After receiving an anonymous tip-off, officials from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) went to investigate a farm shop in Poinsett County, Arkansas, earlier this week. What they found was shocking — seven tigers, six lions and one leopard locked up in cages.
As it turned out, these big cats belonged to Alexander Lacey, a trainer from the now-defunct Ringling Bros. circus. After the controversial circus shut down earlier this year, animal welfare advocates hoped its animals would be retired to sanctuaries. Instead, Feld Entertainment, the company behind Ringling Bros., announced in May that it would be shipping the animals to Germany, where they’d continue to perform in another controversial circus, Zirkus Charles Knie.