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ACTION ALERT: Get Lionman Craig Busch Off Facebook, He Is Cruel to Animals!

Animals  (tags: lionman, graig busch, facebook, animal abuser, cruelty, wild animals, declawed, caged )

- 3251 days ago -
A lot of people know the Lionman Craig Busch of the TV series but a lot of people don't realise that he is in fact very cruel to animals. He has de-clawed a lot of lions and tigers just for commercial reasons. He has also been film striking a lion cub,

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Simone D (1462)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 12:43 am
He has also been film striking a lion cub, nearly strangling a lion by pulling on its collar and hitting a lion in its face.

As well as animal cruelty he has also been convicted for violence against women.

The video below explains and show the abuse by Craig of the animals.

He now has a huge fan club on Facebook due to him plugging it and trying to get money for him to become re-instated as the keeper for Zion Wildlife Gardens of which he has been dismissed.

Please sign this petition to ask Facebook to close down his fan site as it is promoting animal cruelty.

Please watch the video link above to see evidence yourself of his abuse.

Please go to the following Facebook site to get the full story Lionmans Sister

Cheree M (46)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 1:44 am
Noted & signed. Thanks

Pam F (221)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 2:42 am
Signed, thanks, Simone.

Liz Sevill (11)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 4:01 am
yeah I have signed, its very upsetting to see how Craig Busch treats the animals, he not only abuses animals but also women and has caused a lot of distress to many for financial reasons, this is just the tip of the iceberg I am afraid, more will be revealed in the next few months once his unfair dismissal case is over.

Maryanne C (111)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 5:02 am
Noted and signed,thanks Simone.

Ramona Gehl (141)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 6:19 am
You have successfully signed the petition:

Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!
Please browse the following links.


Charlene S (126)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 8:31 am
Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!.

You are signer #45

Michelle Bafik-Vehslage (12)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 8:43 am
Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!.

You are signer #47 [?]
signed and noted. Thank you very much.

Tierney G (381)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 9:41 am
Signed petition Thanks Simone

Liz Sevill (11)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 9:45 am
Thanks everybody for signing this , lets pass it around as many people as we can and our animals, women and friends from the likes of Craig Busch!

Rhonda Maness (580)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 10:18 am
You have successfully signed the petition:
Thank You Simone

. (0)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 11:32 am
Thanxx... lets hope he will have to face the music...

. (0)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 11:41 am

Noted and signed. No way this guy has to pack his things and go . I wish him in hell!!! Thanks Simone

Mary Halwa (119)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 1:23 pm
Noted and I am signer #58. Hope this makes a difference!

Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 2:14 pm
Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!.

You are signer #59 [?]

Joycey B (750)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 4:35 pm
Gladly signed. Thanks Simone.

Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!.

You are signer #64

Mandi T (367)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 4:50 pm
Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Get Lionman Craig Busch off Facebook, he is cruel to animals!.

You are signer #63 [?]
tks simone

MmAway M (507)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 5:59 pm

Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 6:23 pm
Noted and signed.
68 Mrs. Pommawolf Johnson N/G N/G N/G Jul 28, 2009

This man is a habitual abuser. He will kill and animal one day of he hasn't already, and it is not surprising that he has abused women in the past.
I was so angry when I watched the video on YouTube that I couldn't go past him hitting the lion cub. He needs a good beating himself even though I do not promote violence myself...that was my immediate response as to hit him myself.
Get this whackjob off of Facebook, and off of television ...period. He is a disaster in the making.

Jelica R (144)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 6:53 pm
Disgusting man. I am ashamed that we allow, and publicly promote this kind of behavior!

Simone D (1462)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 7:44 pm
Thank you everyone.

No Way (0)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 1:03 am
Signed #78, lets hope this goes through with success!

Helen D (13)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 1:27 am
Noted and signed.

Gemma H (48)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 1:54 am
Noted & signed ~ Thanks Simone

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 2:29 am
Number 83
Thanks Simone

mary f (202)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 2:36 am
number 84

Sam Brown (3)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 3:40 am
Don't just remove him from Facebook, get him locked up! As long as somsone like this is in the public eye and free to walk, neither animals nor women are safe >.>

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 29, 2009, 5:33 am
Max Hunt's videos is another I would love to see removed from facebook...Thank you Simone

Liz Sevill (11)
Thursday July 30, 2009, 2:00 am
Can everyone who has noted this petition please sign? It is really important, this man is a bully and also uses corrupt lawyers!

Kris Thomas (0)
Monday August 3, 2009, 7:10 pm
cant believe there are so many ignorant people on face book?! they will soon learn how stupid they are. watch out for someone called james marvin, he has a big mouth and no idea.

Merryn B. (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 1:12 am

Nick H. (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 1:34 am

Check this footage of craig busch hitting cub

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 1:35 am
Only a fraction of the 'fans' actually bother to comment on his begging platform, or use ef/es.....
STOP GIVING HIM MONEY, he isnt buying back the park anymore, he is going ot high court to try and get it back WITHOUT paying the loan, where is your money going???? Facebook shouldn't be used as a begging tool.
and why is there a petition to reinstate him, when he no longer wished to BE reinstated? You fools are still signng it when it is a useless petition....

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 2:03 am
oh and btw you CB fans on FB:
YOUR the joke, M. A. S, snogged craig yet?? pmsl........ how pathetic! THEY DONATE MONEY SO THEY CAN GET A CALL OR SNOG HIM WHEN HE COMES TO ENGLAND


YOU are being used to get money...... you are being used in a spin campaign..... he is not a very nice man.....You do not see what is right in front of your face. Notice you went quiet when it was proved about his mailbox. What, no apology now you realise his mailbox is next to his house and there was no reason he couldn't get his mail, other than he didn't want to?
THEY all thought it was being withheld! THEY thought it was a fake mailbox!!! THEY thought the mail was opened!! THey then went quiet when they realised they were wrong, and went on to create more conspiracy theories about something else!WAKE UP?
Some woman yesterday thought Patricia was after the profits!! WHAT PROFITS? THe park runs at a loss, thats why he was let go, he was losing money! WAKE UP


Debbie H. (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 2:13 am
Craig Busch has an amazing talent. To work hands on with these magnificent animals requires discipline. These cats are wild animals and for Craig to have the priviledge of their trust, which is clearly evident, takes time and total dedication. If these cats saw Craig as a threat or someone that hurt them, do you not think they would retaliate? His love for these animals is second to none, tens of thousands of fans love and support him and will continue to. The Park is being badly operated by current Management and the cats are on display to "perform". That is NOT what Craig created the Park for. Craig has never been accused of animal cruelty by the authorities and was supported by MAF. There is no sound reason for Craig to be removed from Facebook, he does not use bad language, does not discriminate and does not bully as many do. His site is purely a life line for his fans and those that don't support, well that's their decision, we live in a free world right? So leave Craig's fans alone and his Facebook page. Craig Busch is an amazing man and he needs to be reunited with HIS cats.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 2:24 am
the cats are not performing, they are doing what CRAIG USED TO DO by encouraging them to jump up for meat....

Craig doesnt use bad language cos craig doesnt use it
but his fans are abusive and nasty

No Way (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 4:25 am
The comments posted in favor of this Animal Abuser have been flagged. I encourage all of you to do the same to get them removed ASAP.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 4:35 am
to the person who says that the videos about craig are made up are simply trying to convince themselves.

and he didnt get up every 2 hours to feed the cubs, MEGAN did, every 4 hours.... When you saw him in the series, it was for show, he had lynette and others feeding them in reality too. And when he came out on his night out to see a sick lion? It was cos hermes thought the tiger WAS ill, and Craig BY LAW AS OPERATOR had to.

As for being with the cats when they give birth, that was unwise and caused rewa to abandon them.


Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 5:44 am
DO you have proof of "The Park is being badly operated by current Management"?

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 6:54 am
oh sorry, it was 25 times, even worse!
they def wont take kellys petition to reinstate him seriously now, GOOD!
You guys on FB do not know what you are supporting.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 7:06 am
aahh the mailbox issue again.
Yes, Staff at Zion made 5 videos to prove they were not lying about the mailbox. They answered every questions raised, like showing it was at the entrance to his house, they showed all the mail, said how it got there, was sent to the park and it was sorted and placed in his mailbox by his house, that CRAIG drove past to get into his house.
Jills response was only to then say "the postman doesn't deliver there" as there was nothing else she could say, and STILL then the fans bleat on about 'oh jill said the postman doesnt deliver there so we do not believe anything they say'

Even though it had been said mail was sorted and put there by zion staff, at craigs request too. The fact the mailman didnt put it there made no difference to the fact craig went past this mailbox and CHOSE not to collect it.
Thankyou and i hope this answers your question.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 7:10 am
they also showed his windows were blacked out FROM THE INSIDE to stop people looking in, and that CRAIG blacked them out.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 7:33 am
yes craig does have a po box address. But many fans would send craig mail via the park, and also the police and other official mail was delivered tohis HOME address, at the park.
He did ask for his mail to be left there, as he didnt want it delivered in person.
The fact he has a po box again does not alter the fact he CHOSE NOT TO pick up the pail in that box.

Mimi Harris (0)
Friday August 7, 2009, 7:47 am
Gotta love jills responses, she responds every time by saying EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG....

and everyone believes her, why?

Remember the time someone said that megan hadnt been back to answer questions as she was busy dont forget she works at the park? do you then remember how jill said that this person was making assumtions, and was wrong, megan did not work at the park, despite this persons protests that she thought megan did? And all the flack this person got after that? But she was right..... why?
JILL time and again tries to discredit anyone with a sensible opinion

Bill G. (0)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 2:12 am
Firstly I notice that the vast majority of these replies are from women against Craig Busch. I have watched the video and to me it looks like a good fake, probably concocted by his two timing partner. The guy has been to court for perhaps wrongly roughing up his partner even though the judge said it was understandable in the circumstances. This has nothing to do with his job. One keeper has already been killed since he was booted out, the animals love and miss him and he should be sent back to continue his magnificent work.

Mimi Harris (0)
Saturday August 8, 2009, 9:54 am
She may well have been up to no good, and yes I agree he was provoked. Who wouldn't be!
But that isn't the reason he was removed from the park.
THAT isn't the issue at all.

Bill G. (0)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 3:06 am
Apologies Mimi, you are right that is not the issue. The issue is to get him removed from Facebook - how pathetic

Bill G. (0)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 3:10 am
This is an extract from a New Zealand newspaper
"There had been a complete breakdown in the work relationship between Mrs Busch and her son and she was taking steps to rectify the situation." So she sacked him!

Sheila G (267)
Sunday August 16, 2009, 3:07 am
another article on him, Cher just posted, what a monster! how do you hit a baby, and what is the idea of declawing these cats, they need those claws! check out the 60 minutes youtube vid, he is a monster, he is cruel in his treatment of the animals, he should never be allowed to work with them. and he has such a large list of criminal convictions, assualt on a woman being one, sounds like a control issue, the vid proves that, he has to overpower.
this is not all from a New Zealand paper, Bill G. you sound also like you have a problem with women.
all you non friend having Craig Busch cheer leaders can go sign the other petition, we will do our best to see him gone, we think you are the pathetic ones.

Sheila G (267)
Sunday August 16, 2009, 3:08 am
oh, and ty Simone :)

John Crimmings (0)
Thursday September 10, 2009, 11:38 am
dont forget Megan likes 3 somes....not nice....

Peter Dickinson (0)
Saturday September 26, 2009, 1:12 am
I am not a petition person but I would like to state that from a professional point of view that Craig Busch should not have been working with animals and nor should he ever do so in the future. Please read my article 'Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Gardens at:

Rob Wooders (0)
Saturday November 21, 2009, 8:15 am
I haven't seen the video of Craig supposedly hitting animals, but as others have said, I would very much doubt that a man of his size could seriously harm a large cat as their muscle density is far denser than ours and no human can inflict a life threatening blow to another human on their torso with a single blow (of course there is always the exception), and any animal that is a predator will turn on its abuser and no man could defend themselves against a big cat. We may think we are the dominant species, but only because we hide behind guns and weapons to destroy these animals. I have travelled the world, most recently through places such as Afghanistan and the pain and suffering that man can inflict on their fellow human is an outrage, the occasional waking of an animal to keep it under control is nothing compared to the damage another lions blow can do and the lions survive in the plans of Africa quite well fighting sometimes daily during breeding season.

I have many animals of my own, including two large dogs and from time to time they need to be controlled physically, either by restraining them or on occasion with a firm hand. Now, am I an animal abuser because on occasion I need to use force to prevent my animal causing harm to itself, other animals or people? If you answer yes instinctively to this, I'd say you have no idea of how an animal lives in the wild.

Dogs and large cats such as the lion are pack/pride animals and there is always an Alpha male, and in my home that’s me and has to be me so that these animals can live in our society without causing harm to themselves or others. Let’s use an example: I have a male border collie weighing in at over 35kg, my parents have another at 25kg.... on occasion they will fight, so the questions is do I let them tear chunks out of each other or kill each other, or do I step in as the alpha male and use force and brute strength to overpower them both and discipline them and stop the fight? Well, the animal psychologist from the US TV series will tell you to grab their back legs lift them off the floor and pull them apart! I've tried this, but the other dog just keeps coming and biting and ripping, the dog your pulling, bites down harder and rips away lumps from the other dog and they both end up needing stitches, antibiotics and weeks of recovery. Or on the other hand, I move in and join the fight and overpower them both, usually by banging them to the ground, taking hold of the collars and physically lifting them off the floor, usually one in each hand... then in my deepest most aggressive voice shouting at them and turning their aggression to me. Once they realise it is me, the alpha male, they calm down very quickly and they are split up for a few hours for them to calm down. Now this isn't always the case and very occasionally I can get bitten as well, but once that bite is inflicted and the dog realises what it has done, the fights over as they know that as the alpha male I can overpower them that the injury they have just caused is going to have consequences. It's how it should be a nature’s natural order, it makes no difference that we are different species, the dogs not aware of this as we are!

Abuser or not... or do I just save my animals from either death or serious injury!!!

Again I haven't seen the video, so if someone would send me a current link to the video I’d be grateful and maybe you are all right, but I would like to see it for myself as I feel that the work he has done over the years will keep these animals in existence long past all of our lifetimes. For even one of the species of cats he has to go extinct is a bigger loss than any one of your insignificant lifes... there is over 6 billion of us, and a few hundred of them.... we as humans really are the vermin of the planet... we move in to an area, colonise it and destroy it as we go just taking and never giving back... at least rats and cock roaches have a purpose cleaning up after us! Lets hope nature balances the world soon before it's just an empty rock!

As for Craig assaulting his wife - maybe it was wrong, but on the other hand I have experienced nearly the same experience as Craig went through and believe me it took every ounce of my self control not to physically abuse my Ex..... Women seem to think that a man hitting them is so bad, what about all the women in the world that abuse their partners. I don't condom his actions but I do understand them and until you have been in that situation I think you should stay quiet on the subject, because fear, shock and the adrenaline that races through your body when put in this situation can be overpowering and can completely overtake any reasonable thinking. For me personally, I would have beaten the other bloke in the bed with my wife until he was unconscious, even though he probably was not really the one in the wrong, but it would have been a conduit for the anger rather than directing it at the women.
Someone send me a link to the video please and maybe it will sway my opinion that he really does abuse his animals, but I am sceptical at the moment.

Alison Ellis (0)
Tuesday December 1, 2009, 2:17 pm
I have read all the above comments and must say I am gutted, i was totally taken in by 'Lion Man' Craig Busch, i thought he genuinely loved his big cats, though it would seem that's not the case. I haven't seen the link of him hitting the cub, nor would I want to, but the fact he had the cats declawed is enough for me, what barbaric thing to do, someone should rip out his finger nails then see how he feels. I have actively worked for cat's protection for 15 years and to read about his cruelty and fake concern makes me sick, he is just a money grabbing swine, i hope he never gets the chance to work with animals again.

Suzanne Lawson (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 11:54 am
What a load of rubbish. He needed to use the cats for films so he could afford the upkeep of the animals and run the park, so it wasn't for commercial purposes. Yes he assaulted his girlfriend, but it's strange how you don't explain the situation as he caught her having an orgy with a couple. He isn't cruel to the animals and if he thought declawing the big cats made it safer for them to be handled, it wasn't out of cruelty. The animals he handles don't have to survive in the wild. You're just trying to slander him, as his nasty mother has taken the park off him with the bribe of a loan and making him go to court so that he can see the animals he has brought up.

Suzanne Lawson (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 1:00 pm
So you're trying to say I'm stupid for joining his page? That's strange, as I'm always getting into trouble for not going along with the crowd, so why would I go along with it to join in with a crowd? I go along with what I feel is right and I have good intuition. I can tell Craig isn't acting and he really cares for the cats and wants what's best for them. Maybe he has made mistakes, but he can learn from them. How do you know you're not stupid for going along with the slander because of the greed of his mother? What kind of a mother takes her son away from the job he loves for the sake of a loan? Why is she running a park that Craig started and making him go to court over silly things such as a tin of grease?

Alison Ellis (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 1:09 pm
I don't doubt he loved the cats, he also loved being called 'lion man' and all the glory that went with it, that is why he was misguided in having them de clawed, this is a vile procedure as it is not just removal of the claws but the bones at the ends of the toes which amounts to mutilation and cuses long term problems and as a vet i know what i am talking about.

Suzanne Lawson (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 1:32 pm
I don't disagree that declawing is wrong as I disagree with it for small cats. I just think the declawing thing has been taken out of context as a way to slander Craig to try to make him look evil as if he doesn't care about the cats. He sees himself as a parent to the cats and the same way adults go along with what they're told such as if to bottle feed, if to have vaccines that contain mercury, if to feed certain things, maybe he thought it was the only way to safely handle and breed dangerous animals at that time?

Melissa M. (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 1:37 pm
for a start he doesn't beat women.. if you found your husband/wife in bed naked with another couple im sure your first reaction would be to do the exact same thing! also this has nothing to do with his job, and the fact she begged him the next morning to stay with her, it musn't of that bad of experience, i think she made it worse than it was because he wouldn't take her back and so she could get his money. also the death of dalu was not his fault in anyway. at this stage he was not incharge of the park, and he clearly told the staff never to go into the enclosure without him! craigs mum then told the staff not to listen to craig and so dalu would of listened to patrica as she was incharge at the time. so why hasn't patrica been dismissed?! also the fact she would do this to her son is terrible!! she wouldn't let him go to abu's funeral and he has no clue where he is buried. abu was craigs favorite tiger and to take them away from him is just appauling. also the people that say he treated the animals badly are simply stupid. why would such a small man try and "hurt" a large cat when they can turn on him at any moment. he wouldn't put his life in danger like that, he generally loves his cats, they wouldnt be nice to him if he treated them badly. if you have a new dog you have to potty train them, and so you have to be mean at times. how do you think the cats got so good in the first place. it isn't animal cruelty. in one of the eposodes craig falls over and a tiger jumps on him and trys biting his face.. could easliy say this is human cruelty. me and my boyfriend was going to go to zion wildlife park, and one of them reasons was to see craig but now his mum is in charge ill be to tempted to say something to her so i think its best i dont go. as for pratrica i just want to say she is terrible, how could anyone do that to their own son!? i've tried both of the links and both of them seem not to work? i just want to wish craig all the best and i know he will get his park back, and it was said that if one of his fans or anyone will buy his mothers share of zion park he will get it back, his mum owns about 125% out of the 2000 and so she could easily be fired. i'd be more than happy to buy that share just so he gets his park back!!!

