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Old 06-16-04, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
Cruciform's Avatar
Join Date: Jan-2004
Location: St. Thomas
Age: 44
Posts: 1,242
More on tiger bite

Bet dollars to donuts that all snakes and spiders will be banned as well.


Boy improves but residents want tiger out

TEVIAH MORO, Free Press Reporter 2004-06-16 02:23:29

A 10-year-old Toronto boy who was attacked by a Siberian tiger Sunday was sitting up in his London hospital bed, his family said yesterday. "He continues to improve and today, he is sitting up in his bed and expressing concern about missing school," the boy's mother said in a written statement released yesterday by the London Health Sciences Centre.

The family wishes to remain anonymous, but thanks "everyone for their concern and well wishes," the statement read.

"This has been a terribly traumatic experience for all of us and our focus has been doing everything we can to help my son.

"I know we all have many challenges -- both physical and emotional -- in the days and weeks ahead, but I am just so grateful that my son is still with us."

The boy's condition was upgraded to serious from critical, LHSC said yesterday.

Elgin County OPP continued their investigation into Sunday's attack at businessperson Norm Buwalda's estate in Southwold Township, southwest of London.

"The investigation is still ongoing," OPP Const. Jennifer Wilks said.

Yesterday, the tiger's fate was unclear.

Buwalda, its owner, couldn't be reached for comment.

"I feel very sorry for the family and the boy for this happening," Southwold Mayor Jim McIntyre said.

Township council met Monday night with residents to give them a chance to air their concerns, McIntyre said.

Some residents want to see a bylaw passed to ban exotic pets in the township.

"We're hoping that in two months the bylaw will be in place," McIntyre said.

David Rawson, one of Buwalda's neighbours on Second Line in Southwold, attended the council meeting and criticized members for not acting sooner.

"The tragedy that we predicted could happen, did in fact happen," Rawson said yesterday from his dental clinic in London.

Rawson has been lobbying council to pass a bylaw prohibiting exotic animals in captivity in the township.

"The promise they made to us at an open meeting in January 2003 to enact a bylaw didn't get done, for no apparent reason," he said.

At Monday's meeting, Rawson said he warned council the case was no longer just a local issue -- but that the "whole country's watching."

The township has "dropped the ball" in its slow movement on a bylaw, he said.

McIntyre said he expects some opposition by Buwalda once the bylaw goes forward.

"We're expecting that," he said of a possible legal battle.

McIntyre said the Ontario government should take the lead by legislating rules on the ownership of exotic animals.

Township council will meet again Monday to discuss the bylaw, McIntyre said.
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