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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.



Lynn March 03, 2014 at 09:46 AM
That is about right-- it is just awful what is happening to them in the Wild-- kind of sad to say but they are becoming better off in the Zoos and Sanctuaries. Fortunately the Zoos, etc do have Breeding Programs
Francis Glass March 05, 2014 at 03:11 PM
Unless it's some type of guide or helper dog (or some other animal that is trained for this) -- animals don't belong in bars, restaurants, grocery markets, movie theaters, ..... etc., etc.
Dana Penaherrera March 06, 2014 at 05:18 PM
I am so sure the cub did not run up and out of the blue savagely bite this innocent bystander. Ten bucks says she was touching the tiger. " Oh the humanity!"
Lynn March 06, 2014 at 06:07 PM
I agree, Dana, and it was no doubt a "play" bite - it is how Animals play with each other-- not biting the other hard enough to do real harm -- "rough housing " animal style. And any one foolish enough' play" with an animal when it is stimulated just might get a "nip".
Honestly IPO March 06, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Dana and Lynn kitty was just lovin" her!
Lynn March 07, 2014 at 08:07 AM
well don't worry-- I am bowing out of this stupid "discussion" gone on too long in the first place
littleone March 07, 2014 at 10:49 AM
I'd bet money dana lynn or oz were not even there, but they ASSume a lot. Now that's stupid.
I will never tell March 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM
I think it is great that the bar owner allowed for the tiger to BE IN THE BAR.. back in the 80's at 84 lumber a guy was fighting a bear. my dad took me to see it and got in the ring with the bear.. I think that any animal can be in public with the owner... you walk a dog in public and it can bite anyone ...
Mildred March 12, 2014 at 09:54 AM
going to bring a couple Gators for a GREEN beer on the 17th. See you there
Lynn March 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Bring some Unicorns too & maybe some Humpy Backed Camels as well.
Mildred March 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM
Camels don't like this kind of weather. Unicorns have nice green sweater to wear
Honestly IPO March 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Littleone. Does your post make you feel clever? Really? I feel sorry for you. This is nothing but drama on Jan's part. Before you defend someone find out what stand for. Seriously I have met Jan once and believe me it wan one time to many. Curiously it was right after the supposed tiger attack and not one word about this. Check out Jan's F.B. page not one mention of this WHEN it occurred. We now call ahead to see who's working and we don't visit when she is. Last time we called we were told she didn't work there anymore. If this is true Uncle Richie's is moving up in the world.
Lynn March 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM
The gators might not care much for the temps either ; )
littleone March 12, 2014 at 03:04 PM
No need to feel clever. I actually support The wolf ranch and go there often. I just don't understand why people who where not there assume they know the story. I do not know Jan and have no need to search her facebook! ( Stalker) What good do you think you are doing the ranch talking so much craziness on the patch?
Jan Werth March 12, 2014 at 03:05 PM
"GlendaOz" I know who you are. And you are not a regular at UR because I haven't worked there for TWO YEARS! I am still friends with the owner, whom you thought was a male, and I still go in on occasion. Im not a barfly like you. Stalk my FB page as much as you want. I don't put everything that's ever happened in my entire life on there. I respect Karen, owner of UR, and I didn't report or comment on the biting for that reason only. Say all you want that some people don't like me. I don't waste my energy worrying about that. I've been out of jr. high for quite a while now. But FOR YOUR INFORMATION, certain people, and even groups of people, don't go in there because I am gone. It works both ways, which I'm sure you already know since you have your own share of enemies, "GlendaOz". Hahaha!! You need to get a life.
Honestly IPO March 12, 2014 at 03:07 PM
Sweety we have never met. ROTFLOL
Herc March 12, 2014 at 03:09 PM
This is turning into a cat fight....no pun intended!
Jan Werth March 12, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Then I guess YOU ARE the liar.... I KNOW we never met as you said above. YOU are the drama creator --tiger "attack"???
Honestly IPO March 12, 2014 at 03:35 PM
LOL
littleone March 12, 2014 at 04:12 PM
Oz could swear just a couple of posts ago you told me you have met her. Get your lies straight. You've also stated John had permission when he stated on the news he didn't. Lie much?
Jan Werth March 12, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Littleone, I KNOW permission was not given. Also, thanks for your support. Oz has a name change.....
Lynn March 12, 2014 at 04:40 PM
littleone -- areal shame you have no sense of Humor--- because this has gone beyond petty & stupid to just plain hilarious
Jan Werth March 12, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Lynn, you are so right! If "honestly IPO", formerly known as "GlendaOz" would stop stalking me on FB and trying to slander me, this would have ended a while ago. But I guess this person has no life and has the need to create drama by spreading lies and doing doublespeak. "I met her once", "sweety, we have never met". Which one is it?? One is a lie, as are several other of past statements. Time to move on......
littleone March 12, 2014 at 05:05 PM
Lynn what does a sense of humor have to do with a bunch of rambling morons that weren't there? Oh that's right nothing! Keep on rambling rambler. Jan you are welcome. I think John does great things for these animals, but that does not mean he doesn't make mistakes. Don't understand all the unnecessary lies being told. I guess for some people, drama is all they know.
Jane McLaughlin March 23, 2014 at 01:27 AM
No crime, the Tiger is a beautiful big kitty cat. I wish I was there to see it.
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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