Alison Ellis (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 1:47 pm
I'm not remotely interested as to wether Craig Busch hit his partner or not, to my mind that has nothing to do with the welfare of the cats. As i have already said, i don't doubt that he loved them and they did him to a degree, I did not agree with some of his methods e.g removing new cubs from their mothers in order to hand rear them to make them more amenable to humans and removing their claws. I wonder if there is more to the story than meets the eye regarding his mother, unfortunately it has turned into one big mess and the only things suffering seem to be the cats which is a shame.

anne-marie c (0)
Saturday December 19, 2009, 2:45 pm
firstly melissa M, you've obviously never been involved in domestic abuse, because if you had you would not have said that it can't have been that bad of an experience, It doesn't matter whether he found karen naked in bed with ten blokes, he still should not have hit her, her injuries were horrific. secondly domestic abuse is closely linked to animal abuse to the point where dogs trust have a scheme that enables women/men that are in that situation to be able to leave safely without the family pet being threatened!

Melissa M. (0)
Sunday December 20, 2009, 10:52 am
well annemarie you obviously have no heart if you think it is okay for a person to be getting treated like that, especially by his own mother. it is also not fair on the cats as they arn't getting looked after properlly now. afterall if craig wants to have a facebook he can have one. and if we want to be craigs fans we will be. get over it!

Talia C. (0)
Wednesday January 6, 2010, 3:18 am

Is all of this for real?

In respect of Craig hurting women, I dont think any one of you people could honestly say that if you found your partner in bed with not one but two other people, you would react. He pulled her out of bed,hardly "horrific" I would do the same. Oh, by saying this I am not condoning domestic abuse in anyway because i know some people like to jump on every statement.

Also, The comments about him being cruel to the animals is ridiculous. He has been with animals all of his life, and you think he hurts them? Anybody can see how much he cares for the animals he keeps. And the love is quite obviously reflected in how the animals react to him. If Craig was cruel to them, wouldnt they maul him the first chance they got? Would they let him in when they are giving birth, arguably a very personal moment in any lifetime. I wouldnt think so. And as for the peopel saying about how "he " didnt stay up with the cubs, this is also a waste of time. Ive seen an episode where he stayed up to check on 2 newborn cubs, sure some other people do feed but thats because they want to and have volunteered to work at the park

Anyway, whats with the pointless statement about using his animals for commercial reasons. You're telling me you've never been to a zoo?


Honest M. (0)
Thursday January 7, 2010, 10:14 am
Oh dear, well I have heard it all now.
Anne Marie Chin - you are a liar and have no evidence of your accusation. Karen did not suffer horrific injuries at all you idiot. SHe was caught doing the horizontal shuffle with not one, but 2 people and craig caught her, red handed so to speak, yes he did assault her, he was wrong to do so, but if you were in court, where she did not give evidence, you will see that 11 charges were dropped because there was no evidence. he was convicted of 2 minor charges as the court could see that he did not cause her injuries. You are an idiot to try and use that against him.

craig actually is not on facebook, it's his friend that runs the site and if you knew craig you would know he does not like computers.

peter dickinson, we all know about you - you havent even met the man, so what are you on about, go back to your children in thailand, we know all about your preferences

who is being charged over the entirely preventable death of the keeper, oh yeah, Patricia Busch, thats right. If she hadnt f**ked her own son over, the keeper wouldnt be dead - its her fault and she will face court over it.

as for declawing, oh yes also authorised by patricia busch, the current temporary operator. funny how no one is saying she was wrong. none of the animals are showing any signs of lameness, yet the park are raising money for something that isnt needed - . the cats arent even theirs, they belong to craig's trust as everyone knows and as a judge has concluded already at a previous hearing.

You people make me sick, craig busch is a decent human being not anything like you are painting him and i hope his legal team take action against your disgusting comments.

This site is supposed to be for real abuse of animals, not trumped up family arguments and spoilt little bratts - get a life and go back to one of your other fake profiles


Andrew M. (0)
Saturday January 9, 2010, 5:17 am
Are people aware that the declawing was done under MAF supervision? He didnt just pull them out with a pair of pliers... If there were concerns MAF would have said at the time so I dont see how a big issue can be made of this he did it as has already been said to help him work with the animals and earn an income from them to keep the park active I dont think anyone can say that protecting and breeding these endangered cats is cruel. Yes he has to use a firm hand sometimes but this has to be done if he fell over whilst handling them this could be enough for them to attack him they have to be dominated.

Judith K. (0)
Tuesday February 2, 2010, 3:13 pm
To Andrew M: Have you done any research on declawing? Have you seen what a foul, barbaric and painful process it is for a cat? Have you considered that the reason there's no greater outcry about it in NZ is because our vets won't do it, so the majority of us don't know what's involved. If the only way the imbicile that is Craig Busch could work with the animals is by denaturing them so brutally, then perhaps he ought to have taken his 12 brain cells and gone into another business.

Alison Ellis (0)
Wednesday February 3, 2010, 1:18 am
I completely agree with your comments, some people on here are posting their comments on declawing wihtout having the faintest idea of what is involved. It is a terrible thing to do and was originally used in america to prevent the cats from scratching furniture etc!! it serves no other purpose apart from render the animal defenceless and causes great discomfort, it is in effect mutilation, i would suggest that those who think it is ok google the procedure and see exactly what is involved, if they still think it is acceptable then they are not animal lovers. I have worked for cat's protection for years so think I am well enough informed to know what i am taking about. I agree that craig busch did some good with his sanctuary but i do NOT think that mutilating them so he could turn them into performing 'pets' for film work etc is acceptable.

Anita S. (0)
Sunday February 7, 2010, 1:41 am
What a lot of rubbish I have read on here by people who plainly haven't researched about the Lion Man - much of this is just hearsay. I am a member on his FB page and have carefully looked at everything - I also had the huge priviledge of meeting him last year. He is the most gentle and caring of men, who has never replied to any of the comments being thrown at him - not yet anyway - I'm sure much will come to light once it is all over. he has NEVER posted on there and neither has he asked for money. We have been fund raising for the big cats because we WANT TO - not because we have been asked to.

I am so fed up with people who have no idea of the TRUTH spouting off aginst this man. And also fed up with people who slag off our Jill - she's a super person who runs the FB page - she is a friend of Craig's so really knows the truth and keeps us all informed. why don't some of you come over there and read the story so far - it will tell you all you need to know. We welcome everyone who wants to find out - but we will NOT tolerate anyone who comes on just to cause trouble. This man has been slagged off, almost destroyed by his so called family, denied access to HIS cats and HIS home. But HIS day will come - you better believe it!!!!! and boy will almost 34,000 (and rising!!!) have the biggest party ever.

Kieran R. (0)
Tuesday February 9, 2010, 9:54 am
Hello, I have really enjoyed watching the Lion Man TV Show and he has brought happyness to me and my family, Im sure he has brought much happiness to many families. At the moment he is not being able to do what he wants to do which i believe is unfair. The reason he has been removed from his postion only came about when some one got killed.. He was not there at this time.. Seems abit unfair to me.. We live in a blame socitey where we are always looking at blameing some one. You can see by the way he works with the animals they have much respect for him, otherwise he would be dead.

I believe any more comments on here are not required.

"ACTION ALERT: Get Lionman Craig Busch Off Facebook, He Is Cruel to Animals!"

The above heading is false. He is not cruel to animals.


Andrew G. (0)
Thursday February 25, 2010, 11:25 am
All you people make me sick Craig bush is on par with Steve Irwin the statement Get Lionman Craig Busch Off Facebook, He Is Cruel to Animals! is absolutely stupid oh and the video every one keeps banging on about has been taken off now so i bet most of you haven't even seen it and until the day i do i will stand buy him and i think most people will so get off your high horse and think about what he has done for those tigers and lions think about what would happen without people like him.

Sharan G (0)
Thursday March 4, 2010, 9:35 am
I have never read so much RUBBISH in all my life!!! Have you ever met Craig??? Have you ever qsked questions??? Then you all should be ashamed of yourselves! This was set up by people at Zion Wildlife Gardens. The same people who glued Craigs doors p. The same people who painted all his windows shut,and rammed a truck against his home,so he could not get in! Do you know what Craig Busch is doing right now??? I do!! Please don't listen to me,search the truth and do NOT be taken in by these FAKE videos. I also know the manwho made these!

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 4, 2010, 11:06 am
I can't get any of the links above to work for u tube and alledged vidoe's of Craig's Cruelty but check out these they do work!

go to you tube and search

jadu runs up

tiger teasing part3

The Lion s man

Shia died at age 10!!! under new management ;( all these u tube video's are taken since Craig's absence omg it's so sad, they dont look happy, they always looked happy with him. I cried this week on finding them and wrote to the govt! tht's how much they affected me.

keep an open mind and look people.

I think someone should pay for the Cruelty on those animals but this Cruelty is in his absence and certainly not him!!

As a member of care 2 for some time I hope u all look. I support Craig 100% he needs to get bak to those Cats.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday March 11, 2010, 1:06 pm
Sharan, please go back to the other Zombies at your facebook site. Patricia Busch is certainly a piece of work. Probably the reason her son is no better, probably worse. Craig is responsible for ripping people off, declawing of dozens of cats (quite inhumane), beating women, and other assorted cruel acts to both humans and animals. Choose to "bury your head" but hopefully justice will be served and he will be working at the local McDonalds soon.

Victoria W. (0)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 10:42 am
Ok first of all i do NOT appreciate being labelled a Zombie Patrick. Secondly the video to which you keep refering to where Craig supposidly strikes a lion cub can no longer be found on Youtube and the reason for this is that the individual who put together and i have to say quite badly edited that video has owned up to producing that video and has since removed it! The person who was responsable for that video also admitted being under pressure from a certain mother and daughter duo to do so.

Declawing.......All declawing ceased at ZWG sometime ago whilst Craig Busch was still incharge. All declawing was overseen by MAF and carried out by an approved vetenary practioner. Also the present management was also involved in the declawing.

Assault.........Yes Craig Busch was convicted of assault on former partner Karen Greybrook. There was exstenuating circumstances of which im sure you are all aware but continue to judge never the less. Can i just ask what you would do if you came home to find you partner naked in bed with your 2 best friends? If Craig Busch is such a woman beater then why was Karen Greybrook asked to leave by Mr Busch on numerous occasions before she took head and left?

Lets get things in to perspective. Since Craig Busch was fired from ZWG both a man and a rare RWB tiger have losat their lives due to the tragic event on May 27th. A rare Barbary lioness age 10 (reletively young in captivity) has also passed away. ZWG are exstreamly reluctant to share the official autopsy report after Ms Ried spokesperson for the park confirmed that they would be released. What are they hiding? There has been many worrying reports from visitors to ZWG over recent months. ZWG have today issued a statement on their website declaring that Abu is buried within the park grounds. This has come after someone from within the park leaked info that Abu's body had actually been SOLD! see CITES.

I seriously think the people posting against Craig Busch on this site need to do their research instead of believing the defamatory biast rubbish that the likes of Peter Dickinson (who btw is currently a consultant for ZWG) plasters all over the internet.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday March 19, 2010, 3:40 am
Victoria, I would like to say that we can agree, however there is no way that anyone can explain away the declawing of 30 cats, for no justifiable reason. As the owner of these animals he is solely responsible. Of course he did not do the surgeries, but his lack of knowledge is absolutely stunning!

Put it how you like but he is a violent person. This assault was not his first. Maybe not his last. If he wanted her to leave the property surely calling the local police would have been an alternative.

The actual idea of removing a dead tiger and selling it on the black market is ludicrous. What would be the sense of taking such a risk for such a small amount of money. The proof on this one is non existent and is absolutely worthless conspiracy stuff. What is see C.I T.E.S implying. Of course it is illegal to trade in their parts.

I was not referring to any videos. I have watched enough of his shows to form a pretty strong opinion in addition to knowing people who worked and volunteered there. I stand by my "Zombie" assessment as the fans of Craig Busch seem unwilling to believe anything bad about the guy, even with tremendous evidence.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 7, 2010, 3:49 pm

I refer to the immediate post above.

The original cats Craig brought to NZ were already declawed( not by him). Craig has two decades of experience of working with large Felids. His background mainly in this being mainly obtained in the United States where declawing of domestic cats is still currently done, (though verociously campaigned against now) and declawing large Felids was the norm and all four paws would be declawed. Now this is the experience Craig had in profesional life what he was taught to be ok. So yes he did carry on this with procedure In NZ but please note he only declawed the two front paws, ultimately vets did it and felt ok about doing it and MAF was present for each and every one. He openly admits he would now not do this. AS I use to smoke in pubs and now get leared at by dogooders if i smoke around my son. Times change, opinion change etc etc etc yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnn. Such an old hat argument lets move on.

Craig is talented, caring kind natured man. get past the smear campagn's do ya research and u'll see.

ATM Zion Wildlife Gardens is being run by amateurs, in my opinion. They do not understand Large felids, as a result Two cats that fall under, ENDANGERED SPECIES are DEAD(one of which was the last in his bloodline, not good) as is the only man on the park with more than FIVE yrs experience of this work. I have seen CATS STARVED AND REPORTS that state THOSE IN CHARGE NOW!! (not Craig) actually fed these CATS LESS cos they wanted to reduce the crap they produce. this evidence was found one month after Dalu's death and photo's suggest was happeining for six months (six months is speculation) VET REPORT FACT!

SHEER BLOODY ANIMAL CRUELTY because an amateur is running it. More evidence has come to light of the BULLYING Craig was put under! I posted above LInks on U tube u can find still. I do not never have seen the video of this ALLEDGED Cruelty Craig was SPOSE to have done. SO thank god he has his facebook page. i'm sure his fans will put right the wrongs and injustice done to him. Cos lets be honest if U seen his show's HE ROCKS !!! xx

on a last note ABU u say, they wouldnt of sold him. for wat in your opinion wouldn't of been alot of money. I expect u speculate here....Have u seen his burial site? The oficial statement released by the park recently doesnt match the ofiicial reports at the time. aparently one man is privvy to the whereabouts of ABU if u check the OFICIAL reports, how did ONE man bury a 260kg White Tiger ALONE. I still say Until it is proven that Tiger is buried within ZWG it is open in my mind. as to what has really happened. A statement release is not enough for me having seen the past cruelty and deaths as a result of this cruelty. I mean how hard is it to allow a photographer to take a picture of the burial site along with the statement mayb that woudl shut them up but they didn't, so it makes me wonder..............


Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 5:42 am
Stephanie, I am not sure where you get your facts. Maybe off the Lionman facebook site. I do know a bit about he subject of declawing. and no it is not common in the US to declaw big cats. Maybe twenty to thirty years ago it was done by some trainers. Not in recent history though. There would have been absolutely no point in declawing back feet.

Please stop defending this action. It was wrong throughout his career. There are lots of places that handle tigers and lions that are fully intact and if Craig could not work with cats with claws then possibly he should have not been employed to such.

You mention cruelty. declawing is cruel and unnecessary. The current ownership has had issues as well. It seems they are doing a better job now, feeding the cats properly, etc.

I really do not care where they buried the tiger in question. He was shot and died. It is ridiculous to think they have sold his skin, parts, etc. The fact that they do not want to discuss it with Craig fans is certainly there right. It is a governmental issue and they seem satisfied. Do you have some proof that they have done something improper. If not I would keep it to myself.

You mentioned moving on. I agree. Craig Busch is not the operator and we all can hope the current management does a better job than the old management that created the messes in the first place. Do remember that without Patricia Busch bailing him out the place would have disappeared years ago.

Alison Ellis (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 6:03 am
I am sick of hearing people defending the act of declawing cats, be it large or domestic, it is a totally barbaric practice and should be completely banned. I am also fed up of hearing Craig Busch's 'fans' bleating on about his unfair treatment at the hands of his mother, from what I can see there is not much to choose between them both, neither should have been put in charge of the cat sanctuary. I would also like to know why on Craig Busch'e facebook do they keep asking for danations, where is the money going?

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 6:58 am
First of all I was not defending declawing just stating how I see it come about. Second I have got my FACTS from many sources DR. Conrad for a start who is camaigning hard in the states to stop household cats being declawed. As WELL as official COURT documents, MAF documents. all are there for public view under the freedom of information act. found online. Yes in the USA they declawed four paws. No not in every case but was more commonplace than is now. domestic cats are still declawed.

I did not suggest anything about the parts, of the tiger that was suggested previous. I just voiced THE FACTS I know from an official report that clearly states no-one could show, as they din't know!!! the inspector the grave and management also operator at that time TOLD THE INSPECTOR ONLY ONE PERSON KNEW AND WAS NOT AVAILABLE.. Under the laws in NZ the animal must be incinerated/ or deep burial with in the park. So I find it very strange tht they claim he was buried but could not locate the site. This is my opinion on the facts. As said if they released a photo of his grave it would stop people thinking the worse, also my opinion. Personally I think the claims are harsh and unbelievable, this was my first instinct but in view of the information I have found independantly I'm left with questions, that concern me and keeps my interest in this case.

Craig did work with animals with Claws, to suggest he didn't is just propaganda. As is the now none existent so called video of Cruelty. If u have a link that works i'd be interested to see it. As it doesnt exist I have to assume it was fake.

Craig's park wouldn't of disapeared if he wasn't bailed out by his Mother. Anyway He still owns the park but has given control to her (foolishly in my opinion) and the BULLYING she ensued as the new evidence suggests, to stop him from being able to do his job properly and giving grounds to sack him, to me suggests what kind of a person she is. My opinion. I'm sure once the court battle is done all Facts here will be open for public and in time, We will all see this.

The current situation, is not good still! as I am reading from visitors this year who have been to the park. The cats are reported as overweight. as yet I have not seen evidence of this so it' is taken from individuals opinions. Aparently there is evidence in due course it will be released by MAF as it has to under freedom of information then I know this as FACT. Overweight poses as much of a problem as underweight, in these special creatures. As is the concern of the vet inspections forced on ZWG by MAF.aparently suggest. I await in anticipation for these.

I'm not sure in your comment "we all can hope the current management does a better job than the old management that created the messes in the first place." i'm not sure what messes Craig created.?? except caring enough about the animals to put vet visits and larger enclosures, before the need to balance his books. He is only guilty of running into debt. Not as much debt as is now involved in the park from my understanding.

Ultimately my concern is those cats they exist they need care. I feel the current management made mistakes in excluding Craig. As a result the way the park made it's money has been halted by MAF due to safety concerns. Silly tactics are / were put in place to fill in the gaps: here I mean getting the cats to climb the enclosures perimeters fences for meat, very silly dangerous to animals, the staff member on the ladder, as well as the viewing public had the Tiger decided it could get over the fence. Thankgod MAF have stopped them doing this!!

The current operator is facing charges under Department of Labour for safety issues, if found guilty will she then lose that License, I wonder.

