Why Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story? What Happens When News Outlets Only Report Half The Facts

I had an unexpected day off, yesterday, and I fully intended to use it to get much needed writing on novels done. However, I made the mistake of checking the I.C.A.R.U.S. email account first, and that’s when things ground to a halt. There, across the Yahoo news page, was yet one more headliner with a video of Eduardo Serio of Black Jaguar White Tiger standing casually against a stone wall while a black jaguar stalks him. The headliner, like so many of the videos from BJWT which are shared on the internet, made a joke of the fact that Serio was being stalked by a jaguar.

A little research into this latest “media splash” revealed posts on Snapchat, made by Serio excitedly boasting “Yahoo Front Page :)”

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and “Look who made it into Snapchat’s daily mail :)”

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There’s also an Instagram post referring to the Snapchat email.

“About time that (tags snapchat staff using Instagram handles) cut a flower from their garden hahahahaha Love you guys. But really, about time :)”

Yes, it’s about time that Snapchat recognized how important Eduardo Serio is, how much he does for them by posting hundreds of videos of his “rescued” big cats to their site. Nothing says narcissism like multiple posts on multiple social media accounts boasting about how you’re featured on multiple social media and news sites. Not for anything virtuous, but because you have a pet jaguar–who you insist isn’t your pet–stalking you like a house cat chasing rolled up socks.

You see, this, is what Serio cares about more than conservation, more than animals, more than humans, more than anything on the entire planet: Himself. And his own media greatness.

While I was stewing and trying to convince myself to just move on and ignore the flippant and ignorant news blip, my sister sent me a text with a link to another news article by CNN, one which showed the very same video.

I followed it, of course, and then followed other links and came up with numerous stories, all branching from the same video utilized in the Snapchat daily mail that Serio was so appreciative of (though he made it clear that the honor was quite overdue, thank you very much) and unsurprisingly, most of the videos and news blurbs said nothing of the ongoing issues with the foundation. Nor did they mention Serio’s recent and very public threats against any group speaking out in opposition to his foundation.

Only two stories I found, Chloe Bryan’s Mashable blurb, and Jeanne Moos’s CNN “backstory” clip, address the fact that handling big cats like they’re pets might not actually be the best thing to do in the name of conservation.

While Ms. Bryan’s blurb does cite at least two articles relating to problems that have been raised in regard to BJWT, and Ms. Moos’s clip features a brief statement from Kelli Heckman of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (which have set the standards the I.C.A.R.U.S. team uses when referring to sanctuaries as genuine, or pseudo) and does link to one, older article questioning BJWT, neither the blurb or backstory address the deeper issues of someone utilizing hundreds of animals in order to make themselves famous. Nor do they mention the fact that Serio’s “fierce critics” as Ms. Moos refers to them, are the focus of daily death threats, and threats of legal attack, or physical abuse–by not only Serio himself, but also the millions of followers he wields like a club in defense of his own actions. Neither article, while they question Serio’s practices, point out that he’s also a bully, who regularly threatens American citizens, along with citizens of other countries, when they disagree with him. Chloe’s article has already been inundated with BJWT followers criticizing her, threatening her, informing her of how wrong she is about BJWT, and defending both Serio, and BJWT.

Other stories, like this one put out today by Fox News offer nothing at all, even suggesting that keeping big cats as pets is a bad idea, aside from a one-liner at then end saying that they can’t endorse kissing a jaguar, but they do think you should check out the video.

Yes, by all means, check out that video of someone exploiting an animal, and share it.

Give the guy in the video more attention, and more reason to keep hoarding animals and calling it conservation. You’ve just secured the fate of countless more animals to captivity.

Animals like the most recent batch of cubs, most of whom were intentionally removed from their mothers for no reason–as Serio has admitted that the some of the mothers are owned by a friend and in no danger. Animals like “Arizona” the tiny tiger cub seen aspirating and nearly drowning in milk while being improperly fed in this video, which has since been deleted. Weeks after that video surfaced, and was subsequently deleted, Serio announced that Arizona is now having health issues, including “seizures” which he blames on “inbreeding”.

We’ll never know precisely what’s wrong with Arizona. However, aspiration pneumonia due to improper feeding techniques is considered one of the highest risks associated with hand raising captive big cat cubs, and it can cause seizure or tremors as well as dehydration.

