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Get a Good Look at the Tiger That Walked into a Bar

Suburban wildlife ranch owner charged with crimes in connection with an alleged barroom incident.

This may be the tiger that Big Run Wolf Ranch owner John Basile brought to a bar. | Courtesy of Carrie Soukup Mitcheff
This may be the tiger that Big Run Wolf Ranch owner John Basile brought to a bar. | Courtesy of Carrie Soukup Mitcheff

The owner of the Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport, John Basile, brought a tiger to Uncle Richie's Bar, which led to charges of reckless conduct and possession of a dangerous animal being filed against him.

Authorities say a woman was endangered by the tiger earlier this month.

But Carrie Soukup Mitcheff, who posted a photo of the tiger in question on our Crime-N-Shame Facebook page, says, "I would love to know how this woman was harmed?"

The tiger was just a baby.

Basile, 56, "brought a tiger restrained only by a leash and unmuzzled into a bar open to the public with patrons inside," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Will County court.

Jan Werth, in a comment on Patch, says she's was bitten by the tiger.

"I still have holes in my arm where the teeth were. The guy had no business bringing a wild animal to a crowded, loud place. The tiger was clearly agitated and stressed. And it's not the first time he has brought one of his animals into the bar," she wrote on Patch. "There was blood, not streaming down my arm, but I have photos of the teeth marks left along with the giant bruise. It wasn't pretty or painless."

Werth wants to be clear that she didn't file any complaint against Basile for the bite that took place in December. The bite did draw blood, she told Patch, and she put a cold compress on it and "dealt with it as a bad toothache." 

Still, she doesn't think it's right that he brings the wild animals to a bar.

Basile, however, has some supporters who think he did nothing wrong and said as much on our Facebook page and on Patch.

  • Valerie Marie Porter-Keefe: I agree how was she harmed as it's a baby tiger not an adult tiger
  • Amy Moore: I wish I was there! How adorable and I hope the judge laughs this off, seriously!
  • Wendy Fosco-Larimore: Aww that man would never put ppl in danger & awe how cute! My family has been to his ranch, he does wonderful things for those animals .
  • Bill Durks: If you weren't bleeding, then it didn't break the skin. Yeesh. Drama queens.

Read: Bringing Your Tiger to a Bar is Illegal, Ranch Owner Learns

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the location of the bar. Information was added to clarify that the woman bitten by the tiger in December is not the same woman who filed the February complaint that led to charges.

What do you think? Did a crime happen here? Or is the tiger just a big kitty cat? Tell us in the comments.



AED March 27, 2014 at 11:55 AM
Someone always gtta complain about sumthang petty aint nobody bite nobody just wana sue sumbody n get money that baby tiger is to adorable n cute
Ex Jolietian March 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM
Ariana.. why don't you speak English?
AED April 01, 2014 at 09:47 PM
Hater dont trip worry bout wat i say or do aite
AED April 01, 2014 at 09:47 PM
Have a blessd life aite deucez
Todd April 04, 2014 at 02:30 AM
The tiger isn't a "kitty cat"!!! IT IS A TIGER!!!!

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