The current management should realise the park was a success under Mr. Busch and has alot of interest due to his Lionman shows. They took on this park with this knowledge, and I fear the way they are handling the controversy of his support, on them is doing them no favours, it is from the public they want money to run it, but they never help the public in their concerns. Their choice but i fear it will be the demise of the park. In this day an age of internet. The truth is easy to find, and cannot be hidden. by shutting the shutters it just leads to more speculation as is the case with ABU the facts do not add up and the issue was not addressed well enough, as said a photo would of shut them up i'm sure.

This week I hear several cats needs should be addressed by a vet and dentist. But a very recent visitor hears they are so broke they cannot afford paper in the office (obviously hearsay) if this is the case you would think that it is about time they realised the way they are doing things isn't working. I fear for the cats and will continue to do so. It is a real shame that a bitter family dispute has caused this, personally I think Craig should be re-instated and Mrs. Busch may be able to recoup some of her personal investment better to sit at a negotiation table with her son then spend thousands on lawyers in my opinion. This action alone proves she doesn't put the cats first. I trust Craig does and I trust he will be there to pick up the pieces when she has to absolve the business as it is failing. He fights for ownership of the cats, but at present the courts have favoured him in htis (ERA hearing) so when the business is fallen he can move in to rehouse his cats, wherever he feels is best. I understand if she invited him now he would step in and fund their care, she chooses not to, her control her choice her stubborness. (I'm sure Craig would rather save the park, he built it but I assume the worst case scenario if Mrs busch doesn't as I assume his actions with the cats in this event. Not fact)

I am now off to contact Care 2 as the title of this page is silly and set up int he name of a video that doesnt exist. it;s jsut silly propaganda. full of untruths. as I stated in my first post people don't believe what u read here, do as I have done and seek the truth it out there in oficial documents across the internet. His facebook page lists alot of them as they do not hide from anything and are open and honest about all things. Which is why Craig has so many supporters to this day and still joining by the thousands. Shame on his mother Karma is playing her hand i feel..

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 4:49 pm
Stephanie, You must be quite passionate in your opinions. I am not going to spend hours re-hashing old information, for the most part. Declawing is a cruel act. I have been around numerous cats that were declawed as youngsters. They all suffered with arthritic issues as older animals.

Maybe Craig has worked with cats that have not been declawed. The fact that 30 cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens were declawed does speak volumes. That surely is the vast majority of them. Please stop defending the practice by finding the odd person who has done this. What would be the point of declawing rear claws? Do you have any understanding of the reason?

If Zion Wildlife Gardens was in good financial shape then why did Craig borrow money from his mother? It was not 20 bucks. It was substantial funds to continue operating. Who else would he have gotten funds from?

I am certain you question whether Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I really cannot understand the fascination for this quest for the holy burial site. Is there a doubt as to how Abu died? I do not believe that the ownership owes the Craig Busch fan site any explanations.

It seems like the place is being run in a more professional manner now. It certainly was not when Craig Busch was the operator.

I do think that you belong on the Facebook site, but welcome the argument.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 6:51 pm
Not sure at which point I said declawing wasn't cruel. Nor have I defended it. Dr Conrad states the cases of four paws.

I'm sure if You have run a business you would understand in the early stagesYour outgoings are higher than your income, in the setting up costs. It is a real shame that he was excluded as the park was reaching the point where outgoings were starting to level off and the park would of been in a position to actually start recouping this debt.

I'm sure had he not turned to those he thought he could trust, family and sourced from elswhere he wouldn't be in this position. We often turn to family first, in this case it was the wrong decision evidently.

They want people through the gates right? they want an income right? then bad press is problem. So why shy away from telling the world, was my point. No they don't owe the fan sight answers my sugestion was I feel by holding the information back, they are making a bigger issue than is needed, and in turn make people like myself question the case. After all the news did hit the papers did it not.

Given the tragedies, tigers climbing perimeter fences the health and safety issues, and if it is true the financial situation no I do not see it being run more professionally now, sorry I agree to disagree.

I note they still use Lionman logo's. on their website. Is this profesional? or misleading the public.

Was Craig Busch ever charged with animal cruelty ? was he ever charged with health and safety at work issues? To my knowledge no. that is my point.

I Have contacted Care2 I call on all those that feel the same as I to do to do the same. I reported the page as being a defamation of character based on a video that does not exist, and no evidence of the allegations relationg to animal cruelty..All but one link (to the maf report) do not work which makes the petition null and void

I hope for the sake of Care2 reputation that they listen. As I have been a member for many years and I do not see tht this pages propaganda and lies is the reason the network was set up.

I just looked at his fan page NZLionman - Craig Busch they have more than 39000 supporter currently. I cannot see facebook closing this page to be fair, in this light .this thread here seems silly.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 6:58 pm
I correct a point I made : having checked they are not using Lionman logo's as I can see. I apologise for this statement

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 11:28 pm
Please Stephanie you do not seem to have a grasp of how the world works. He borrowed money from his mother because there were not options. Do you suppose banks were rushing to take this extreme risk?

The fact that he was not charged, and I do not know does not mean that he has not done things that may be considered to be cruel. I certainly find the declawing to be a cruel practice.

I would assume that the use of the logo is part of the business. Do you know otherwise. It seems that Australia Zoo makes it seem that Steve Irwin is still part of the business. KFC still has the Colonel on the logo. Your point is what?

You obviously do not know anything about declawing except what you are parroting back from Dr. Conrad, whoever he is.


Alison Ellis (0)
Thursday April 8, 2010, 11:53 pm
For the last time - De clawing is barbaric and uneccessary, anyone taking part or condoning it should have their finger and toenails ripped out along with their fingers bones up to the first knuckle which is what is involved in declawing any cat. Secondly, shut busch gardens repatriate all the cats to other reputable sanctuaries as it will never make money and while it is struggling financially the cats will ultimately suffer. Finally, send CB and his awful mother to a desert island as I am sick of hearing about them.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 2:23 am
For another time where did I say it was not???? I see you just want the last word to make your point on actions that do not occur, would no longer occur and last occurred YEARS AGO.!!

I am amused that you consistently reply if u are so sick of hearing about it.

Please stop putting your replies to me, as tho I condone it, I have not said this, but I suggest sir, the FACT that U like to put words into my mouth and create an UNTRUTH about me is Exactly my point on this thread.

Have a gd day

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 2:52 am
Stephanie, Your earlier response while not condoning the declawing of the cats excuses it. The fact alone that sought and paid for the declawing of the cats means he is not caring. You seem to make it seem as it is a new revelation about the ramifications of declawing. It is not a procedure done by any reputable organization. Mostly backyard breeders in the US. Talk to a few zoos around the world for an opinion.

He last the park and now is trying to convince a "bunch of sheep" to buy him a business. Maybe some hard work for it would not go astray instead of begging. The sheep should spend their money of conservation of tigers and other cats in the wild.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 3:01 am
Patrick I fear the fact u do not know who Dr Conrad is shows me, u know little of the problems you speak of. For your information this Doctor is a female.

RIP Steve Irwin, another great guy who showed the world great things and caught the imagination of children, also persecuted with untruths. Why wouldn't they use his Logo's he has passed, I wouldn't look at the Zoo and expect to find Steve there any more would I? Or do I categorically believe in ghosts now as well as man not wolking in the moon. You are funny twisting my FACTS in a way that suit you. For the record I did not say man didn't walk on the moon, that was a judgement on my character, I fear thru my factual statements not putting Patricks point across, so he turned to slandering me as a person. Say's it all really.

ZWG are not, now using his logo's I made a mistake and corrected it above.

I disagree his mother was the only option, I fear u can't prove this u are just assuming.

To accuse a man in the way this page does on things outside De-clawing(not illegal at the time carried out by profesional vets with MAF present) is defamation. based on No Facts.

good day sir.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 4:23 am

Obviously you are a fan who will make excuses for Craig Busch. You also do not know what defamation is. I am not arguing the legality of declawing but rather the ethics and morals. I am certain I can look up Dr. Conrad, but frankly do not care. You may think that you are quite knowledgeable about the subject but my experience leads to a different conclusion.

Please provide me with all of Craig's list of potential funding. Now it seems the sheep want to buy him a business but when the place was in very poor financial position maybe his mother was the only option.

My point about man walking on the moon is that the Busch supporters drone on about where Abu is buried looking for some huge conspiracy. I just do not understand the relevance. It is not as if we do not know what he died of.

Good day Mam.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 4:50 am
Lol, again u prove my point.

You judge me as a "sheep" yet you simply do not know me. You again assume with no fact.

Good day to u, again.

Alison Ellis (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 7:54 am
I have worked for the cat's protection league for 20+ years so have some insight into the treatment of cats. The big cats were originally declawed to prevent injury to humans, this showed total disregard to the cats welfare by implementing this barbaric process. Craig Busch may have 'loved' his cats in his own way, but all lions/tigers are wild animals, even the ones brought up in captivity and making them 'star' in tv commercials etc was wrong - end of chat. Plus Mr Busch seemed to get a kick out of riding on Zion and treating them all like domestic dogs which was ridiculous as a cat's behaviour/mindset is nothing like the behaviour of a dog, he seemed to think that this made him look 'big' when it actually made him look like an a******e. I would have had more sympathy if he had let them live as big cats should have done with minimum contact with human beings apart from feeding/vetinary checks which is totally possible as other cat sanctuaries have shown. I have noticed on his face book page that his devotees ask for donations for his cause, which is? No doubt by now he must have scrounged a tidy sum from his followers, which is being spent on what exactly?
He appears to have some privilege in his life by being in a position to open busch gardens in the first place and indulge his 'love' of big cats, unfortunately he seems to have made a balls up of that and had to go cap in hand to mummy, they then didn't see eye to eye so he is out on his arse and now tries to organise safaris to africa.It is on the whole a sad situation for the cats, not for him or his mother. Their welfare still seems to be suffering while these pair continue to squabble. I repeat, the remaining animals should be relocated to other sanctuaries (which shouldn't be difficult if they are endangered) where they can be properly looked after by people who put their well being first and where they are not made to perform like circus animals, then hopefully Mr Busch can disappear into the sunset with his gaggle of female admirers in tow.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 9:53 am
I agree completely on the point That the only sufferers here are the cats. as this bitter dispute goes on between mother and son.

I'm not sure but believe the donations go to a "big cat Trust" that is set up and held by lawyers for the purpose of those cats, "don't quote me I'm not knowledgeable in this" I do understand that Mrs P Busch has to invite the trust to help while she is in charge. But the fund would be there should she fail in this business venture and her invite no longer needed. So at least that is a lining in the silver cloud, I hope. (Again don't quote me, on this I havnt researched thoroughly but this is my understanding, it is posible the trust was set up by Mr. Busch prior to the problems, he now faces).

For the record I am not an admirer he really isnt my "type" However given the choice between the two of them I still consider him to be the best man for the job.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 1:28 pm
It is too bad the choice comes down to the two of them. It would be interesting to know how much has been raised and how it is being spent. Lawyers????

I do though think that cats can be handled to their benefit and that of conservation in general. Just not by Craig or his mother.

Maxine WOJCINSKI (0)
Friday April 9, 2010, 11:25 pm
I have absolutely no intention of ever signing this ridiculous petition!!!.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Saturday April 10, 2010, 1:01 am
There seem to be a few ridiculous petitions floating about. Do the NZ courts take the advice of Craig Busch's fans?

Past Member (0)
Saturday April 10, 2010, 10:23 am
I do not know how much is spent on lawyers. They certainly are the real winners in this case.

I am glad Craig had the sense to set up a trust, for those cats, as i'm sure many us with kids do incase the worst should happen to us. (as mentioned i'm pretty sure he set this trust up prior to the sorry mess of now, for their welfare) What a shame they won't negotiate with him and force this action.

No i'm sure petitions don't affect the outcome of any court case. The evidence I have seen shows me it's an open and shut case, but hey i'm not a lawyer, and I am aware that what is produced as evidence may not be all that I have seen. (tho, I sure hope so)

I'd like to clarify my opinions are formed from documents found on line in regard to this case mainly official, released under the freedom of information act. It formed my opinion of a smear campaign against Craig, and I stand by this thread's title as being unsuitable due to the video not existing. Times have moved on since it started and the truth is about to emerge (though alot of it already has) I suggest if you have an interest in this do as I have and look about investigate and make up your own mind.

I'm not posting here anymore, which may make some happy ;) I do not want to add anymore interest in, an already silly thread.

I do hope Care2 take my concerns on board and delete it in it's entirety tbh.

Just an average middle age woman, being an armchair critic, fighting for a better world for her children says Bye bye

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Sunday April 11, 2010, 1:49 am
Stephanie, Glad you are fighting for a better world. I am not sure why Care2 would delete this but I guess you do not like the content of many opinions. I do find it interesting that you read the available documents and come to the conclusion that Craig is clean in this mess.

Maybe before you go you can sign the petition? Just thought I would ask.

Ralf S. (0)
Sunday April 18, 2010, 2:14 pm
Well reading this makes only one thing clear...
This petition is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!.
You base your opinions on hearsay... and whenever some of you untouched women hear about a man is being acused of doing something wrong to a woman you all go beserk...
No proof, just hearsay.. Even the socalled proof-video had to be shut.
If you want to say something about it, go down there, see for yourself and then place your comments.
And don't forget the habitus on News One!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Peter Dickinson (0)
Monday April 19, 2010, 12:25 pm
The missing video has appeared again and been posted at:

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 21, 2010, 7:31 am
The mising video is still missing ??? it is not working on the said link /links of this page. ........

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday April 22, 2010, 5:36 am
Ralf, I am not sure you are correct about the hear say. There obviously is evidence of the declawing and the assaults. Maybe you should check the facts before spouting off.

Warde Worth (0)
Friday May 7, 2010, 9:24 pm
I haven't seen very many of the Lion Man programmes they only seem to be aired as fillers on some nobody TV channel here, so they're on rarely and I normally miss them.I did think that the enclosures were small and the fencing flimsy.

travel alarm clock

Elaine W (103)
Saturday May 8, 2010, 10:37 am
I do not know what to believe having read most of the comments.Any man who hits his wife is a coward & bully ( I should know ! ) If he can do this then I do have concerns with the welfare of his animals. The TV show shows him in a rosy light but everyone knows what can go on behind closed doors. Having said this I do believe there are far worse people out there than him making a living out of animals. So I will sit on the fence with this one for the moment.

Ap M. (0)
Sunday July 11, 2010, 5:58 am
The video doesn't exist and neither does the group and i would never sign that ridiculous petition which is made for a lie.
i bet half the people don't even know who he is or even watched the 'video' or read the group.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Sunday July 11, 2010, 10:36 am
There is highly documented evidence of Craig Busch's abuses of both animals and women. He has been lucky to this stage of his life to avoid jail time as well as to have enticed a bunch of "sheep" to fund his legal battles. He has been out of Zion Wildlife Gardens for about two years now. He should just move on and get other employment, which I believe he has in Africa.

The "sheep" should stop funding him and spend their money on needed conservation efforts.

Doreen Y. (0)
Monday August 2, 2010, 2:56 pm

Kate Penman (1)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 1:37 pm
What a load of nonsense! There is NO 'highly documented evidence' of Craig Busch's abuses of both animals and women'. And to say 'he has been lucky to avoid jail time' is again a load of nonsense! He is NOT a ‘wife beater’ – he pulled his partner off the bed and, she claims, injured her in the process, (though that is debatable, seeing she sustained injuries in a car accident days before, whose to say those ‘injuries’ were sustained in the incident with Mr Busch) didn’t report the ‘abuse’ for over a week after the incident and begged him to allow her to stay when he put her in the car and drove her off the property. (Do you BEG to stay with an ‘abuser’??). Anyone can spout garbage. To get anyone other than a fool to believe it, you MUST SHOW PROOF. That video on which this petition is based, HAS BEEN PROVED to be a piece of made up, poorly edited rubbish and this has been admitted as such by the person who made it! By the way, that person has now apologised to Mr. Busch and has become a bona fide member of the Lionman site.

Mr. Vegue, you go on and on about de-clawing and clearly you are not as informed as you are trying to make out. Ms Conrad is a very accredited Vet who works with de-clawed animals and who, APPARENTLY, was approached to help the animals of ZWG, to which she has since replied that she has not inspected these animals and has no knowledge of whether they even need her services. And you are wrong. This practice is STILL on-going in America and there are only a very few CITIES - NOT states - that have outlawed it. No – you just seem to think if you repeat the horrors of it enough, you can disguise the fact that Mr. Busch last had de-clawing done YEARS ago, and are ignoring the FACTS that the Vets, MAF – AND his mother, all had a hand in it.

1) - Are you petitioning to have the Ministry of Agriculture and Farming taken to court for condoning this practice??? Are you petitioning to have their licenses taken off the Vets who preformed these operations?? Are you petitioning to have Mrs Busch stripped of her Operator License? If not, WHY NOT??? If you are so outraged by this whole procedure, WHY DO YOU NOT CARE and why are you not intent on punishing those who allowed it to happen?? Let’s be perfectly clear about this. Mr. Busch could not have had it done if the Vets and MAF had not allowed it. If you REALLY cared, you would be taking this to the highest court in the land to have MAF disciplined for allowing Vets – and ultimately Mr. Busch, to do this. Instead, you are simply repeating, LIKE A SHEEP, ‘the Lionman is guilty’.

2) - You don’t seem to worry about all the things that zoos have done in the past to inhibit the natural instincts of wildlife. What about those tiny wee cages they used to keep wild animals in? What about the constant pacing of wild animals stuck in these tiny cages? What about the poor diets those animals got? And very importantly, what about the LACK of supplements necessary to prevent diseases and degeneration in organ function in wild animals? All these things were done by zoos to the detriment of those beautiful animals. Why are you not harping on about these practices??? Why are you not persecuting anyone who was a part of the zoo world when these practices took place (Mr Peter Dickinson???).

We no longer condone animals being kept in tiny cages. We no longer condone keeping a wild animal in such a manner it reverts to displaying psychological and mental agitation – we KNOW we must enrich and stimulate wild animals’ lives. We know now that wild animals need special diets to encourage proper body function. And that wild animals need special supplements to encourage healthy bodies and prevent organ dysfunction. We ALSO know that recent findings suggest ‘hands-on’ work is a valuable tool in researching wild animal habits and thus aid in real conservation. (Yes, I have proof to back up my statements). And we know now that de-clawing is not necessary and no longer good practice.

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing!! But let’s be fair here. There are a LOT of people who were caught up in terrible practices against animals. Let’s hound ALL of them – or none of them! Let’s allow that ALL these people have learned that it is not necessary to harm animals while we are trying to conserve their species. Okay, hands up – who has NOT done something that in retrospect you wish you hadn’t done?? EVEYONE has. If you deny it, I’ll call you a liar.

3) Anyone who keeps up with the current thinking and research KNOWS that just appearing in a zoo or wildlife park inhibits an animal’s natural behaviour. Is Mr. Busch the only one that has done this? NO, NOT BY ANY MEANS. As far as ‘animals doing tricks’, why not, if it does nothing to harm the animal or challenge its dignity? Mr Busch feeds his tigers tidbits to show off its length and its muscle bundles… how is that challenging its dignity? For pete’s sake, it is no worse than Huskies pulling men on sledges in fun races, or horses doing eventing, or dogs doing agility…. Yes it IS a ‘wild animal’, but in this day and age of endangered species very quickly disappearing, it has become necessary to have these animals sing a little for their supper. It’s called educating people, teaching people about wildlife and ultimately – conservation of valuable species. And certainly it is NOT worse than teaching a Big Cat to climb a safety perimeter fence, which is what the present management of ZWG have done!

