Chicago Man Brings Tiger In A Bar Faces Charges - FOX 35 News Orlando

Chicago Man Brings Tiger In A Bar Faces Charges

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John Basile likes to take his Siberian tiger Shere Khan for walks outside so the cub can play with his Great Pyrenees dog pal Max.

It's not a problem at Basile's big run wolk ranch in Lockport.

But on Sunday February 16th Basile took the tiger to Uncle Richie's bar in town and it caused a bit of a stir.

"I don't know if I had permission, the owner was not there, so I brought him in the back door, and he stayed for 15 minutes and then the music was too loud and too many people, too many distractions so he started getting a little cranky so I took him out," explains  Basile.

People in the bar that night said it was a little disconcerting. So did the man who shot this cell phone video outside the bar, after police had been called

"I was a little scared, like I was surprise to see somebody with a tiger like just walking the streets like it was a normal thing, like a dog or something," said  witness , Ethan Autman.

Basile said he took the tiger to the bar to promote wild fest, an upcoming event he was taking part in with other wildlife educators where people got to see the tiger up close.

He says at no time was anyone in the bar in danger

"We had two handlers there that are trained by me. They know what to do, so he was in complete control at all times. It's not like we walked in there, turned him loose, said go see everybody," continued Basile.

Basile, who is raising the now five month old cub to be part of his wildlife education center, was charged with three misdemeanors, including reckless conduct and possession of a dangerous animal.

He believes the whole incident has been blown out of proportion, especially by some of the international press.


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