Tiger kills woman in one swipe|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|05/27/07 at 19:09:02|richard_f|xx|0||Tiger kills woman in one swipe


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

May 11, 2007 at 9:05 PM EDT

Vancouver — A tiger paw flashed out from underneath the chain-link cage
at the Siberian Magic exotic-animal farm, slashing at Tanya
Dumstrey-Soos and dropping her to the ground.

For nearly an hour, her 14-year-old son and the 15-year-old son of her
fiancé tried to staunch the bleeding from a severed artery in her leg
while an ambulance made its way over the winding road to the remote farm
in the BC interior. As she waited, she had time to talk to her fiancé,
Kim Carlton — the owner of Siberian Magic — by cellphone.

The 32-year-old woman was taken to hospital in 100 Mile House, about 40
kilometres west of the farm, but could not be revived. The attack was as
quick as it was deadly, with no one yet sure why one of the tigers at
Siberian Magic mauled and killed Ms. Dumstrey-Soos on Thursday evening.
The death of the popular and ebullient newspaper employee has stunned
the tiny community of 100 Mile House, in no small part because Ms.
Dumstrey-Soos was killed by the same animals on which she lavished

"She loved them," said Scott Nelson, owner of the 100 Mile House Advisor
paper. "She was obviously a very strong animal lover, and very close to

But no one should call her death a surprise, said Marcie Moriarty,
general manager of cruelty investigations for the British Columbia
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "This is a tragedy
that could and should have been prevented," she said, renewing her
organization's call for a province-wide ban on the ownership of
dangerous exotic animals.

B.C. Agriculture Minister Pat Bell said he will meet with the SPCA and
environment minister Barry Penner next week to determine how the
province can prevent similar tragedies. "We will deal with this
decisively," he said, while declining to commit to an outright
province-wide ban on the ownership of exotic animals.

The SPCA investigated the Siberian Magic farm in January, concluding
that the enclosures housing the three tigers posed a significant danger.
"There were safety concerns in a big way," said Ms. Moriarty. The
animals were housed in a relatively flimsy chain-link enclosure, with a
"drug-store" padlock to keep them caged. There was no roof over the
enclosure, just a tarp. And there was no flooring in the cage: SPCA
photos of the enclosure show a large gap underneath the fencing large
enough to allow an animal to reach outside the cage.

But Ms. Moriarty said her organization was just as disturbed by Mr.
Carlton's practice of allowing humans to be photographed alongside the
big cats he kept at Siberian Magic. She said she believes that all three
tigers still had full sets of claws and fangs, although Canadian Press
reported that Mr. Carlton said that only one of the three animals had
not been declawed.

The SPCA notified police and conservation officers of its concerns in
January, Ms. Moriarty said. But the lack of a province-wide law meant
that law-enforcement officials were unable to take any steps. The SPCA
had wanted to seize the tigers, but it could not find any facility
willing to take them. In the end, the tigers remained at Siberian Magic.