Does it challenge the dignity of a bird of prey to be hand reared and hooded and kept for flying displays? That is happening all over the world. Some might say yes. Well… I can give you websites where you can go and arrange a hands-on “opportunity to handle and fly our owls in this three hour experience under the guidance of a professional falconer”. Are you going to rail against these people?? If not, why not? These animals are NOT ‘performing’, they are EDUCATING and bringing awareness to human beings who do not know or understand what is at stake in the disappearance of these beautiful creatures. THAT is the trade off for these animals disappearing altogether.

Anyone who is remotely clever enough can see this is absolutely NOTHING MORE than a vindictive vendetta against ONE MAN. For pete’s sake, grow up and go do something more constructive to help prevent the slaughter of lions and tigers, and rhino’s, and bears, instead of sitting on your duff insulting ONE man! Go petition against Bear bile farms, canned lion hunts, killing of seals and dolphins and wholesale slaughter of whales…

I’ve been a member of Care2 for YEARS and I am appalled this page has allowed itself to be used as a vehicle for bringing ONE man down simply because someone doesn’t like them. It’s high time that sites such as this insisted on proof of wrong-doing before allowing just anyone to spread lies and malicious gossip to ruin someone. It’s NOT enough to say ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion’. Unfortunately, ‘opinion’ is often taken and spread as ‘fact’ and a decent person’s reputation is damaged, usually by people who have NOT researched their facts, have axes to grind and whose own background would not bear scrutiny! I too shall be writing to Care2 to ask when they intend to become responsible for slanderous ‘opinion’ presented on their page. And I will be disassociating myself from their page if they cannot give me a satisfactory answer.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 8:08 pm
Kate, You are delusional and in denial. The proven facts: Yes he did assault his former girlfriend. Maybe you were unaware he pled guilty and paid a fine. what is the debate.

Fact 2: Yes he had almost thirty cats declawed during his time at ZWG. There are certainly others that have assisted and condoned his actions. That does not dismiss his culpability. It was and is the wrong thing to have done. Reputable trainers and zoological institutions do not do this to their cats.

Fact 3: Craig Busch speaks of saving "extinct" species. Just not possible. His knowledge of conservation issues is limited. His assistance to any "real" conservation efforts is doubtful.

Most of his "fans" on facebook are a bunch of limited knowledge individuals that cannot think for themselves. They are convinced that what Craig portrays on television is an accurate depiction of who he is. It is edited to make him look as good as possible. Frankly it makes him look foolish and not especially bright most o the time.

There is not any "slander" If you are offended at these facts I suggest you stay on his facebook site with the rest of the lemmings.


Kate Penman (1)
Monday August 16, 2010, 4:02 pm
“Kate, You are delusional and in denial. The proven facts: Yes he did assault his former girlfriend. Maybe you were unaware he pled guilty and paid a fine. what is the debate.”

No sir, I am no more in denial than you are. I do do my homework, unlike many other people and I can back up what I say. And I can tell someone who has facts, from someone who doesn’t. And I can tell when someone is simply repeating nonsense in order to ruin someone’s career while they facilitate in an ongoing dispute.

No I was NOT unaware he pled guilty and paid a fine – the judge also dropped all but that one charge of assault and the judge agreed he had been severely provoked and fined him a smaller amount than is normal. Hardly in the realms of “he has been lucky to avoid jail time”, for goodness sake! He didn’t deny he did it – and has never denied it happened. Neither did I. If you had read my message properly you would have noted I said that he was NOT a ‘wife-beater’ as so many claim he is. And I added a lot of information that often gets left out of the discussion – information which I see as pertinent to make an informed choice as to whether assault in that case can justifiably be classed as ‘abuse’ or not. Yes, I agree that that was a stupid thing to do, but it was NOT ‘wife-beating’… it was a heated reaction to a vile act on her part.

“…Fact 2: Yes he had almost thirty cats declawed during his time at ZWG. There are certainly others that have assisted and condoned his actions. That does not dismiss his culpability...”

No it doesn’t dismiss his culpability. Again, you didn’t read my post properly. I never once said he hadn’t done it or dismissed his culpability. I asked you if you are pursuing and petitioning to have licenses etc. removed from ALL those who were part of it? No, you aren’t, are you!! THAT was my point. These people are EVERY BIT as culpable. So why are you not hounding them… And I’m going to be pedantic here, Mr Vegue – Mr Busch didn’t do it. The Vets did it with the blessing of MAF. IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DONE if MAF hadn’t sanctioned it and the Vets hadn’t done the surgery. There is NO POINT in putting all the blame on Mr Busch. There are MANY people culpable here.

“..It was and is the wrong thing to have done. Reputable trainers and zoological institutions do not do this to their cats...”

No – reputable trainers and zoological institutions do not do this to their cats – NEITHER DOES MR BUSCH. He stopped this YEARS ago! No, reputable trainers and zoological institutions do not do this to their cats. They DID WORSE. Zoological institutions kept animals locked up in wee cages – YEARS ago. They had them at the point where these animals were psychologically destroyed – YEARS AGO! They didn’t feed them the right kind of food – YEARS AGO. They didn’t give their Big Cats special supplements that are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for the health and well being of these animals – YEARS AGO. Zoological institutions do not now do the same VERY CRUEL things they did back then – and neither does Mr. Busch. My question – why do you want to punish JUST HIM? Hmmm…? Then was then and now is now, Mr. Vegue. Things have changed. EVERYONE’S ideas have changed, including Mr Busch’s. And we cannot keep on punishing everyone for things that were done then, with the best of intentions, but which we now know to be wrong.

“..Fact 3: Craig Busch speaks of saving "extinct" species. Just not possible. His knowledge of conservation issues is limited. His assistance to any "real" conservation efforts is doubtful…”

Really? Is that a ‘fact’? And that’s your ‘professional’ opinion? Can you prove this? I believe that he WAS conserving near extinct species. There are NO Barbary lions left in the wild. Barbary lions are only found in zoos now and Mr Busch had quite a few last time I heard. (With ZWG refusing to give out information anymore, it’s difficult to know what animals are still there). White lions? The same… Okay I hear you say, what is the value in saving WHITE lions? I say – why not? If the zoo down the road wants to save tawny ones, that’s fine. I like white ones, why shouldn’t I save white ones? If they are the same species but just a white gene, tell me – why should they not be saved? Recessive genes are NORMAL AND NATURAL in the wild. If these animals are in a captive breeding program but they are NOT being allowed to procreate as nature would do – with a recessive gene surfacing from time to time, then there is something wrong and the OLD Conservation ideas have to be re-addressed! White tigers?? Uh… I believe he has had a successful breeding program with his white tigers. Oh yes, I’ve heard all the nonsense about white tigers being mutants. That old ‘white tigers shouldn’t be bred’ stuff is rubbish! It’s obvious that the people who are passing this information around are not up to speed and are not conversant with the current thinking on white tigers and new gene research. ‘They’ really ought to do that before they keep repeating old news – it shows them up in a really bad light.

And you say his “assistance to any real conservation efforts is doubtful”. Again – that’s your opinion – NOT fact. But whether you like it or not, and whether anyone considers it ‘real’ conservation or not (again that is just your opinion), Mr busch’s TV program has brought the plight of lions and tigers to the attention of a world wide audience that has been inspired by what he has done and, by the way, what he is continuing to do with a wide variety of near extinct animals. That IS ‘real’! (Oh! You might like the new series he’s bringing out. You’ll have to watch for it!) That program has generated a LOT of interest to young people who now want to work with near extinct animals. It has awakened in MILLIONS of people the plight of these endangered animals and has got people donating and making sure something is done before the near extinct animals are just pictures in a book. THAT is ‘real’! Currently 52,000 people are publicly thanking him for bringing the plight of animals to their attention. THAT TOO is ‘real’. That is about educating the population of the world and that is as REAL as saving one lion or tiger. THAT is what REAL Conservation is about, Mr. Vegue. That is what HE has achieved. Sorry, I missed it… what have YOU achieved regards conservation?

“…Most of his "fans" on facebook are a bunch of limited knowledge individuals that cannot think for themselves…”

Hahahaha… Mr. Vegue. I really thought that was funny!! There have been sooo many people bringing up this same old rubbish that I believe I know who you REALLY are. Of course you would say that. You want to discredit those people on his facebook page. But you see, they have had to respond to all this nonsense so often, they have spent A LOT of time reading up, keeping up with current thinking, researching genes and origins etc. It’s quite obvious from all this stuff you are saying that you yourself haven’t done any research at all and all you are doing is repeating parrot fashion the rambling nonsense of a certain zoo person who doesn’t do any research, doesn’t know or understand current findings on the origins of the Big Cats. And what is even scarier, doesn’t CARE about all that.

“…They are convinced that what Craig portrays on television is an accurate depiction of who he is. It is edited to make him look as good as possible. Frankly it makes him look foolish and not especially bright most o the time...”

Have you met Mr Busch, Mr Vegue? I’m going to say not. How do you know he is not what he portrays on television? Why would you say that if you don’t know him? I have met him. I’d say that that TV portrayal of a caring man who loves his animals is accurate - MORE than accurate, actually. There are thousands and thousands of feet of tape produced to make those series. ZWG has not brought forward ONE BIT of it to show that he is less than what is portrayed. And NOT ONE of the people who made that show suggest that Mr Busch is anything other than the man portrayed. Why would YOU suggest he’s not? I wonder…??? I could say that your post “makes you look foolish and not especially bright most o the time” - to your way of thinking, that would make it so.

Oh, and – about that ‘tape’, which is the whole excuse to put up this petition? It was admitted by the man who put it together, that he and Craig Busch’s sister ‘doctored’ it at the request of the ‘present management’. Which is the whole point of my post. This Petition is nothing more than an attempt by fair means OR FOUL, to ruin ONE MAN. That’s all it is and has absolutely nothing to do with caring about what happened to the Big Cats

“…There is not any "slander" If you are offended at these facts I suggest you stay on his facebook site with the rest of the lemmings…”

Well… then you haven’t read this thread very well. I’ve seen A LOT of slanderous stuff on this thread. And I’m sorry (actually I’m NOT sorry) but if I’m offended, I’m allowed to say so, and I’m allowed to put the record straight, just as you are allowed to defend those you are working with to convince people this man should not get his Park back. Now now, Mr Vegue, I suggest you don’t call OTHER people ‘lemmings’… Bad form for someone who runs with the ‘current management’s’ crowd…

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 8:19 pm
Kate, yes I can read and talk about tired opinions. You must be Craig Busch's apologist. You seem to make an excuse for everything that he has done in his life. As stated earlier he is guilty of assault. I did not sentence him to the electric, but drop the excuses as he did it. He did nit find his "ex" girlfriend having sex, just not accurate. The fact also was that she was no longer in a relationship with him and it is of no concern what she is doing. There is no justifiable excuse for his actions!!

Craig Busch hired the vets that performed the de-clawing procedures. Without him requesting and paying for these hey would not have happened. I do know quite a bit about the subject of "big cats" and the ramifications of having this done as the cats age.

Since you do not know me I doubt you know what I have done as far as conservation efforts. I am quite content that I have achieved something towards the in-situ conservation of tigers in particular. Maybe you should not cast aspersions without knowing someone's background.

For your information I am not opposed to white tigers. They can be a valuable tool for conservation. There are institutions thought that are not responsible breeders and do the incorrect thing that ultimately causes genetic deformities. As a matter of fact they are "mutants" as the white coloration is caused by a mutation. I am not saying that as a negative term.

I do stand by my comments about the facebook site. It is made up a of a lot of people with limited knowledge about big cats, their care, and conservation. They just like the "show". It is edited to put Craig in a positive light, but is not an accurate portrayal. I do have close knowledge of him and many seemingly horrific stories from people with no axes to grind.


Merlina W (0)
Tuesday September 7, 2010, 10:42 am
Re the 'evidence' in the 60 minutes documentary supposedly showing Craig is mistreating the cub - if you look more closely it becomes very obvious that it's been deliberately edited so that the same couple of seconds are repeated, to make it look as if Craig is doing the same thing to the cub over and over. Also there's not certainty that the sound of the cub crying was actually recorded at that time - it could easily have been taken from elsewhere and 'dubbed' in afterwards.

The positive up-beat feel of the Lion Man TV show is created through the repeated use of the theme music - it has nothing to do with how Craig's personality is presented. In fact, there is more than one instance in the programme where Craig is clearly shown shouting and using force to discipline the cats, and explaining why it's necessary to do this. These animals communicate through body language to establish who is dominant - the kind of cuffing a cub would receive from a lioness is far more violent than what Craig does, especially taking into account his size and weight in relation to them. He also states at one point that if you push a tiger too far you will lose its co-operation altogether. He would simply be unable to work with them if he was mistreating them.

Re the de-clawing: The findings of an investigation into the practice of de-clawing are published in a document available at:

In this document it states that Craig was receiving advice from a vet representing the MAF that de-clawing was the 'lesser of two evils', as an alternative to sedation in order to give vets safe access to the animals. It was also in order to prevent them from injuring each other when in the same enclosure and when travelling. So it wasn't just in order to perform with them, which, in any case, was in order to raise funds so that the animals could have better and more spacious living conditions. The MAF vets state that they were unaware at that time of the negative long term effects of de-clawing. So it's nonsense to claim that Craig's decision to use this procedure proves that he is cruel and that his devotion and care of the animals is fake. Based on the information that was presented to him at the time by the experts, unaware of the long term effect, it's perfectly understandable that he would have thought he was acting in the animals best interest to have them de-clawed.

Re the assault on his former partner: apart from the fact it has nothing to do with whether or not he mistreats animals, if he was really that violent and dangerous, how come the couple who Karen was with left her there with him after the assault had take place? If he was being violent and abusive, surely the thing to do would have been to get her away from him as quickly as possible. The fact she stayed behind and they left here there with him shows they clearly did not think he posed any further threat.

So it's not even a question of whether or not you think Craig is being genuine on Lion Man, which is always going to be subjective, it's about whether there is any real evidence which proves Craig is cruel to animals.
Ex employee Michelle has stated that she heard Patricia Busch say on more than one occasion that she would destroy Craig through the media so that he would never work again, if he got in the way of her plans.
The majority of people who are supporting Craig do so because they can see through the smear campaign that has been conducted against him, and are outraged by the way he has been treated by his own mother.

There is also video evidence to show that Patricial Busch controls the staff at Zion Gardens through threats and intimidation - no claims made by people currently working under this regime can therefore be relied upon.

I think its the minority who have signed the petition to remove Craig's facebook page who need to realise they have been misled and manipulated in an attempt to destroy him which has nothing to do with concern for the welfare of animals.


Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Tuesday September 7, 2010, 6:12 pm
Another defender of de-clawing cats! It is not a well hidden secret that removing claws has a long term negative effect on the cats ability walk as they grow older. To suggest that Craig did not know this really paints him as an incompetent. I am not defending the veterinarians that assisted this practice but please stop with the excuses. It is not understandable.

He assaulted his former girlfriend! End of story. It was not his evil twin brother! Hopefully he better controls his anger now.

I am sure that Patricia Busch will look for ways to hinder Craig, probably in a nasty way. I though think that Craig would look to do the exact same to his Mother. They are both probably very similar in their dealings with others. Patricia is probably just a bit smarter.

Merlina W (0)
Wednesday September 8, 2010, 4:34 am
I am absolutely NOT defending the de-clawing of cats. Clearly the practice is wrong, causes suffering to the animals and should be outlawed. What I am pointing out is how Craig's previous decision to de-claw the cats is being taken out of context to give the impression that he made the decision purely in order to put the cats on show, knowing the long term damage it would cause. And I suspect it's been presented in this way in order to alienate the public and destroy his credibility.

What the official report clearly shows is that there were other factors involved to do with the risks of the cats injuring each other, and the adverse effects of sedation and anesthesia, which was shown in the Lion Man TV series - i.e. disorientation and fitting when coming round, and the difficulty in knowing the right dosage to give in order to keep them under long enough for the vet to do what was needed.

Clearly, with hindsight, having them declawed was a wrong decision and a tragic mistake, but following the advice of the vets and the MAF, having been told at the time that it was 'the lesser of two evils' hardly makes him incompetent.

Furthermore, if knowledge about the long term damage caused by de-clawing was not hidden and readily available, how come the MAF were not aware of it? Why wasn't this information being widely published and circulated so that anyone handling big cats knew about it? Seems to me it has something to do with people in the know keeping information to themselves and only sharing it at a price.

As for the assault: I'm not saying Craig did not assault Karen, but this story has also been presented in such a way as to give the impression that he deliberately inflicted the injuries on her, and that he is therefore a wife-beater, and therefore cruel to animals, and therefore his facebook page should be removed. The question is not whether the assault took place, but how it happened and the circumstances - i.e. that he found her naked in bed with two friends. Even if nothing sexual was taking place, it would have looked like there was, and I rather suspect this may have been a deliberate ploy on the part of Karen either to get back at him for jilting her, or to make him jealous, because she didn't want their relationship to end.

Of course that doesn't mean she deserved it, and what Craig did was wrong - but it seems highly likely that it was an over-reaction in the heat of the moment, and that she could have sustained her injuries when she fell against some furniture. The fact her friends left her there with him rather than persuading her to leave with them shows he must have calmed down by then, and that they did not think he posed any further threat.

I would agree with you in hoping that he controls his anger better now, and also that he doesn't experience such extreme provocation again. He has recently become engaged to his current partner who has stuck by him through all this, so hopefully he has now found the right person to share his life with.

Finally, I don't see any evidence that Craig is trying to do the same thing to his Mother, who, together with the current management at Zion Park is now the subject or legal proceedings following the death of the animal handler Dalu. Craig has predicted it will all backfire on her, - I would say it already has, since she has managed to turn herself into a public hate figure and succeeded in making the majority of people sympathetic to Craig and willing to support him.

Craig, meanwhile, has been continuing his conservation work out in Africa and will be returning with a new TV show later this year. So Patricia Busch is a bit smarter? I think not!

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Wednesday September 8, 2010, 4:51 am
Just to be clear. De-clawing is "not the lesser of two evils". As a professional in the industry for many years it is not a practice performed by reputable places since the early 90's. Cats still can fight, damage trees, and people. It is not a responsible practice and I doubt most vets have had experience with the ramifications in large cats. I have seen it many times.

I am not sure what you are referring to with anesthesia. Every time there is a risk. Declawing is not a quick procedure and does make quite a mess out of their paws for several weeks.

There is NO EXCUSE for the beating of his "ex". I doubt that most people who do this type of act intend for the person to be injured. It shows a lack of control and judgement. I cannot say why the other couple left and frankly it does not matter.

Merlina W (0)
Wednesday September 8, 2010, 10:44 am
I take the points you make about de-clawing - as I said, I'm not trying to defend the practice - I am just pointing out what Craig was told by the vets at the time, and how it could have lead him to genuinely believe he was acting in the animals best interest.

The point I was making about anesthesia is based on what I have seen on the Lion Man TV series in situations where the animals had to be sedated or anaethetised in order for the vet to gain safe access to them. One of the cats was shown having a fit and being very disorientated when he came round from the anaesthetic, and Craig was clearly concerned about this.

