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Group: Proposed tiger sanctuary ‘misleading’

<i>KVVU</i><br/>Carrie LeBlanc
Carrie LeBlanc

By Lauren Martinez

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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — A request to build a tiger sanctuary near the Strip will be brought to the table this week, but an animal rights group said using the term “sanctuary” is misleading.

On Tuesday, the Winchester Town Advisory Board will discuss a permit request submitted by the World Buddhism Association Headquarters. The association is seeking a permit for a recreational facility with “inherently dangerous exotic animals.” The request also includes a “tiger sanctuary on a portion of 11.4 acres.”

According the the town advisory board meeting agenda, the “sanctuary” would be located on the east side of Paradise Road and the south side of Saraha Avenue.

Executive Director for CompassionWorks International, Carrie LeBlanc, said the use of the word “sanctuary” is intentionally disingenuous.

“It is intentionally misleading to label the tiger tent- proposed tiger tent as a sanctuary. It isn’t, it’s a very small area that isn’t sufficient to giving tigers what they need to live natural full lives which is what you would expect out of a sanctuary situation,” LeBlanc said.

She received confirmation that magician Jay Owenhouse is behind the proposal. Owenhouse submitted a similar request last year.

“Last year he was able to get permission from the County Commissioners even though a very loud public expressed strongly their disdain for the project, they took a different perspective and they allowed him to move forward. What stifled his moving forward was the pandemic,” LeBlanc said.

She said these tigers are there to perform, which is specifically something that never occurs in a sanctuary setting.

She plans to be at Tuesday’s meeting to voice her concerns.

“We really hope people will speak out- attend the meeting, say no to this, say no to any future instances of this. Join peaceful demonstrations if it comes to pass and move forward by building a better Las Vegas with us,” LeBlanc said.

FOX5 reached out to World Buddhism Association Headquarters and Owenhouse for comment and is still waiting to hear back.

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