when reached by The Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates exotic animals, is investigating, Gambill said.

“They’ll make the decision on what happens with the animal,” Gambill said.

Taft said it was the first time anyone has been injured by an animal at the center, which opened in 1991, however Gambill told Fox 59 that a similar incident occurred 15 years ago. Gambill said an employee was working inside a tiger’s cage when the employee was bitten and dragged. The employee survived.

The center’s website says it houses more than 230 exotic felines.

Joe Taft’s sanctuary has had a previous incident…approximately 15 years ago…the victim survived…I have found no other information 

Friday’s tiger attack isn’t the first at Exotic Feline Rescue Center


Trainer Marissa Dub was listed in critical condition after being bitten by a tiger she was caring for Friday.

“The tiger was basically resting with her head in its mouth,” said Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Rob Gambill. “They were afraid to rush in immediately because they thought that might cause the tiger to become more aggressive and continue hurting her.”

According to reports, Dub was cleaning up the area where Raja the tiger lives at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center near Terre Haute. Dub moved Raja to a pin so she could clean the animal’s habitat, but a door did not get closed completely.

“She got to about 10 feet away from that opening when the tiger attacked her,” said Gambill.

The tiger bit the 21-year-old’s head.  Dub was flown to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.  Gambill said she had skull fractures.

Staff at the center distracted the cat by throwing some meat into a corner. They also sprayed water on Raja to get it into a containment area.

The attack is a shock to people who love the more than 200 animals and those who care for them at the rescue.

“That has to be their nightmare,” said Gambill.  “Even though they love animals, in the back of their minds it’s got to be that primal thing of a tiger stalking you.”

The information about the incident will be forwarded to the USDA. They will decide what to do next.

According to Gambill, the last time something like this happened at Exotic Feline Rescue Center was 15 years ago.  An employee was working inside a tiger’s cage, when the employee turned their back on the animal. The employee was bitten and dragged, but survived.


Previous posts about Joe Taft that might be of interest:

To the best of my knowledge, the last time Joe Taft ‘rescued animals’ was late spring from Wisconsin…again he used a rental truck with the USDA overlooking as they were present for the loading of the animals…Does this mean they have overlooked previous times over with transport, handling of animals, animal care, etc?!? Time to look up the record for Joe Taft and his facility over the last couple of years…Kind of interesting…

The most recent inspection report was September 25, 2012…The report “focused to gain information on employees and volunteers doing chores and or chores involving animal husbandry at the facility, to include training information.”

“This information remains under review at this time.”

September 28, 2011– “The enclosures at this facility are under review”

No great earthquaking news however ‘under review’ and nothing further?!? Were these inspections a waste of taxpayer money?!? There certainly is no follow up or even a reason for any focus report…And something I have seen once before… for Baskin, Big Cat Rescue (BCR)

Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned  -B

~ by topcatsroar on June 24, 2013.

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