There was another tense moment where a vet was having to carry out an operation a cat who had injured his paw, which was taking longer to complete than expected, with the danger that he might wake up at any moment. So clearly there are risks involved with these procedures.

I think the point you make about vets not having experience of the ramifications in large cats is a valid one - I think those who do have this specialist knowledge should be more willing to share information about what is the best practice.

i was not trying to make excuses for the assault, but I think there is a difference between some-one deliberately and repeatedly subjecting their partner to physical violence, and some-one reacting in a situation where they were provoked. And it does matter why the other couple left: if Craig was as violent and out of control as he's being made out to be, I don't believe they would have left her there with him.

Craig accepted responsibility, appologised to Karen and paid her compensation. Yet still this incident is being dredged up in order to paint a black picture of him.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Wednesday September 8, 2010, 2:27 pm
The incident is a "black" picture of him. He is guilty... end of story.

As I pointed out earlier their is always a risk from sedation. Craig employed vets around thirty times to do these procedures, and over the course of a number of years. There are bound to be less than perfect outcomes for some of the procedures. As you claim Craig is a professional and the owner of the animals it is incumbent upon him to have the best interest of the cats in mind. I do not believe he did. He was simply attempting to make the cats safer for himself and lowering the risk of anyone involved in photo sessions being clawed.

There are several reputable zoos, parks, and trainers that work with fully intact cats without going down this track. It is not as if they hide the facts that their cats have claws or a better way of managing the risks from people like Craig. Maybe he should have talked to a few more people before doing the procedures and learned from them.

Merlina W (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 2:27 pm
The official report clearly states that there were other factors involved to do with giving access to vets and the risk of the cats injuring each other. The vet advised that de-clawing was a better option. With hindsight Craig probably should have spoken to other people and learned from them, and It may have been a mistake to rely on the advice of the vets and the MAF, but this does not prove that he did not have the best interests of the cats at heart or that he is 'cruel to animals'.

It's clear that Craig's interest, from the outset, has been in conservation, and he states during the Lion Man series that where these animals really belong is in Africa, living wild, but they have become endangered due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat. Zion Gardens was created as a sanctuary.

It seems to me that it's the need to save species from extinction that currently justifies the continuing existence of zoos and keeping of wild animals in captivity.

Maybe some people in the community of zoo-oligists don't like the idea of an non-zoologist like Craig coming along and trying to do something, and also having such a high profile through the TV series.

You say that reputable places stopped declawing cats since the early 1990s - that means that, up until then, cats WERE being de clawed by these organisations. For many years Zoos had animals captured from the wild and cooped up in cages - not for conservation, but for the purpose of exhibiting them and making money.

So you might as well have a petition to close all zoos because they are cruel to animals, based on the way animals have been exploited in the past.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 2:49 pm
Putting aside the argument on why Craig declawed the cats. You have still not made a reasonable argument for his lack of thought on the matter.

Craig Busch is certainly not about conservation. I would love to see the amount of funding he has sent to in-situ conservation efforts in any range states. He does not have the basic facts about the animals and cannot present them in a factual and coherent manner. He talks about saving "extinct" species, etc.

I too thought think that most zoos do too little to support conservation as well. Please though do not try and hold Craig Buscb up as a model. He has used the cats to provide himself an income and very little else.

Merlina W (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 3:06 pm
I think I have made a reasonable argument, based on the consultations he had with the vets and representatives of the MAF. Craig has not used the cats to provide himself an income - the work he was doing with the cats was in order to bring in an income to provide the cats with a better living environment. The problems began because the park was losing money - probably because he was putting the welfare of the animals before making a profit.

What exactly are the basic facts that you say he does not know? Are you saying that these animals are not threatened with extinction?

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 4:47 pm
Are you saying that he did not derive an income from the cats? ZWG was certainly a "rat hole" and needed money to make it even up to third world standards. CB ran the place into the ground and needed to get financing from his Mother as that was probably his only option.

He does not understand what conservation is and how to assist with it. I said that he was breeding "extinct" animals. Certainly not the case. Of course they are all listed on CITES.

Merlina W (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 5:17 pm
It depends on how you define conservation. He has contributed to raising awareness about conservation and the protection of endangered species.

"ZWG was certainly a "rat hole" and needed money to make it even up to third world standards" - what evidence/knowledge are you basing this on? The MAF regularly inspected ZWG and described Craig as a 'first class animal handler'.

You're also contradicting your previous accusation that Craig was making money from the cats, now you're criticising him for 'running the place into the ground' financially. One minute you accuse him of being deliberately cruel, then of being incompetent. it seems like you're just determined to attack and discredit him. Why? And what have you done to contribute to conservation, or rescue animals from extinction, or raise awareness?

"I said that he was breeding "extinct" animals. Certainly not the case. Of course they are all listed on CITES."
This sentence does not make sense!

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Saturday September 11, 2010, 5:47 pm
Their statement was that they were breeding "extinct" animals. Just goes to show a lack of knowledge. I do not think that MAF did a very good job at inspecting and regulating ZWG. At least until the death of Dalu. The facilities were sub-standard. I doubt seriously that MAF would know what a "first class animal handler" looks like. Better coming from peers than from less than knowledgeable regulators.

Craig did make money for himself. He also ran ZWG into the ground. I do not see the contradiction. I have done far more than you may think in terms of funding in-situ conservation and raising awareness about their plight.

Merlina W (0)
Sunday September 12, 2010, 5:43 am
Well, if so, maybe you should be promoting the causes you do support rather than attacking Craig. Re the MAF - if you feel so strongly perhaps you should contact them and voice your criticisms. I would like to know what credentials and experience you have to level these kinds of criticisms. And also how come you are so knowledgeable about ZWG, and, above all, why you are so keen to discredit Craig and all those who support him.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Sunday September 12, 2010, 3:08 pm
Well Merlina I do promote the causes that I support. Maybe you have failed to read what this thread is about. I have previously been in contact with MAF. As Craig Busch is no longer the operator of the facility there is no point discussing previous acts with them.

My experience and knowledge about the care, handling, training, and conservation of big cats is sufficient for me to know what I am talking about. I am sure if you dug a little you would understand. I know past staff and volunteers at ZWG and have been reliably informed as to the "story" of this place.

Exactly what would your qualifications be Merlina to make me think you understand the subject at all?

Merlina W (0)
Monday September 13, 2010, 3:52 pm
You are still not saying exactly what you have contributed to saving endangered species what organisations or projects you have worked on. It's always easier to knock what some-one else is doing. If what you've done is so much better than what Craig has achieved, and you can clearly demonstrate how your work contributes more to conservation, then why aren't you letting people know about it so they can compare and make their own minds up?

Your statements about ZWG are based only what you claim other un-named people have told you.
My suggestion about contacting the MAF is not about discussing what Craig previously did, but the fact you're implying in your postings, that they the MAF are incompetent and not capable of doing their job of assessing whether animals are eing properly looked after. I think they might have something to say about that!

Whilst you're at it, you're going to have to also denounce the conservationist working with tigers in India, and Craig's friend and associate running the wild live reserve in South Africa, who support his work and collaborate with him.

I do not claim to have any qualifications in zoology or conservation, but I do have a first class honours degree in Social Science with Psychology, which has trained me to question and evaluate different points of view in any debate or controversy. I am well aware that knowledge and information - including expert and scientific knowledge - can easily be manipulated and used selectively to influence and shape what people believe. The power and authority invested in particular types of knowledge is also determined by social forces.

Re this thread it's been originated as part of a deliberate attempt to remove Craig from facebook and discredit him on the basis of a claim that he is cruel to animals, when there is actually no evidence to support that. Certain facts concerning the previous de-clawing and the incident with Craig's former partner are being selectively presented out of context as part of a smear campaign. It is a blatant manipulation and distortion of the truth. My original posting on here exposes that.

Whether or not Craig's work is true 'conservation' is really part of a separate and wider debate. What I do understand clearly is that species and bio-diversity is being undermined and destroyed by human beings. Therefore, anyone who helps to make large numbers of human beings aware and concerned about these issues is contributing to conservation. Many of Craig's supporters also go and visit zoos and other projects, and draw attention to other campaigns - and Craig actually encourages this.


Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Monday September 13, 2010, 10:54 pm
As I pointed out you are a big girl and can search the web. I have spoken to and about conservation of tigers to several million people, not including hundreds of television, newspaper, magazine, and radio stories that have discussed vital tiger conservation efforts myself and colleagues are involved with.

My statements about MAF go to the facilities at ZWG and approved de-clawings. While you do not claim to have any qualifications in zoology or conservation. I have over thirty years of experience in the industry and in particular felines.

I do not have a problem with Craig Busch highlighting the issues surrounding conservation of feline species. I do want though accurate information being relayed to the public.

Rochelle E. (0)
Saturday October 9, 2010, 8:08 am
I have been watching the series for about a month now and decided to look up the park on the net only to find all this venomous press and you know I find it very interesting that despite looking, all these so called videos have mysteriously disappeared??? mmmm I Wonder Why.... Id like to ask if there is any possibility that they have not been shown in the correct context??? I always find it amazing how snap shots of things can be twisted as they often are by our press. Have any of you stood in an enclosure with potentially dangerous and unpredictable cats. It unlikely you have or could and survive.

The other points I'd like to put to all of you, is if those cats were frightened, felt threatened, or at risk in anyway, do you honestly think that any Lion or Tiger would let him anywhere near a newly born cub, do you honestly believe a 1/4 of ton fully grown male Lion would have successfully managed to complete films with the highest standard and win awards, can you really tell me that MAF on their regular inspections would have not noticed a decline in behaviour? And what’s more.. I’m sorry but come on do you really think that any authority or any conservation park would have let him bring the most threatened of the species - the White Lion into New Zealand if there was even a hint something was wrong. It’s also amazing how these allegations only came about after he criticised his mothers management skills is it not?? After all those visitor’s, inspections and shows, I find it hard to believe that its taken this long for all this to come out. I’m sure someone would have found a way to make quick cash of the allegations if the evidence would properly stack up.
Just Stop Listening To Rumours.. And Try To Remember..He is in these enclosures with unpredictable, very powerful and potentially dangerous cats that can pick up any hint of doubt, fear and hesitation and latch on to it. These cats are not stupid... It would be clever for some to remember this fact.
When all is said and done, I’m sure your courts and ministry of agriculture are more than capable of coming to the correct verdicts, all by themselves without inexperienced people making up stories on a subject of which they have no clue.
As for his dispute with his Girlfriend... If you found your partner in a such a situation.. How would you react and as for his mother, What Mother does this to her Son and also, is it not amazing that until Craig left the park there had been no deaths in its 5 year history and then the minute he leaves, the Keeper, Suddenly dies at the hands of a White Tiger that only a year before was seen in the dead of night (usually the most dangerous time) Very Poorly (making him unpredictable) yet Craig was able to rub his stomach to make him feel better. It seems to me the death of Dalu, was undoubtedly a tragic accident of which is the ultimate risk you always take working with these animals, but after 5 years of a clean record, I feel, the attention should be turned to the new owners and the current state of the park.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Sunday October 10, 2010, 12:43 am
Rochelle - You can see the videos linking from here:
and read what his sister has to say about him by following the link from here:
Pleased to learn that you are trying to get at the truth.

Rochelle E. (0)
Sunday October 10, 2010, 1:56 am
Oh come off it. What kind of "proof" is that?? So he has some family challenges, his mother is clearly a piece of work. And as for his run in's with women, well give me the true court case facts and I'll comment.
As for you I think you are just a nasty slanderous human being. The facts speak for themseleves, controlling a dangeous predator sometime requires force and I'm sorry but what planet are you on? Do you know how powerful and unpredictable these creatures are, if he tried to threaten them, do you not think that there would have been a death long before now. Those cats were raised under Craigs care and someone else tried to step into his shoes...If those park owners were decent, they would have known this was a risk. As great as Dalu was, he was inexperienced in comparison.
Give me some hard, undoctored evidence and not just silly people ranting and raving to gedt themseleves heard and I'll apologise.
What Craig does with his family has nothing to do with his skills as an animal handler. You seem to want to focus on the "hear say" reports and not the cold hard facts of how those animals behave around him.. Get over yourself, he'd not survive taking on a threatnend big cat. Talk Sense Man

Chris W. (0)
Monday October 11, 2010, 9:50 am
First of all, I think that Rochelle has got the point in one in the post above. If he really did abuse 300lb Lions, he wouldn't be here today. No matter how domesticated they may have become, they will defend themselves, and they can do a hell of a lot more damage than a human can!

Personally, As a Businessman I can see pretty much what's happened. It's a textbook Forceful Buyout. He is more of a animal handler than a businessman, so amasses debt. He gets a loan to service the debt, and everything's rosy and good right up until the point that said person who he got the loan from realizes that they can make money from the park. They then proceed to force a buyout and take it over for themselves. What makes it a despicable act is that it was his own family who did it.

Now they realize he cares too much to walk away without a fight, and so try and destroy his reputation to help themselves. It's disgusting, trying to take away the thing someone lives for is worse than killing them. His mother should be ashamed of herself.

Stacey C. (0)
Tuesday October 12, 2010, 8:58 pm
Do any of you actully live in new zealand?
Do any of you know Craig Busch personally?
Have any of you actully visited the zion wildlife park?
Yes he has made mistakes in his life as everyone does..
The declawing is undoubtably horrible and he has admitted to that and takes responsibility but he did it along with the supervision and consent of MAF and a vet.. the final decision on wether or not it should be done was left with the vet.. where is his petition??? where is all the abuse half of you think people like him deserve?? i live in new zealand i have visited the park both when he was in charge and with his mother in charge i have family who have worked there and have seen first hand the amazing job he did with the cats then and the awful condition the cats are now in, theyr staved and skinny..
this petition is pathetic! im all for saving wildlife but abusing someone and making their lives worse? what the hell is wrong with you? not one of you people are saint so right your wrongs before you turn around and hurt others!!
and his mother is a peice of work, shes awful.. yes her son was in debt and bailed him out! which she beleived entitled her to having majority of the control of the park, she beleived she should have more say then her son and because he made all the decisions it caused conflict and she fired him! the women used the power she had over him and kicked her son out of his own creation!! all because she lent him money.. what kind of mother does that!?
all of you are getting your info from u-tube and flippin blogs and websites people have made up!
he say, she say, blah blah blah
he hand raised half of them theyr like his babys.. and you all are trying to take that away from his bescause he made a mistake! with the knowledge of what hes caused these cats he would never do it again!!!
And as for hitting the lions.. have you never hit your dogs when they bite or try attack to teach them disciplin?
Get a life and leave the man alone! waste your time on a more worthy cause!

Peter Dickinson (0)
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 3:10 am
Thanks Stacey - personally I don't really care whether Craig Busch stays on Facebook or not. You say

"The declawing is undoubtably horrible and he has admitted to that and takes responsibility but he did it along with the supervision and consent of MAF and a vet.. the final decision on wether or not it should be done was left with the vet"

When and where did Craig admit this? Several people have said the same thing but none can point to when and where this was said or published. It is certainly not in the MAF investigative document. Have you read it?
My whole point is that it was never, ever necessary to enter enclosures with big cats anyway so declawing should not even have been a thought. The animals were not rare or endangered or even in one of the official breeding programmes. Hand rearing in normal circumstance is unnecessary if proper accommodation and expertise is at hand.
I appreciate the man is your hero like so many others but like you say blak blah blah. You can still appreciate, i hope that other people have another point of view.

As for hitting lions. Yes it is NOT necessary because it is NOT necessary to enter enclosures with them

Rochelle E. (0)
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 4:09 am
Thank you Chris and Stacy. This argument is just stupid. It seems we live in a world where people Guilty until proven innocent. There are some serious self righteous idiots in this thread. As for hand rearing, it is a fact that any human contact and learning that brings mankind closer to these animals. It stops our children from seeing them as man eaters and forces them to view them as majestic, precious animals with feelings, it personalises them and in the end it will be the love and care of future generations that will ensure their survival. Are you telling me then that the work of Born Free and thier human contact is wrong? They have saved countless lives. Get a grip and understand that human nature means if you are distanced away from something, you have less interest in fighting for the cause. I know I want my Children to grow up being able to see and understand these wonderful animals and the fact is regardless of if a particular breed is already on the endangered list or not, carry on the way we are and animals in the wild will be a rareity full stop, so stop pulling someone apart with no real evidence and critising something you know nothing about do something constructive.
And for the record.. I couldn't careless which of you have all these wonderful degrees that somehow makes you better than Craig, You have not looked after such animals like this and there are few that have so you have no foundation to comment.

Try backing the future survival of breeding programmes like this and stop fighting them and this generation of human beings may have a chance of turning around a potential disaster.. But of course we are all to busy throwing accusations around.

Gab B. (0)
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 4:23 am
i would just like to say that you lot are a bunch of idiots! firstly, how do you train an animal? have you ever had an animal that could attack you at anytime? what have any of you done to help save an endangered animal? have you actually done anything other than sit on your high horse critisizing other people for wanting to change the world? NO. you lot have no idea how hard it is to train a big animal. it requires strength, persistance and a firm hand. does anyone know why he had to de-claw some cats? im sorry but at the end of the day, none of you would go anywhere near a lion if it had a thorne in his paw. He is a first class handler, he is only human. at the end of the day, dalu wouldn't have died if craigs wrench of a mother didn't fire craig. his mother then put dalu in charge of handling the animals when he had not been fully trained. what put that stupid idea into that idiotic womans head? like it, lump it, the lion man didnt do anything wrong other than being a human being. live with it you self-rightous twats. PEACE!

Rochelle E. (0)
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 8:01 am
All I would like to say is thank god for people like Stacey, Chris and Gab. It's laughable that anyone could think that Craig and a 1/4 ton of a full grown lion could have a disagreement, Craig could strike it and he'd live to tell the tale.... And I'm sorry but that mother of his had no business allowing a young inexperienced man into that enclosure alone. If we want to get into a debate about ethics.. Swallow this one, you thought declawing was bad, it allows the animals to be cared for, handled safely and reduces damage being caused between them - not a nice practice, not even ideal but it with the long term aim of breeding and maintaining diverse prides and DNA. Yet it is ok for a Big Cat to feel threatnened with a stranger and do what is its nature and protect itself and because it unfortunatley killed a man it got put down.. Where the hell are the ethics in that at least Craig and MAF had valid concerns!

Peter Dickinson (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 1:26 am
Going by these past few comments It would appear that anyone who is not in agreement with Craig Busch are "idiots", "twats" and more.
Let me say it again declawing is cruel and unnecessary. Good zoos around the world do not declaw their cats and, oh my gosh Rochelle "it allows the animals to be cared for, handled safely and reduces damage being caused between them - not a nice practice, not even ideal but it with the long term aim of breeding and maintaining diverse prides and DNA"....this is uninformed rubbish. Apart from the declawing issue none of the cats held by Craig were rare or endangered or part of an official breeding programme.
I believe that you should have a good long hard look at what zoos are about, what they do, what a breeding progamme is, what conservation is, what a species is and more.
I am still waiting to hear back from Stacey on where Craig Busch apologised for the declawing. Craig Busch was a circus performer not a zoo person. Circus performers DO perform with big cats. Zoo people do not. ask "does anyone know why he had to de-claw some cats?". He didn't have to! That is the answer. He did not have to.
Dalu would never have died if there had not been a policy in place to stop people (anyone) going in cages with the cats. It is NOT EVER necessary to do so. It is NOT necessary to hand rear cats if they are properly managed.
I no nothing of your expertise on these subjects and I seek to educate and inform. It saddens me that people are not prepared to believe there is another side to every story. I, and a good proportion of the zoo world believe that Craigs dismissal was a good thing. Does that not tell you something?

