The National Geographic reality series Animal Intervention
follows animal advocate Allison Eastwood and animal expert Donald Schultz as they
travel around the US to offer assistance to exotic pet owners whose behavior has alarmed organizations.
They usually want to co-operate with animal owners by easing tensions with local authorities, upgrading the conditions, or offering to take some of
the animals to sanctuaries.
Not all pet owners are willing to accept their assistance however, and some of them may strike the viewer as strange, paranoid and deluded.
Last night I saw a program where they went to "Big Cat Encounters" in Pahrump, Nevada.
The owner, Karl Mitchell, owns 5 big cats, and allows VIP guests to have direct contact with some of the tigers.
Mitchell keeps tigers in a cage with double fencing that is only two meters high (when a grown tiger can jump four).
He claims to have learnt positive reinforcement techniques as an apprentice of the originator, after training his domestic cat Mitten to ride with him
on his motorcycle. He claims to have a psychic or telepathic connection with the big cats.
He also implies that mysterious energies are at work on his isolated ranch, and the tigers seem to attract ghostly footprints.
While the crew was filming, celebrities visited the ranch: Heidi Fleiss and people from the Bunny House.
Carlos Santana also visited shortly after the crew left.
The crew were essentially told to get lost by an increasingly agitated Mitchell, and he said that he would shoot anybody who tries to take his
It seems these VIPS come to interact with a tiger (kept on a chain) like some people want to swim with captive dolphins.
They find the experience very powerful and emotional.
I wonder if this is just a new fashion trend or whether there is some kind of occult power to be gained from interacting with a big cat?
Anton LaVey kept a lion, and so did royalty and others often thought of as involved in the occult by conspiracy theory.
Is it just symbolic - interacting with a symbol of power, or overcoming fear?
Do these VIPS identify with tigers?
On his website Mitchell also claims that interaction with tigers has helped a boy with autism.
There's a clip from the episode in this link: natgeotv.com.au...
Although Mitchell sounds somewhat weird (especially on the psychic energy), and the interactions can be potentially frightening (while the enclosures
seem derelict and inadequate for the apparent amount of celebrity support) he does have some kind of connection with these animals.
More celebrities can be seen interacting with the tigers on the Big Cat Encounters' website:
Here he claims that in support of conservation he might relocate one or two tigers to their native India.
Conditions on his facility may be hard to judge by one film, but the big cats do seem to have a mystical allure for VIPS, as they did for many
cultures where they were often associated with power.
In local African culture leopard and other big cat skins were reserved for royalty.
edit on 6-3-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason