Exotic animals seized from Atchison County home - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tiger, mountain lions seized from Atchison County property

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The owner of the animals, 54-year-old Mathew B. Baker, has been cited for numerous animal violations. He was taken into custody Sunday on unrelated charges. The owner of the animals, 54-year-old Mathew B. Baker, has been cited for numerous animal violations. He was taken into custody Sunday on unrelated charges.
Deputies said the property was inundated with cages inadequate for animals to be living.  The cages were not secure or stable and out of compliance for exotic animals to be housed, authorities said. (Kathy Milan/Humane Society of the United States) Deputies said the property was inundated with cages inadequate for animals to be living. The cages were not secure or stable and out of compliance for exotic animals to be housed, authorities said. (Kathy Milan/Humane Society of the United States)
ATCHISON, KS (KCTV) -

Tigers, mountain lions and bobcats, oh my! 

Nearly one dozen dangerous wild animals were removed from an Atchison property after authorities discovered the animals had been abandoned in their enclosures without access to food or clean water.

The Atchison County Sheriff's Office seized the menagerie of wild animals, which included one tiger, two cougars, three bobcats, two lynx, one serval and two skunks.

Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie said the owner of the animals, 54-year-old Mathew B. Baker, became combative during the seizure and was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

Baker was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, including interference with law enforcement and disorderly conduct. He faces charges of animal cruelty and not having permits to house exotic animals.

The Atchison County Sheriff's Office began an investigation last March into an animal complaint near 262nd and Neosho roads.

Deputies said the property was inundated with cages inadequate for animals to be living. The cages were not secure or stable and out of compliance for exotic animals to be housed, authorities said.

"The areas where the animals were kept were very muddy. There were a lot of feces, a lot of bones from animals that he probably had fed the animals with," he said. "It was just pretty disgusting."

With assistance from the Humane Society of the United States, the Kansas City Zoo and Big Cat Rescue, the Atchison County Sheriff's Office safely seized the animals. 

Authorities transported the animals to sanctuaries in Texas, Florida and Kansas. The animals have been placed at approved facilities.

Neighbors said they had feared letting their children be outside in case one of the animals got loose.

Jason Roloff, who lived next door, said the tiger was about 6 feet long and weighed about 350 pounds. He said the tiger and the two mountain lions especially worried him.

"If one were to get loose, there was no telling what would happen," Roloff said. "The cages weren't adequate. The locks weren't adequate. We were just scared to let our kids out and play."

Roloff said Baker had promised to build proper facilities and get proper permits, but never did so.

Baker's first court appearance will be Friday.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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