Stacey C. (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 4:29 am
sorry i may have miss informed you he hasnt apologosed but he has said he is willing to take responsibility for it along side MAF and the vet in charge of the procedure.
I have read the MAF report, yes, and as i stated only the vet and the vet alone could carry out the procedure and he ultimately had the final decision.. so why is it Craig is ultimately responsible? he beleived there to be no issue with it, im sure a vet would know the welfare for the cats better than a "circus performer?" right? which i guess is the reason he performed the procedure.. he beleived it to be okay!
The declawing is far from the issue that i have!
In no way shape or form is craig my "hero" as you so lightly put it, im simply someone who hates watching others suffer all because a few people in the world wish it upon them!
I see your side and very clearly, yes everyone is intitled to there own opinion hence the reason i put mine across my issue is the way everyone is doing it!
Your nothing but a bunch of bullys! pure and simple.. what your doing is bullying. Do you have any idea the affect bullying has on someone? Hes human as are all of you, does he not deserve a second chance? What gives you the right to wish failure upon someone? its his life, his dream, and here you all are tearing his world apart for something he believed to be safe and beneficial at the time!?
Is docking a lamb wrong? clipping chickens wings?
It makes me sick to think the a few in the human race come together and believe them self powerful enough to the right of hurting one individual!

Rochelle E. (0)
Thursday October 14, 2010, 8:09 am
Ok first point - who really gives a crap if these particular lions weren't already classed as endangered or not - the point is still there that regardless of the breed they are being hunted to the ends of the earth and no action will ultimately lead to them all being wiped out.
2nd Point - I said De-Clawing was not the best idea and I believe it should be avoided but come on, you keep latching onto this one point and are happy to rip that apart but yet you haven't mentioned anything about the fact a cat was put down for doing what was natural and it was carried out by the people who are according to you are the more desirable owners. Also in the same breath you are banging on about people shouldn’t need to be in cages, yet a man died doing just that and a Royal Bengal Tiger was put down for it (the world isn't exactly overrun with this breed, let’s be honest) yet we haven't heard you criticise that one have we?
3rd Point - All these people in the "zoo world" that have an opinion I'm sorry but not all them are angels either, the way they carry on, on occasions isn’t all that great either. Also their knowledge of previously misunderstood animals is equally lacking in credibility - hate to break it to you but they can be wrong you know - owning a zoo doesn’t make you instantly right on every point and in my opinion the older establishments tend to be stuck in their ways. For crying out loud, 1/2 of the keepers looking after these animals haven’t ever set foot into the native areas of the animals they care for.
I'd also like to know exactly what your version of a “good proportion of the zoo world actually is” ? There are equally alot of well known, respected vets, handlers, breeders, conservationist and park owners who back Craig. Alot of the stirrers of this story are the kind of people that happen to have a degree and think that means they know it all.. Or who are so stuck up their own backside, they refuse to accept that there are equally acceptable alternative ways of breeding and caring for these animals and it doesn’t always need to be the current conventional methods just to because some self righteous, stuck up, know it all stamps their feet.
And just to pick up on your other comments. “Uninformed Rubbish” That’s Laughable. The fact is you and many others wouldn’t give the subject of Breeding, Maintaining Diverse Blood Lines, Endangered Species and what is considered acceptable treatment of these animals a 2nd thought if it wasn’t for arguments like this. If people like Craig didn’t put the issue in the spot light and show a side of the animals that people easily relate to the truth is no-one would actually care,. It’s ok saying he was a Circus Performer and Zoo People aren’t, many Zoo’s and Safari Parks have their animals perform little tricks, bears that stand on the hind legs, dolphins that jump and swim with humans, Seals that clap their Flippers at people and bounce balls around – how is that any different. Humans shouldn’t be in contact with them - What a load of crap, Humans are in contact with all kind of animals every day, some dangerous and some not and real people who care put their whole lives into looking after them. I’m sorry but it’s also pretty useless locking animals up in cages in the hope they will one day be able to increase the numbers in the wild – it’s a pointless exercise if people aren’t taught to have any respect for them and they keep being hunted down

Chris W. (0)
Friday October 15, 2010, 1:55 am
Just a few points I wish to make in relation to specifics of your argument Peter.

"none of the cats held by Craig were rare or endangered " - Using a specific example of the royal white bengal tigers present at ZWG, 'only about 5,000 to 7,400 tigers are left in the wild' (Source; How many do there have to be left before you would consider them endangered?

"or part of an official breeding programme." - I'll give you that one, you're right. Although the reasons aren't exactly angelic and innocent either - 'Although white tigers are amazingly beautiful animals, they serve no conservation purpose, with the exception of increasing attendance to zoos. Thus increasing public awareness and education of the plight of all endangered animals. For this reason, the SSP (Species Survival Plan) coordinators for the various surviving subspecies of tiger do not authourize breeding the white tiger in their programs.'
By this argument we shouldn't save any species that 'Doesn't serve a purpose'. Frankly a quite disgusting view in my opinion. Whatever happened to saving species just because they need saving? You claim "a good proportion of the zoo world believe that Craigs dismissal was a good thing. ". If the above decision is at all representative of the 'zoo world' then i'm not surprised.

And last but not least I return to the safe haven of logic. You say that it is never necessary to enter the enclosure of an animal. Again you're right in the bluntest sense. However it also isn't 'necessary' to spend years trying to find renewable resources either is it? But we as the human race choose to do so, because there are those of us who spend our time trying to improve the world around us. For that same reason people enter the enclosures of animals to try and understand them better, and to get a real perspective for how majestic and incredible these animals truly are. Examining them from behind a glass wall or cage bars seems too close to scientist for my liking.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Friday October 15, 2010, 5:40 am
I am delighted to see that you have done some research and would be pleased if you read just a couple of my articles (I'm not plugging them honestly) because they were written specifically to explain the subjects we are taling about here:
White Tiger Breeding is Not conservation (and for good HARMS tiger survival.

Zoo Breeding Programmes - Anyone can breed big cats but unless they are in an official programme it is a waste.

Playing With Lions

There really is nothing to understand about going in an enclosure with big cats. Anyone could do it. All it does is satisfy the urge to play tarzan, to show off, to look clever and....yes some people genuinely love their animal and want to relate to it. Far better then to do this in private or risk falling foul to the other reasons.

If you want to learn more please check out
The Zoo Hubs

They may answer further questions you have or give another angle to your beliefs. I always say that you should not believe what I say. I give you a point to check from. All I am trying to do is paint the true picture. I have nothing to gain from lying. Some others do.

Chris W. (0)
Saturday October 16, 2010, 1:18 pm
Peter, I Thank you for the links to your work. It has informed me as to the kind of person I am dealing with. Having read the first article I am frankly disgusted. "The White Tiger is a mutant, a freak of nature, an aberration" Is a view you share on that page. The white tiger is born as a result of recessive genes, a perfectly natural biological phenomenon. Another example of recessive genes would be people with ginger hair. Would you state that they are freaks of nature? Or would you shy away from such a statement, as they can defend themselves, unlike White Tigers?

As for your second point, you are basically saying that unless the men with clipboards say that what you are doing is right, that it is pointless. If I act to improve the world around me, The only approval I need is the sight of a better world. There is no difference between breeding alone and being part of a programme besides a tick of approval. Either way you are saving a species that needs saving. How anyone can say that animals as magnificent as these are freaks of nature is beyond me, it really is.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Saturday October 16, 2010, 7:25 pm
Chris W - I read everything with an open mind. I try to learn. I look at the opposing opinion in as honest a light as those whose views I share. You appear to have missed the point altogether about captive white tigers. I faced the same views on one of the Facebook groups where people did not care how many hybrid animals were bred, how many suffered, how many were euthanased just to produce white animals. Captive white tigers ARE NOT natural. I actually care. Breeding white tigers is wrong, unnatural and cruel. A naturally born white tiger in the wild is fine with me and is "a result of recessive genes, a perfectly natural biological phenomenon" those in captivity are not. I will side with the men with clipboards here....and how do you know if I am not ginger?
The kind of person I am is one who cares and if that disgusts you, so be it.

Chris W. (0)
Sunday October 17, 2010, 8:14 am
Peter, As the breeding processes of white tigers rely on the genetics of recessive genes, the probability of 'hybrid' animals being born is only very marginally more likely than in the wild. How is it possible to breed a white tiger without the two birth parents having the recessive white gene? It isn't without investing hundreds of thousands of pounds on specialists and genetic modification equipment. Zoos and Reserves simply can't afford that. They have to instead use the long and exhaustive but wholly natural process of breeding animals that have the recessive gene. As for euthanasia, any Zoo or wildlife reserve that would euthanise an animal for any reason based on breeding shouldn't have a licence in the first place, and therefore if there are any that make such decisions why did the men with clipboards allow them that license?

As for whether or not you are ginger is an irrelevant point unless you mean with regards to hypocrisy. You seem to care only for those animals that are perfect in terms of species and genetic code. What you seem to forget is that the world doesn't always allow that. You seem to believe that any animal that is born as a result of mutation, however minor doesn't deserve the same liberties as those of other animals. In case you forgot, these slight changes are also what makes evolution succeed and these slight changes are again a perfectly natural phenomenon.

White tigers deserve to be saved just like any other animal. What disgusts me is your ability to pick and choose animals that you think need saving. Just because white tigers are a minority in their population is no reason to treat them differently.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Sunday October 17, 2010, 11:35 pm

You appear an intelligent informed person. It appears though that you either missing the point or deliberately avoiding it with regards to the captive White Tiger population.
In the wild the white tiger recessive gene rests in the Bengal Tiger population and no other. They occur in the wild but only very rarely as a natural occurence. This is nature at work and as it should be.

The captive white tiger population has been deliberately created to make money. To worship the great God 'Dollar' and has shown no regards or concerns to the welfare of the tigers at all. Mother has been crossed with son and son with daughter and daughter with father all to produce more and more white tigers. Such inbreeding leads to many genetic defects which means that the defective animals are euthanased as are those which are the wrong colour. THIS IS WRONG - IT IS CRIMINAL. Well it is to me anyway. It should and must stop along with all this claptrap about contributing to conservation. Even the seemingly normal white tigers all have genetic defects. All of them are cross eyed for instance, even if you cannot see it.

It has not been good enough for the cruel and ignorant breeders of captive white tigers just to produce white animals so they try to produce bigger ones by crossing with another this case the Siberian or Amur Tiger. Then they give it fancy names like the Snow Tiger. What does this do for conservation? Zilch! Nothing at all.
If we stick with normal colours just for a minute. This would be like crossing a big North American Timber Wolf with a small lean short haired Arabian Wolf. It does no good at all.

There are studbooks for some of the Tiger subspecies. There is not one for White Tigers. The clipboards would be a mass of crossing lines which would make no genetic sense.

So to finish here. I find it disgusting that you are unable to find it in your heart to care about all this criminal breeding of white tigers going on. Animals deliberately bred and killed in the pursuit of money. Perhaps you are in the employment of one of the collections which breeds them. To me this seems the only explanation of the defence you offer.

Chris W. (0)
Monday October 18, 2010, 7:20 am
First of all Peter let me clear up one of your points, no I do not work for one of the collections which undertake such works.

"Such inbreeding leads to many genetic defects which means that the defective animals are euthanased as are those which are the wrong colour." Can you show me irrefutable evidence of a reserve which has euthanised tigers that 'are the wrong colour'? I will not argue that inbreeding is sometimes a factor in breeding programmes, although I would draw your attention to the fact that these are often licensed breeding programmes. You did earlier defend the approval process of such licences by proxy - hence stating that only approved programmes are viable ones.

"They occur in the wild but only very rarely as a natural occurence." That its true now, although there was a time when white tigers were a fairly common sight in India. Also as there are now reasonably large numbers of white tigers in captivity, I believe it is more than possible to maintain a successful breeding programme without inbreeding the animals.

"It should and must stop along with all this claptrap about contributing to conservation." But they are contributing - to their own conservation. By your own admission white tigers are a natural animal, so it makes sense to make an effort to maintain their numbers.

"It has not been good enough for the cruel and ignorant breeders of captive white tigers just to produce white animals so they try to produce bigger ones by crossing with another this case the Siberian or Amur Tiger. Then they give it fancy names like the Snow Tiger. What does this do for conservation? Zilch! Nothing at all." Indeed, the creation of new species for profit or to increase attendances at reserves is a deplorable act, although I would remind you that I was originally pointing towards the white tigers at ZWG. These animals were naturally bred, and therefore I believe do contribute to conservation efforts.

"So to finish here. I find it disgusting that you are unable to find it in your heart to care about all this criminal breeding of white tigers going on." As for this comment you clearly don't possess the ability to see clear cut indications. When they are bred for profit, it is indeed criminal. I used the white tigers at ZWG as an example of the authorities not recognising a viable breeding programme such as the one in place for white tigers at ZWG.
I do find myself perplexed however as to your ability to stereotype every white tiger as a result of inbreeding that has been born for profit. I am not naive enough to deny that several white tigers would fit this category, but only a small proportion would. Most have been naturally bred, otherwise there would be no need for a programme as it would inevitably fail after a period of time.

"Perhaps you are in the employment of one of the collections which breeds them. To me this seems the only explanation of the defence you offer." As for this, frankly it displays a lack of perception, and if you were to try and guess what I am you would be here next year. Let us instead accept that I am the kind of person who bucks the trend on a regular basis. In this case the trend would be the all too human tendency to tar a group of individuals with the same brush, as you have done with white tigers.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Monday October 18, 2010, 7:45 am
"I am not naive enough to deny that several white tigers would fit this category, but only a small proportion would"...sorry but you are naive.
" I will not argue that inbreeding is sometimes a factor in breeding programmes" is with all white tigers in captivity
" I would draw your attention to the fact that these are often licensed breeding programmes"...And what pray is a licensed breeding programme. Never heard of one and definitely there is not one for white tigers.
" example of the authorities not recognising a viable breeding programme such as the one in place for white tigers at ZWG." ...rubbish. They were breeding white tigers this is not and never will be a Breeding Programme. Read up on breeding programmes please. Read up on White Tigers in captivity. White Tigers Are NOT endangered, NOT a species...
You are going to have to do a lot more research. I have had my say. You may think you have won but as long as you defend the breeding of White Tigers in captivity more young animals will be senselessly be born and destroyed and every place taken by a white tiger in captivity means a space that cannot be used for genuine conservation projects and breeding programmes. Amen.

Chris W. (0)
Tuesday October 19, 2010, 10:48 am
"sorry but you are naive." Personal slights prove nothing. Also you have given no indication as to what leads you to believe that.

"it is with all white tigers in captivity" I did request solid evidence, something I have yet to see on this matter. I am open-minded, and quite happy to agree with your comments if i can behold irrefutable evidence. Thus far you have only provided links to your own works and as they are your own opinions, I give them no more credence than if you had provided wikipedia links.

"And what pray is a licensed breeding programme. Never heard of one and definitely there is not one for white tigers." I refer to you earlier comment that 'unless they are in an official programme it is a waste.' You seem to be in favour of the approval processes involved with official programmes. I am pointing out that official programmes do sometimes encounter situations where they choose to inbreed the animals.

"White Tigers Are NOT endangered" Again I believe that as numbers have fallen below the 10,00 mark in the wild, I would consider them endangered. "NOT a species..." And under what authority do you decide what species have the right of acceptance as such? I would certainly argue that no-one has the right to brand an animal as 'an abberation' when they were previously common in the wild.

"You may think you have won but as long as you defend the breeding of White Tigers in captivity more young animals will be senselessly be born and destroyed and every place taken by a white tiger in captivity means a space that cannot be used for genuine conservation projects and breeding programmes. Amen. " Once again I repeat my request for proof. I give no credence to articles written by the other member of the debate, and nor would I expect you to If I had written articles on the subject. You have made no attempt to provide such evidence, which leads me to believe that you either have none or are stalling for time while you attempt to uncover some. That is my logical response. As a person I hesitate to believe any comment not backed by hard evidence.

Chris W. (0)
Tuesday October 19, 2010, 10:50 am
The Number above should read 10,000, my apologies.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Tuesday October 19, 2010, 10:27 pm
You appear to have ignored most of what I have previously written and don't believe a word of what I have said. Fair enough that is your choice. Ignore then everything that I have said and go out and do your own research. You will find what I have said is true. If you then choose not to believe then is everyone thinks like you there will be no hope for this planet. Meanwhile the breeding of White Tigers will continue along with the massacre of the deformed. I just hope that you will find the truth and spread the word.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Tuesday October 19, 2010, 11:22 pm
I have found this thread taking several twists and turns. I also say quite predictable. While I do understand the mis-guided loyalty to Craig Busch. It is because those in that camp are not looking at the record in a critical fashion, but rather in a "I cannot believe such a man would ever do anything wrong" mode.

I do though have a totally different take on the white tiger issue. While the poor breeding practices have caused genetic weaknesses in some white tigers, the number is not that large. Program Sumatran tigers are also starting to show signs from a small gene pool. The future of program animals will never be to re-populate the wilds of Asia. It is just not going to happen. Where will tigers be in one hundred years?

Like it or not white tigers do have the ability to captivate zoo patrons. This can be used to the benefit of conservation quite effectively through raising of funding for in-situ conservation. Also the handling of tigers in general can and does benefit this effort. Two parks in Australia, Dreamworld and Australia Zoo are probably the biggest donors ( zoologically) in the world. They both have programs to allow visitors to see something different to every other zoo as well as offer premium photo sessions and other experiences that allow for large sums of money to reach projects in range countries.

Surely there is room for professional organizations to operate safe programs that enlighten people and raise funds that ultimately will be the only possibility for conserving tigers in the wild.

I have not a lot of positives to say about Craig Busch, but do not attempt to tar every institution that handles or displays white tigers the same way.

It is just short sighted and inaccurate.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 1:05 am
I won’t make this a long post because I believe we have had this ‘white tiger’ discussion more than once before but with you under a different nom de plume.

Whereas I am fully aware that some organisations have made a considerable financial contribution to tiger conservation on the backs of white tigers it could equally have been done using ‘real’ tigers rather than something deliberately created by breeding very closely related animals together and then throwing in a bit of Amur blood for good measure. That is wrong. Time and again it is stated that this plays its role in Conservation by raising funds. Yes, I can see that, but it is wrong. In effect this is a bribe paid by the organisation to the conservation bodies. The organisations are primarily using white tigers as lures to bring in visitors. They make more money as a result and so pay off and pass off as conservation. Get any tiger conservation person in a quiet corner and they will say it is wrong but they need the money. Try as I may I cannot see this as right. So yes I do tar all white tigers with the same brush be they in Dreamworld, Zion Wildlife Gardens, Myrtle Beach or wherever.

