Tiger exhibitor in Kaufman fined $16,000 for multiple animal violations
An animal welfare repeat offender based in Kaufman, Texas, 33 miles southeast of Dallas, has been fined by the USDA for putting people at risk: Tiger exhibitor Lisa Lopez, the operator of All Things Wild, which carts wild tigers around to fairs and public events, has been issued a $16,000 civil penalty by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for illegally exhibiting tigers without a license, as well as offering dangerous public feeding opportunities at Alabama and Georgia state fairs in 2020.
Lopez and All Things Wild have a long history of violations, censures, and fines that dates back decades.
According to a release, the order notes that Lopez repeatedly “allowed members of the public to feed tigers using tongs and without sufficient distance and/or barrier distance between the public and the primary enclosure.”
Feeding large wild animals, including tigers, with tongs is a violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) due to the risk posed to the animals if they bite down on the metal and the risk to humans who get too close to the cages.
The decision also points out that “the attentiveness of the attendants during the tong feeding is inconsistent, increasing the danger to the public.”
The penalty comes after a request by PETA for the USDA to investigate Lopez' activities.
Lopez's most recent run-in with the authorities was in March 2023 when her planned appearance at a fair in Fort Worth was canceled after PETA pointed out that the display would have violated local laws prohibiting the possession of tigers and other wild or exotic animals.
Lopez was denied her own license to exhibit animals in 2017 and was stealthily using the license of another animal exhibitor, Michael Todd, who himself has incurred multiple citations. The USDA then terminated Todd’s license.
Lopez began exhibiting the tigers using her daughter’s license, under the name Genesis Shur-Path Inc.
Lopez’s business partner, Marcus Cook, had his own license to exhibit tigers permanently revoked in 2012 after he was charged with nearly 100 AWA violations, including for using an electric prod on a tiger.
PETA has been urging the federal government to put a permanent end to Lopez's dealings and send the tigers to an accredited sanctuary.
“Lisa Lopez carts tigers from pillar to post in cramped cages to stick them in front of noisy crowds who are put at risk by her carelessness and her violation of the law,” said PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler in a statement.
Lopez is thought to have stopped exhibiting tigers in 2023, as the AWA license she most recently used to exhibit was canceled in 2022 after the licensee failed to renew it.