MEXICO CITY (Border Report) — An animal sanctuary for big cats in Mexico, operated by a California charity, has been raided by Mexican officials who have removed 190 lions, tigers, jaguars and other animals found in “deplorable conditions.”
The Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, with offices in Los Angeles, operates the sanctuary where the raid took place on July 4.
The sanctuary, which is located in a suburb on the outskirts of Mexico City, is run by a controversial figure named Eduardo Serio.
Celebrities such as the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and others have donated large sums of money to Serio to help care for rescued lions, tigers and other big cats.
But PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has been very critical of Serio in the past, calling his operation “just another sham sanctuary making a profit by exploiting animals.”
Serio is now under investigation and is being sought for the mistreatment of animals, according to Mexico’s Attorney General.
“Eduardo Serio, owner of Black Jaguar-White Tiger is wanted for the extreme abandonment and mistreatment of hundreds of large felines,” prosecutors say.
Mexico’s Association of Zoos, Breeders and Aquariums, AZCARM, put out a tweet denouncing Black Jaguar-White Tiger and its operator for the “extreme abandonment and mistreatment of hundreds of big felines that are in various states of extinction.”
Aside from the big cats, 17 primates and two coyotes were rescued during the raid, according to investigators.
Independent Film Producer Arturo Allende, who has more than 3 million followers on Instagram, called the sanctuary “hell on earth for the animals.”
For the past two years, Allende has been working on a documentary about the Black Jaguar-White Tiger sanctuary.
“It’s a holocaust for the animals, it’s a crime,” he says.
Investigators report having plenty of photographic evidence taken by ex-workers on the site depicting “hundreds of big felines living in deplorable conditions without food, veterinary care or adequate space to move around.”
“Many have visible wounds, many of the animals are in various states of malnutrition,” according to information released by investigators. “We have horrible testimony that some animals have been sacrificed while others have devoured themselves to avoid starvation.”
According to Serio’s website, his foundation “has been working tirelessly for over four years to rescue, rehabilitate, and preserve Animals through our Foundation. … We work to rescue as many Animals in need through independent rescue missions or by working with the Mexican government.”