Then again I am so very against these tiger ‘petting’ sessions as well but you already know that. There is no such thing as a safe handling session with a big cat whether inside or outside of a professional organisation. It is always an accident waiting to happen. These organisation are the ones who set an example to the rest of the world and so second rate zoos do the same all over the Americas and Asia. Animals suffer daily as a result. It should be stopped. Let the professional organisations set an example to the rest of the world.

I am more aware than most of the situation that tigers face in the wild and am pessimistic as to the future. I do however have just a drop of optimism that at some point long after I have shaken off my mortal coil that some captive tigers may be released to bolster wild populations. This will never happen with inbred subspecific white tigers though.

Look now at the marmalade tigers, the snow tigers. The situation is getting crazy. It will only be a matter of time before we have curly coated tigers, manx tigers, and more. This ridiculous charade has to be stopped for the sake of education and real tiger conservation everywhere.

I know that you and I are at opposite ends of the same piece of string. You care, I care but both in our different ways. I still have not seen my opinions change as much as I read and research. In fact the opposite.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 1:29 pm
Pity as I do think there is agreement on some points. I am just looking for the valuable contribution to conservation of tigers that program animals have made. I do know a bit about the enticing power of white tigers. You say that normal colored tigers would contribute "equally" to this effort. I certainly doubt your ability to make this determination from your background. Mine may be different and thus more informed.


Chris W. (0)
Wednesday October 20, 2010, 2:55 pm
Peter it is a shame that we could not agree, but that is not impossible. If in the course of research I find that your comments were accurate I will not shy away from admitting it. However for now I believe the best course is to agree to disagree.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 12:02 am
Thank you Chris. I will respect your decision and at least we can agree on something even if is to disagree.

Patrick - "I certainly doubt your ability to make this determination from your background. Mine may be different and thus more informed". A bold statement. Do you not think perhaps that your ability to determine may be clouded by the fact that you work in Dreamworld? Yes, perhaps I may think the same as you if it was my place of work and the emotional entanglement that goes with the job. We too will just have to agree to disagree.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 1:26 am
Peter- My point is that I indeed have a great deal of experience, far more than you at my particular field of handling large cats and interacting with people that actually have an opportunity to see something different than a standard zoo exhibit.

My judgement is not "clouded" by only thinking inside the "zoo box". I have worked at other facilities and consulted at zoos as well.


beatrice d (124)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 1:37 am
(i got lost with all these comments...)
but signed the petition.
thanks for posting Simone.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 1:51 am
Patrick - To me, handling large cats is 'circus' not zoo and no I do not have any circus experience. I believe big cat handling and posing in a zoo setting should stop. I am delighted that it is no longer allowed within the UK. Pleased too that it has stopped in Zion Wildlife Park. It is only a matter of time before some tragedy occurs in Australia and it will stop there too. No doubt you are well aware that there are many in Australian Zoos wish to see it stopped now before such a tragedy occurs. I just hope that I am never in a position to say "I told you so".
With regards to experience. I started as a cat keeper back in 1968. I have done my share of 'handling' and hand rearing. It took me a while to see the light. I have shared my house with Leopards, Jaguars, Bears, Lions, Cheetahs and much more. I have managed several zoos and consulted for more. My zoo work fills my days. My experience is wide and varied. True enough though it is not limited to handling big cats.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 3:32 am
Peter- I am glad that it is not limited to the handling of big cats. Obviously from your statements you do not believe in it and probably never did. I have spent over thirty years working at this craft. I have also worked with various ungulates as well.

I think that the work we do is valid and important. Sorry that you disagree. I am sure that we will not have a meeting o the minds on these issues. That though is what makes the world go round. I do not do what I do to please every zookeeper int he world. Life is too short to worry about it.

Merlina W (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 7:23 am
Re the issue of in-breeding: one point previously made by Craig Busch in the TV series, which has not been mentioned is that, due to the reduction of numbers , in-breeding has become a problem in the wild. Captive breeding programmes can therefore address this by bringing together different strains, and this was clearly what he was aiming to do.

Re whether the current 'management' of Zion Park is more professional than Craig, a 3rd cat has now died - as a result of putting her in with a male tiger for breeding, who then turned on her. If Craig had still been there, his instinctive understanding of the temperament of the animals would have prevented such a mistake occurring. Surely this recent tragedy shows that cold scientific knowledge alone does not always lead to making the right decisions.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Thursday October 21, 2010, 7:44 pm
Merlina - There is a big difference between breeding big cats and a captive breeding programme. None of the cats in Zion were in an official captive breeding programme. Please follow this link for the latest news from Zion Wildlife Gardens:

Merlina W (0)
Monday October 25, 2010, 7:18 am
Peter - I checked out the link. This is Patrcia Busch's recent statement which I had already read. In my view it is a desperate measure to try to deflect the blame onto Craig for her own inability to take care of the cats at Zion. The fact is 3 animals and one zookeeper have died since she took over.

Craig Busch has made the following statement on his website about the death of Sita:
"I spent many years with Shikana and Sita raising them in a certain way that made them feel secure. Since I have been excluded from MY park and these animals Sita was firstly traumatised by removing her from her mother and now she has died needlessly due to incompetence. Anyone with any expertise with big cats or who knew Sita, would have known she was not suitable for breeding, and certainly not with Jahdu.

I am devastated that Sita has gone, just as I am devastated that Shia and Abu are gone.
I live for all those cats and I will never give up fighting for them!"

The point I was making is that this tragic outcome shows how 'genetic compatibility' alone is clearly not the only factor to be taken into consideration when deciding if an animal is suitable for breeding, any more than whether or not it is part of an 'official breeding programme'. Having the sensitivity to understand the temperament of the individual animals is clearly important - and in my view supports the case for human contact with captive animals.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday October 29, 2010, 1:51 am
Did any cats die when Craig was there? Cubs? I hope that most people do not take Craig's word about cats as gospel. His knowledge, or lack there of, is not something to brag about.

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 31, 2010, 5:49 am
unless you have personally met craig or u have experienced what he has, you can't comment on how he has run his life.
If he was such an animal abuser as you claim, do u honestly think that the animals would have allowed him in their den's or even allowed him to help deliver their cubs????
animals do sometimes need putting in their place, just like the family dog does, this again isn't animal abuse, it's about the saftey of the owner/handler and also the animal.
I think you've been taken in by the false rumours that are circulating about craig due to the fact that a court case is coming up (which is when they always try to discredit craig). the video showing craig hitting the cub has been proved false as the person that filmed it, has owned up to the fact that he did it to try discredit craig.
look at your numbers and look how many people support craig???? we have nearly 60,000 supporters on our page. you have 96 if ive read it correctly. im not stupid or easily taken in. but i KNOW that craig loves and treats them animals with the dignity the deserve, otherwise as stated above, they wouldn't allow him in their dens, to handle them or near him when pregnant. the worst time to be around any animal is when they are pregnant as they are unpredictable.
how can you say craig lacks knowledge about these cats when he has hand raised many of them. he knows them better than anybody else as when one was ill ONLY he could enter the enclosure to check on them (again a sign of trust).
Honestly, do you think if he abused those animals, he could freely interact with them without one or all of them attacking him????? wake up and take a look at the real picture here. his mother and sister are trying to discredit him as they know that they are going to lose the park to him.

Clare M. (0)
Sunday October 31, 2010, 9:32 am
Having read through all the posts above, just HAD to laugh at this one:

Peter Dickinson
Wednesday October 13, 2010, 3:10 am
'Thanks Stacey - personally I don't really care whether Craig Busch stays on Facebook or not.'

Er... remind me again what this page is called, oh yes: 'ACTION ALERT: Get Lionman Craig Busch Off Facebook, He Is Cruel to Animals!' This begs the question as to why Peter keeps posting here so prolifically then?

BTW, the person who was responsible for that video suposedly showing the cub being abused has actually since realised his error. He is now a supporter of Craig Busch and a member of his facebook page, having freely admitted on that page that he DID splice and separate the original footage. Although he has said he did not personally 'doctor' the tape in a derogatory way, he did hand these segments over to Craig Busch's opponents to do whatever they wanted with them. As he has therefore admitted that the tape had already been altered before it even fell into the hands of those who stand to benefit by Craig Busch's reputation being sullied, it is patently obvious that its contents can no longer be taken as the indisuptable 'facts' that some people keep insisting on propogating.

Regarding the declawing issue: yes, it was wrong. Craig Busch has himself admitted his regret in doing so - despite the fact that he was acting at the time upon the advice of both MAF and the veterinary experts whose advice he had requested as a responsible animal handler. Unfortunately it is very easy to be an 'armchair expert' in hindsight; that is why responsible professionals in any field seek - AND FOLLOW - the advice of the experts whose job it is to give such advice, which Craig Busch DID. It is also worth noting that it was ACTUALLY Craig Busch who put an end to the declawing practice WHILE HE WAS STILL WORKING AT ZWG, a fact that those who stand to benefit from berating him conveniently seem to forget! As the practice ended BEFORE he was sacked and he has no intention of resuming it, the whole issue becomes irrlevant anyway in the current debate about whether he should be reinstated at ZWG.

To echo another poster above: people can argue backwards and forwards to little effect, directed only by their personal prejudice and opinion; however an animal has no such bias, its behaviour is based on trust and instinct and these animals demonstrated that they CLEARLY loved and trusted Craig Busch when he was working with them. Animals DO NOT behave with a person in the way they that these large cats behaved with Craig Busch when they have been mistreated by that person. There are three TV series worth of video footage to prove this trust and affection that the animals had for him, whilst the peripherals surrounding this can only be classed as conjecture and opinions, regardless of whether these come from supporters or opponents.

Finally, as a supporter of what's best for the animals rather than the people involved, we have to look at the clear facts. Yes, the white tiger cub Khan was euthanased while Craig Busch was there. However to clarify that, this was NOT due to inbreeding as some smear tactics have suggested, but due to health issues linked to a hernia sustained through his mother accidentally injuring him when lifting him as a very young cub. The older lion Samson was also euthanased on veterinary advice after falling ill - although this actually took place while Craig Busch was temporarily away from ZWG.

The deaths of these beautiful animals were unavoidable. They have also unfortunately been recently used as part of another smear campaign, this time by Craig Busch's own mother whose ulterior financial motives for denigrating him are clearly undeniable, even amongst his most ardent opponents. These malicious claims included despicably staged photos showing Samson's frozen body, supposedly left lying amongst meat intended for the other animals' food. Fortunately these claims have been disproved by a former employee of ZWG who - along with the late Dalu Mncube - was responsible for caring for Samson in his final hours, seeking the veterinary advice that led to his euthanasia and carefully wrapping his body and storing it on a high shelf in the freezer area for an impending autopsy. Such photos as those provided by Mrs Busch could therefore only have been taken by removing the body from the shelf, removing the sheeting the animal was wrapped in then staging him deliberately amongst the meat, therefore also risking the possible contamination of this meat which would later be fed to the remaining animals. All in the name of taking a photo, which would then be witheld for a period of years until suddenly being produced in a blatant attempt to villify Craig Busch further. A photo which was posted without any parental warning on a family-orientated website viewed by many youngsters wanting to follow the lives of the ZWG animals.

These were the only two large cats lost - sadly, but unavoidably - in Craig Bush's time at the park. If only the same could be said since his untimely departure, which has instead seen the demise of Shia - a death witnessed by visitors to the park who noticed her lying in a pool of her own vomit, a situation that had escaped the attention of the staff paid to care for her. Most recently, the young female Sita - an orange tiger who carried the 'white tiger' genes - was killed after staff placed her overnight in an enclosure with an older white male tiger, Jahdu, without taking the necessary steps of extensive but very gradual introduction to each other. While experienced ongoing handling like this is time-consuming and therefore considerably more costly, as Craig Busch proved by taking such steps when he was resposible for the breeding process, it would nevertheless undoubtedly have provided far greater safeguardeding of Sita's life. Much has been made above of Craig Busch's breeding of the white tigers. There could have been no other reason for removing a young female tiger carrying these 'white tiger' genes form her usual enclosure (which she occupied with her mother) and placing her unsupervised into an enclosure with a male white tiger other than for mating purposes. How surprising then that these very actions - which predictably resulted in the young female's death - have illicted no such similar condemnation, despite their tragic and wholly avoidable results?

Then we come to the most avoidable deaths of all: those of the white tiger Abu and the experienced handler Dalu Mncube who - as videos showing conversations between both Dalu and Craig Bush - was being forced into handling practices he did not agree with, but had no option to obey due to his precarious position not only within the park's employment, but also due to the ongoing immigration issues that would have prevented him remaining with his New Zealand family, had people in authority over him chosen to use them against him.

It is for all these reasons that the ONLY responsible answer to the current ongoing dilemma regarding the safety of these endangered animals is to return Craig Busch to authority in the park. Legal/monetary concerns and the benefits of the people involved should NOT be allowed to take prioriity here over the welfare of these beautiful large cats, regardless of any supposed issues over the animals' colouring!

The facts speak for themselves and recent tragic history has proved that the animals need an experienced handler who actually knows what he's doing before any more animals AND/OR people (staff AND visitors, bearing in mind recent photos that show current ZWG staff training the large cats to CLIMB THE ENCLOSURE FENCING by rewarding them with meat held above the top of the very high fencing, with said staff standing on ladders to do this!!) The safety records, the welfare of the animals (the declawing issue has already been proved defunct regarding future care of these animals; nobody can change the past therefore we have to base any such arguments about the care of the animals on what is happening to them NOW) and the trust/affection demonstrated by the cats towards Craig Busch during his time at the park have already proved that HE IS THAT PERSON.


Merlina W (0)
Sunday October 31, 2010, 10:20 am
The point I would like to raise for both Peter Dickinson and Patrick Martin-Vegue: if a female tiger was having difficulties giving birth, would either of you be prepared to risk going in there to help? If not, what would you do in such a situation? It seems to me the hands-off approach would mean that, under such circumstances, the cubs and possibly the mother would not survive. Craig was willing to put himself at risk by going in and ensuring the cubs survived - his love and complete dedication to the animals in his care is self evident.

Re the comment about him 'bragging' - this is surely the pot calling the kettle black! Both of you have done nothing but brag about the fact you are the 'experts' who 'know best'. Craig is simply stating how and why the deaths of the cats were preventable and would not have happened under his watch.

Maxine D. (0)
Sunday October 31, 2010, 4:21 pm
Well, Hello, Mr Dickinson & Patrick? I do not have the free time to 'surf the net', as it seems so many do? I was directed here by a friend. A short comment is all? I see you are both STILL 'banging on' about your ideas re handling Big Cats? Since you 2 'experts', & I use the term 'experts', very loosely, cannot even agree with each other's points of view, WHY the hell should anyone ELSE agree with either of you. Gotta go.. Had GREAT time in Africa, Patrick.. All sorts of problems re PC/internet. Have new e-mail address. Will try to send some pics, soon......Cheers to both you ..'EXPERTS' ?........M

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Sunday November 7, 2010, 3:09 am
Well Merlina, I have been with female tigers during the births of over 120 tiger cubs over the past thirty years. They have all been hand reared tigers that were used to having myself and other handlers around all the time and had developed relationships with the cats. So yes I am prepared to assist.

So my advice Merlina would be to do your research before commenting about someone's expertise in the field.

Maxine, of course it is good to hear from you and glad that you had a great time in Africa. The trip of a lifetime. As far as agreeing with Peter Dickinson, it is not necessary. We have differing views and of course in any occupation their are varying points of view and I am fine with that. I am still learning and try to learn from other's experiences.

Cheers to all the "amateurs" out there! Just kidding!

barbara t. (0)
Wednesday November 17, 2010, 3:18 pm
to all the people that says craig ill treated his animals no he didnt for gods sake u name me a person that can go in a lions enclosures play ball tickle there bellys take them for a walk sit with the female cats wen they giving birth hug and kiss them come on peeps could u do it NO his sister will be writing crap about him she has to or her mother patricia will disown her aswell get real here he is the one and only lion man and i will stand by him and a lot more would do aswell

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday November 18, 2010, 3:13 am
He is not the only person around to interact with large cats. I know quite a few! Craig's list of "fireable and criminal offences" is long and not too distinguished. They are well documented. There are certainly a number of "sheep" who know little about the training, care, and management of large cats that will believe his every word. I know better.

Please stand by him if you feel so inclined. Do though look at where he would be without dearest Mother. He would have been bankrupt and possibly in jail.

Merlina W (0)
Thursday November 18, 2010, 5:47 am
Oh please! Change the record! Patrick, you keep dredging and re-dredging the same old 'arguments' against Craig, it gets a bit tedious keep going over the same ground! At least now you're revealing where your allegances lie. Clearly you have a vested interest in perpetuating the half truths and distortions being generated by 'dearest mother'. Craig is by no means perfect and is probably more skilled in rescuing and taking care of big cats than turning a profit. His mother may have originally stepped in to bail him out, but she must have also been thinking she was going to make money out of Craig and the venture. According to her own statement, her reason for sacking him was because he stopped the interaction between visitors and the cats because of safety concerns. Since when has not wanting to place visitors in danger been a sackable offence? The convictions were to do with a troubled previous relationship - nothing to do with his ability to run the park or take care of the cats.

I guess this is now you cue to change tack once again and bring up the de-clawing incicent. I've just been watching a wildlife documentary this morning, 'Animal Park in the Wild' - it doesn't involve Craig - of course there are other people trying to save big cats and other wild animals. It revealed the very real risks connected with using sedation - how sedatives can interfere with the cats' ability to regulate its body temperature, which can even result in death. if this is the kind of risk involved with sedation, then it's understandable why the MAF and Craig would have believed, at the time, that de-clawing was the 'lesser of two evils'. Clearly it is not, in view of the long term effects that have since come to light, but with the information they had at the time it would have seemed like the less risky option.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Thursday November 18, 2010, 12:02 pm
@Merlina, a couple of things: I have allegiances to either party in this very old dispute. Frankly the whole thing is an embarrassment to the zoological industry. It may seem like a broken record, but all accurate and true. The fact that Craig has disappeared for a few years now, there is not as much new info to put out there.

I have no idea what you are arguing about the declawing procedures. You do realize that each cat was sedated for these procedures. Are you arguing that Craig put them at risk to have the procedures done? Please explain that one.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Sunday January 16, 2011, 3:19 am
Danielle W. Maybe you should first work on your manners before you enter a debate. You obviously have some learning problems and cannot read the facts as stated. There are people who may look at the information and form a contrary opinion to yours. I am not sure why you would think that a facebook page dedicated to Craig Busch and run by his fans and friends would be an objective source. I personally know people that worked at the facility, with him and they tell a different story, and a believable one as well. Further more I do know a bit about training, conditioning, and managing big cats.

Your opinions are based on what? Your feelings?

Try not swearing a people not swearing at people on the internet as they may take you more seriously. Just a bit of advice.

