Nye County man fights to keep tigers on property
Nye County, NV (KTNV) -- A Nye County man is speaking out against the decision to not grant him a permit that would allow Karl Mitchell to keep tigers on his property.
Citing public safety and concerns about future residential lots in the area, Nye County officials say these exotic and large cats are not allowed on one man's property but he says this decision is a knee jerk reaction to what's been happening in Las Vegas.
"We're a shelter for all animals and we're involved in rescue and things like that, but primarily it's the home for our tigers," says the owner of Big Cat Encounters.
Soon, the ranch may not lawfully be able to hold these exotic animals like it has for the last two years.
Wednesday night, the Nye County planning commission voted 5 to 1 against granting the owner a conditional use permit that allows him to keep the tigers. Some citizens and animal activist groups argue the tigers are dangerous and point towards the Las Vegas chimp escapes as a reason to not have the tigers on the ranch.
The Mitchells argue that they are so far removed from Pahrump that any threat or nuisance caused by the animals to neighbors is almost non-existent since there is almost no one out here.
"Politics in Pahrump, I would have to say is very, very interesting. A friend of mine said the politics is a contact sport in Pahrump," says Mitchell.
He believes he has upset enough politicians in Nye County and calls their decision a knee jerk reaction to what is happening in Clark county.
"We have an application, we're in the process, and all of a sudden they want to throw their hands up and back away like it's a dirty poo poo," says the tiger owner.
Mitchell plans on appealing the decision to Nye County commissioners, and says if he has to he will take this fight to the courts.