Yesterday a jury rightly found Joseph Maldonado-Passage (a.k.a. Joe Exotic, a.k.a. Joe Schriebvogel) guilty of attempting to arrange a murder-for-hire to kill the founder of a Florida big cat sanctuary. He was also found guilty for 17 violations of federal wildlife law, including killing five tigers.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, released this statement this morning: “We are grateful that Maldonado-Passage’s long history of abusing and exploiting wild animals and threatening people who work to protect them has finally ended. During our Humane Society of the United States 2011 undercover investigation at his facility, we found that tiger cubs were punched, dragged and hit with whips and animals were denied veterinary care, among other abuses. Substandard tiger breeding facilities in the U.S. undermine animal welfare and conservation efforts, and this case shows that the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will vigorously prosecute the exploitation of captive endangered species.”