Danielle W (0)
Sunday January 16, 2011, 4:25 am
Erm excuse me but the who the hell do youthink your talking to?! Manners?.. anyone with half a brain cell who reads my last comment (obviously not you!) can see it is pure emotion, anger and frustration! How dare you send me a message! my previous comment was aimed at the people who set this stupid debate up and the ones who signed the petition, my manners are perfectly in tact thank you very much unlike your love life which is why you stalk this site (you insult me you will just get it back!) The facebook page is pure fact with evidence on there whether it be video or links to facts I.E his press conference after Dalu died, anyone can see from watching that and his series that he is an honest man with a passion for the cats, they are his life (abit like this site is your life!) My opinions stem from seeing him so devistated from these video footage links and doing my indeapth research! as for learning problems? you cheeky twat, you know nothing about me!! so whos the one that comes on here and obviously doesnt know what they are talking about? YOU MY FRIEND! oh and by the way as for "PERSONALLY KNOWING PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED THERE" dont give me that crap, you really think for one second that myself and other people are going to believe that crock? If thats the case and they have stated the bad circumstances in which Criag was in charge etc..etc.. Then I think you should go onto youtube and watch DIMITRI PRICE TALKS ABOUT THE DEATH OF DALU.. You can see for yourself and hear what that park is like without craig there! His mother Patricia has been mistreating the animals and doesnt have a clue what she is doing there! Dimitri said about how bad the park is and how dangerous it has become with her in charge which is why he left, 2 people died and one attacked under her watch, none of this happened with craig! So you watch that and then explain your lying statement about knowing people who worked at Zion. You make me sick! If I want your so called "ADVICE" I will ask for it ok?! oh and by the way Im not a saddo who sits at my desk everynight with a microwave meal for one and reads every single statement unlike yourself, I read what I needed to and that was enough for me. I came across this site with my fiance and only planned on leaving a comment to express my feelings because I have got a life unlike you! I just want people to to do there research into this matter before completely ruining an innocent mans life!!! So again, watch that video on youtube and in future make sure you do your research in deapth before making ludicrus statements about knowing people who say how bad it was blah blah blah JUST A BIT OF ADVICE!

Danielle W (0)
Sunday January 16, 2011, 4:39 am
Oh and by the way I shall be giving ALL the Craig Busch fans on facebook this site and debate so you better be prepared for more abusive language so cover your eyes MARTIN whotever you name is.....

Danielle W (0)
Sunday January 16, 2011, 5:02 am
Change of plan, haha this site has been active for years! and us Craig supporters are still goin!! jog on all you haters!

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Monday January 17, 2011, 12:36 am
Hi Danielle Baby, I can plainly see that you have a bit of a thing for me. Please go easy or your fiance may get a bit jealous of your obvious feelings for me. I do so enjoy microwave meals and thought it may be nice if we could share them together. I just want to move slow with you!

You made need some method of relaxing as you seem a bit tightly wound. JUST A BIT OF ADVICE!

Danielle W (0)
Tuesday January 18, 2011, 3:07 am
Wow you either smoke crack or you are naturally extremely DELUDED! what a sad sad old man you are.. Secondly YOU WOULD BE LUCKY IF I SEEN YOU AND ACTUALLY KNOWN THAT YOU WERE ALIVE!! hahahahaha oh and as for you being so superior you cant spell for shit! LONER!! i will not be replyin to anything other creepy peaodophilia stuff you have to say.. you just stick to living opposite a school u old perv

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Tuesday January 18, 2011, 4:27 am
Danielle as always the classy broad! I do occasionally have some spelling mistakes, but can form a sentence and I am not sure you are qualified to correct anyone.

You my dear as very deluded as you are unable to come up with any reasonable conclusions or arguments regarding your "undying and misplaced" loyalty in Craig Busch, You seem to think you know him because he is on television. There are thousands of actors playing roles and he is just one of those.

You fiance is a LUCKY MAN as your charms are obvious!

Merlina W (0)
Friday January 21, 2011, 4:36 am
And you seem to think you know Craig because of the disinformation that has been spread about him! I'd say you have an undying and misplaced loyalty to the smear campaign against him, instigated by his mother.

And I wasn't questioning your expertise in this field - that was coming from your friend/colleague Maxine who seems to know you, and is therefore in a better position to judge. I take your word for it that you do have experience and qualifications in this field - and that's what makes it particularly shameful that you are misusing your knowledge and intelligence to support a smear campaign which manipulates and distorts the facts. I think you are doing a great disservice to your own profession.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Friday January 21, 2011, 4:53 am
Merlina W I have read and re-read the following statement by yourself and I still cannot understand it

"of course there are other people trying to save big cats and other wild animals. It revealed the very real risks connected with using sedation - how sedatives can interfere with the cats' ability to regulate its body temperature, which can even result in death. if this is the kind of risk involved with sedation, then it's understandable why the MAF and Craig would have believed, at the time, that de-clawing was the 'lesser of two evils'. Clearly it is not, in view of the long term effects that have since come to light, but with the information they had at the time it would have seemed like the less risky option."

Could you please explain. I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Merlina W (0)
Friday January 21, 2011, 5:00 am
This was stated in a TV documentary about conservation work in Africa, working with leopards. I think it may have been linked to the BBC documentary 'Animal Park', in any case it was independent and not connected in any way with Craig Busch's work.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Friday January 21, 2011, 5:10 am
Merlina W - Thank you for your reply. Okay, I actually understand quite a bit about the sedation of big cats and other animals and appreciate there are risks involved. What I don't understand is how this would make de-clawing the lesser of two evils. Why was there ever a need to de-claw? No good zoo anywhere in the world does it.

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Friday January 21, 2011, 11:26 am
Thanks for your comments Merlina. I Have no loyalty to Patricia Busch. I have never met the woman and do not have any personal opinions of her. I know facts, which I have stated on here numerous times about the situation with Craig Busch and what I feel to be "best practice" in the care of large cats. I have to agree with Peter regarding your statements about the de-clawing of the cats. It was never necessary or well advised to have done this. It carries immediate risks during sedation and long term effects, that there is not a justification for.


Peter Dickinson (0)
Saturday January 22, 2011, 2:01 am
Merlina W - You might like to read Declawing Tigers And Lions

Gillianne W. (0)
Wednesday March 23, 2011, 1:33 pm
Wow I'm actually amazed at the amount of sin-free perfect people. You must all be so proud of yourselves.

I bet none of you have ever hit your pets or your kids or a partner. It's must be nice to live in a glass house, but beware about throwing stones as the saying goes.

I don't believe anything that comes from Patricia Busch's mouth. She is a mother who has a strained relationship with her own son and an agenda in all this. I am, however, not saying that Craig Busch is a totally truthful or perfect man, obviously not but then who is???

That being said, animals are great judges of character. All you have to do is watch how some peoples pets react to them to see the real person.

There are clearly faults on both sides of this situation. I would have serious doubts about allegations made by anyone associated with ZWG or Craig's camp. ALL the parties involved have agendas here people. Everything should be taken with a pinch of salt.

I wish I could sit up on a high pedestal like most of you but unfortunately I am human and therefore I am flawed and make mistakes. I do, however, always try to look at things from an objective standpoint.


Bryan O. (0)
Wednesday March 23, 2011, 2:34 pm
Well Gillianne maybe you should have a look at yourself if you are a guilty as you indicate. Craig Busch did some horrible things and I do not think the assaults on his "girlfriends" should just be viewed as a 'minor' matter. He had declawed 28 cats, not a minor matter either.

Shelagh P. (0)
Wednesday April 6, 2011, 10:33 am
I have seen a picture on the website that shows samson left in a freezer for 7 months due to Craig Busch and he stopped Patricia from aranging a funeral for him he also did this with khan and only thawed khan out for the tv show.
This man should never be allowed to run that park again

Hannah Gill (0)
Wednesday April 20, 2011, 3:20 am
Oh dear-is this what the world has come to? standing on a soapbox and preaching that you know better than someone else? dragging a man's private life into a discussion-it;s sickening! Whence why you have about 100 members/signatures-and we have 67,000 on our fb that WILL NOT be closed i garuntee.Onychectomy isn't really the issue here-obviously there are breeds of animals who are either close to extinction or infact extinct in the wild- they need to be preserved either in a sanctuary or zoo and that means contact with humans- please don't believe that Onychectomy and the like doesn't go on in Zoo's and much worse because it does- people who have to deal with animals like these are going to take every procedure possible to make sure that they can't maul a person, OR another big cat! wow, reading your comments is so UN-educational it's unreal.
Also, i would ask people not to be so believing/ gullable as to keeping Samson in the freezer-or Khan- Patricia Busch is a mother who will openly attack her son verbally on any opportunity-and as for Craig, he has kept his silence regarding her-once mentioning a need for greed-which his 'mother' definately has.None of this is proved-none of it, is infact real- try watching the other video's of Craig begging for help from the ZWG builders to help build an enclosure so one of the cats aren't uncomfortable being near another male- and one of them saying 'you know what will happen if we help you-she'll send me away'....yes, patricia busch does sound incredibly caring doesnt she. Also did you know that Sita- a 3 year old royal bengal tiger died last october through pat busch attempting naively to mate her with a white tiger??the white tiger mauled her to death, because they werent ready to mate, but forced together in an enclosure.
THANK GOD FOR GILLIAN! Your the only one who isn't blinded by all this rubbish and garble on here!i suggest that people truly find out what happened at ZWG before lauching an attack on Craig-
just to clarify- ASSAULT- 'The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more limited sense of a threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force.' he found his girlfriend in bed with two other people - how do you know he didnt throw her out?? that is classed as assaut to physical throw someone out isnt it- however that definately is not the issue, just thought i'd heckle on a few comments- i won't be bullied or talked down by anyone! anyway, i'll sign off now as this pious odour is starting to turn my stomach!

Patrick Martin-vegue (0)
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 6:16 am
Hannah, The "pious odor" may be coming from your computer! Your knowledge of the care of cats and what is appropriate is certainly limited to what you have been told by the lemmings that reside at his FB site. There is not any excuse for the declaw of the scores of cats. There is equally not any justification for the beating he gave his 'ex girlfriend'. Please hang out with your other group and do try and educate yourself on these matters before you comment.


Ezme G. (0)
Sunday May 1, 2011, 4:15 am
glad i checked out the other side of the story....mob rule rules here evidently.... how about if it was craig who'd been found in bed with 2 people and his partner who'd assaulted him/...HE would still have been demonised. i think she is obviously a slut....craig STOPPED the declawing people...hes not perfect and he loves those cats...i wont be joining your stupid bullying group.

Rhys W. (0)
Sunday May 8, 2011, 3:14 pm
"Assault.........Yes Craig Busch was convicted of assault on former partner Karen Greybrook. There was exstenuating circumstances of which im sure you are all aware but continue to judge never the less. Can i just ask what you would do if you came home to find you partner naked in bed with your 2 best friends? "

I'v never hit a woman in my life, but if the above happened, I really don't couldn't blame anyone for doing so.

As for attacks on Craig, well you only have to see the state the animals are in now, funny how you lot say Craig was cruel to the animals, yet they all loved him and greeted him, and now since he's gone, they are pacing their enclosures (Sign of suffering and depression).

It's clear this is a bogus site, and most of the posters here are FOS.

Paula W. (0)
Wednesday May 18, 2011, 1:55 pm
Firstly what does Craigs personal life have to do with this? And secondly dont you lot think that the film crews and the animal sancturies he deals with in africa and beyond would have said something about him or produced evidence confirming he is cruel to these animals? The declawing started after Dalu Mncube was malled by Abu as they said it would be safer for the cats and the park employees.

Now these animals are not tame they can turn at a moments notice and what Craig Busch has done for them is astonishing and i have the greatest admiration for him too. Lets see any of you take the time that he has taken to care for and bring up these animals, the time spent with pared cats to continue the seriously delapidated growth in tigers, lions and so on.

My point is that i seriously doubt this man would hurt the beings he loves so much i think the person who set this up is just craving attention and really should be ignored. My advice to you is get a life and stop trying to pull down others for your own self gratification!!!!

Lorna H. (0)
Friday May 27, 2011, 11:43 am
Ok, after reading throught the debate and seeing the pro and the anti Craig Busch comments, I thought I would put my two penneth in!

Patrick Martin-Vegue - I wonder how nice it can be for someone to be so precise and accurate in his facts from what he has read from articles etc on Craig's private life without knowing the full story! As they say there are two parts to every story and I believe you are not close personal friends and only have the 'reported facts' to fall back on. Craig is only human and can only assess the facts (as you have done) put before him and in a split second he jumped to the wrong conclusion. That does not make him a wife beater.

As for the animal cruelty. I may have my own head up my postier when I say this but what big cats would we have if he didn't give them the care they need. White lions are already extinct in the wild. He de-claws them for a reason and that is ensure safety. If the cruelty was as bad as it is made out the big cats would not allow him to come near them. De-clawing is not against the law. It is perfectly acceptable. You can find 'animal cruelty' in just about any animal orientated thing. What about the natural food chain? I can go on giving more examples of 'animal cruelty' that you would probably find normal No I am not a vegan or veggie. In fact I love my steaks to be cooked as blue as possible! My chicken as tender and just cooked. There is an element of cruelty in just about anything really. It depends what you read into it. Have you never killed or harmed anything?

What craig does in his personal life is nothing to do with anyone but those concerned. He is someone trying to make a difference in the world. Rather than just sitting on his postier contemplating his navel he is actually trying to change things for the better! Mind you those that are anti Craig, I'm wondering if its jealousy on your part! He gets to spend his life doing as he pleases and what he does best. Meanwhile you anti Craig campaigners have to go to a dead end job doing nothing with your life and taking it out on someone you don't actually know.

Sarah S. (0)
Saturday May 28, 2011, 1:48 pm
I don't know what to think any more, as the facebook page run by Jill made me think Craig's mother is evil and Craig is perfect, but after being on that page for a long time I'm starting to disagree with some things.

I joined about a year ago, when they were fund raising and saying if they raised enough money Craig would be back at the park. Women were making cookery books and spending a lot of time on it. I didn't read the page for a few months, but suddenly there are links saying it's a Crisis now and they have to raise three million NZ dollars in 7-9 days or Craig would lose all his companies relating to the Zion Wildlife Park.
9 days went and they're still raising money. If anybody asks questions about why his companies will close down if they don't raise three million Dollars, his fans reply in hordes with no answers, but acting like loyal puppies by saying we don't need to ask any questions as we love Craig.

The money they raised before was supposed to be to get Craig back at the park, but this new fund to get him back at the park is separate.

He hasn't been to see the cats even though he can have supervised visits, and his fans say he loves his cats.

Nothing on that facebook page makes any sense, as if you ask any questions, you get jumped on my idiots who say it's wrong to ask questions.

Sanchia V. (0)
Sunday June 5, 2011, 1:52 am
Sarah S - Craig does have the option of supervised visits, however it is only 3 hours a MONTH!!! there are 37 big cats at Zion - divide that time and he only gets to see each of them about 4.5 minutes a month. And in my opinion, that is unfair to the cats - they will be happy to see him, but as soon as he leaves, they will be sad again. And 4.5 minutes per cat???? It takes me longer to say hello to my domestic cat when I get home from work (only 8 hours apart) and Craig will only see them again in 30 days.. Do you really think it is such a good idea that he go see the animals for such a sort period of time???
Also, I would guess safety plays into that decision as well.. If he doesn't see them for so long, he first has to regain their trust before he can walk into the enclosure, which also takes time.. Time that he doesn't have.

Everybody is judging Craig - I say, until you have been in that exact situation, keep your mouth shut.. You were not there, you did not see what happened. You don't know the circumstances of what EXACTLY happened. Yes, I agree he is wrong to hit Karen, but seriously - Imagine walking into your bedroom & your partner is in bed with TWO other people - how will YOU react???!!!! And be honest with yourself - you wont know until it happens!!!!

I support Craig 100% and I hope he gets his park back!! After all, he is only human & makes mistakes - no one is perfect!!! We love you Craig :)

Merlina W (0)
Sunday June 5, 2011, 3:44 am
Well said Sanchia. I also support Craig 100% and have no doubt he is genuine. And it's not blind faith either. I spent a lot of time going through all the negative stories about him, and came to the conclusion it's a blatant misuse of the media and distortion of the facts - in fact I've never come across anything quite so vile and misleading. I've argued on here in his defence - again by referring to the facts and published legal documents. For example - and for the benefit of Patrick and Peter who still don't seem to quite understand the point I was trying to make - with regard to the 'de-clawing' incident....... Clearly, based on the scientific evidence, this practice is wrong because of the long term effects on the animals, and not therefore a better alternative to sedation. I am not trying to defend or justify the practice. My point is that Craig was not aware of all the facts, and was acting on advice given to him by the MAF which was that it was 'the lesser of two evils'. So he would have genuinely believed he was acting in the cats best interests, at that time. The practice was previously carried out in zoos up until the 1990s. It's a pity the zoo keeping community weren't willing to share this information and actually support what he was trying to do.

It's just one example of something factual being taken out of context and used to support a false allegation that he is cruel to animals and destroy his credibility.

Re his treatment of his girlfriends - there was ONE incident with ONE girlfriend in a situation where there was clearly extremem provocation. I personally reckon it was a deliberate ploy on her part ot make him jealous, which back-fired, and also that all three of them were under the influenc of alchahol. I met his new partner briefly last year when she accompanied him on a visit to the UK, and I can assure you she was an attractive and confident young woman - not a downtrodden victim of abuse.

Finally, having now met and interacted with Craig myself in 'real life', I have drawn the same conclusion as many others who have actually met him - he is a genuine, friendly what-yousee-iswhat you get kind of guy, passionate about what he's doing and not at all aggressive. At the UK event last November he sat literally for hours signing autographs and smiling and posing for photos with every single person that had queued up to meet him - he wouldn't leave until the last person had seen him, even though the event was finished and the staff were packing up and getting ready for the next event that evening, and he was getting very tired. That reveals something about his character - his genuine appreciation of the people that support him, and his commitment to see something through and not give up I don't doubt that he also has a few 'inner demons', given his troubled family life - but I think his ability to rise above iall the negativity is something to be admired.

Peter Dickinson (0)
Tuesday June 7, 2011, 1:49 am
Couple of points Merlina A. You state that declawing was taking place up to the 1990's. It wasn't. Please read Craig brought this practice with him from the US where it was common in some places doing hands-on with big cats. Hands-on is pure circus, unnecessary and has nothing to do with conservation. The vets DID NOT advise he do it as can be seen from the documents.
Sedation does not come into the situation at all. Why sedate? What for? So you can play with big cats when it is not necessary to go in with them or play with them? So to mutilate them for life is a better alternative? Mutilate them to do something that it is completely and utterly unnecessary to do. So please explain what the point is you were trying to make with myself and Patrick. Patrick and I do not see eye to eye on all issues but we would agree, I am sure that neither sedation nor declawing are necessary.
As to One incident with One....untrue. There was a previous incident. More recently his mother feared for her safety and hired a security guard for protection.

Caz H. (0)
Thursday June 30, 2011, 7:27 am
Wheres your proof he has abused the animals, the video is not public, that supposedly shows Craig hurting the animals, from what I see, its all a big ploy to give Craig a very bad name. Disgusting.

Tracey Marsh (0)
Sunday September 11, 2011, 11:48 pm
some ppls comments on here hurt me alot. 1 the link to show craig hurting the cats doesnt work ive tried and yes he went to far in away with karen but she was out of order too. i am a victim of abuse and i do not see how some ppl can judge if 1 you are not that person and 2 if you dont know them

Adam W. (0)
Friday December 30, 2011, 10:02 pm
at end of the day ppl can think what thay want to every one is is aloud an apinyan

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