(Hutch Films/YouTube) During a USDA inspection, a tiger cub bit an official, drawing blood. Stark is of the opinion "a little blood is nothing."
This isn't the first instance in which Stark has come under fire - PETA urged the government to examine Wildlife In Need in July. Nor is this the first time problems with roadside zoos like Stark's have surfaced. In Louisiana, for instance, a tiger named Tony is kept as a novelty at a truck stop. Tigers are a rare sight in the wild, to the point that no one knows exactly how many there are, but the Humane Society estimates more tigers live in Texas zoos than their native Asian forests.
There's no federal policy concerning big cats in captivity, but the International Fund for Animal Welfare is calling for nationwide legislation. It can be tough to tell which sanctuaries are reputable, though accreditation through organizations like the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries is a positive sign. That means the sanctuaries offer proper veterinary care, meet minimum space requirements for big cats and have outdoor environments with natural dirt or grass (also of note: "Humans do not enter enclosures with felids [wild cats]"). That includes places like Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California or Florida's Big Cat Rescue.