According to Ron Hines, DMV PhD:

“The most serious problem that can occurs for an inexperienced caregivers (or a distracted or rushed experienced caregivers) is allowing the milk formula to enter the cub’s lungs rather than its stomach – the formula “goes down the wrong way”.
The most common cause of this is feeding infant cubs in the wrong position. Never cradle and feed these exotic cats on their back as you would a human infant. These animals must have their stomach side down (belly down) when they suckle. Later, when the cub is more developed and able to walk, it can sit back on its haunches or stand and take the bottle in its front paws like the one in the photograph at the top of this article.

The younger a cub is, the more likely this problem is to occur. That is why inexperienced caregivers are much safer if they take over the chore when cubs are already 4-6 weeks old. Let an experienced person get you started right.

Here are some other tips to help you prevent this problem:

Feed the baby in the proper position

Use nipples that are the right size and that do not leak or flow too easily. (Pull on the nipple to be sure it is well seated. Enthusiastic cubs will pull nipples right off the bottle and can swallow them.)

Never squeeze the bottle when the cub is nursing

Be sure you stop feeding the cub as soon as it no longer sucks vigorously and greedily. Do not punch too many holes or too large a hole in the rubber nipple. Milk should not drip or accumulate on the bottle when it is held nipple-down.

Milk should never come out a cub’s nose.

Once a cub has aspirated, there is very little a veterinarian like me can do to improve its chances of surviving.

Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia are labored breathing, irregular breathing, gasping, pale or bluish gums. Later, tremors and listlessness and death.”

From the AZA website relating to the hand rearing of cubs (which it counsels against doing, unless the cub’s life is at stake):

“When feeding young felids, they should be placed on their stomach on a flat surface (e.g., table). Cubs held in an upright or head back position during feeding are more prone to aspiration and death.”

 

And a recent article on Tublr by Big Cat Awareness which cites AZA standards for the hand feeding of big cat cubs and showcases the GFAS standards such as: 

“Humans do not enter enclosures with felids. Direct physical interaction is limited to protected forms of contact, by experienced personnel, to minimize the risk of injury.
No direct contact between the public and felids occurs.”

After seeing Arizona aspirate enough milk that she regurgitated it through her nose, none of us who have even the most remote experience with hand rearing felids (domestic, or captive wild) are surprised to hear that she is now having health problems. But BJWT fans seem incapable of linking the fact that Arizona was improperly fed, choked on milk, and subsequently aspirated it, with the fact that she’s now having seizures, which could well be directly caused by the aspiration of the milk. And with Serio blaming “inbreeding” for practically every health care issue he admits an animal has, no scientific information on the risks of his continued hand rearing is being offered to the public who adores him.

It does not help, that media outlets so often just merely brush against the larger topics within their stories, without ever *actually* taking a stand on the matter.

The “backstory” Ms. Moos did for CNN can be broken down to a few sentences:

Eduardo Serio has hundreds of cats who love to kiss him. He has supporters and critics. Lots of celebrities love him because they get to pet big cats. Kelli Heckman says it’s a bad idea, and GFAS says it’s the wrong message. He says he rescues them from circuses and breeders. We couldn’t speak to Serio for the story.

Where, in that article is an actual position on the matter? There isn’t one.

Now, before anyone can say that it’s not the news media’s place to say something is right or wrong, I understand that in this modern era, the “shell game” of responsibility is stronger than ever. But it wasn’t always that way. It used to be that when a news agency reported on something, it was with an intent on ferreting out the truth behind that story, be it a good truth, or a bad truth. And then they stood with the researched truth. Now, that’s not the case. The internet is comprised of “fluff” pieces that either circumnavigate connotations of “good” and “bad” entirely, or arrange a few partial facts and leave the public to sort them out.

Ms. Moos included footage of celebrity “supporters” of BJWT, and she including an “expert” from the GFAS stating that what Serio does is not real conservation. However, she either didn’t research enough to find, or chose to omit facts such as celebrities lashing out at those who try to inform them that they’re participating in bad pseudo-conservation

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or the fact that Serio has publicly attacked and threatened to destroy groups, “fierce critics” in Ms. Moos’ words, who speak out against him:

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And while Ms. Moos raised questions about where those animals came from, she did not mention the fact that Serio has admitted to buying directly from breeders, and private zoos, or that buying from breeders directly supports the captive breeding of big cats.

This leaves the news media in the very safe position of, well, not actually having a position.

I am grateful to Ms. Moos for having contacted the GFAS and gotten a comment from them. I’m grateful that she brought into question the fact that BJWT is not accredited by the GFAS, and the fact that no one knows where all of those cubs are coming from. I’m grateful that she brought into question the practice of handling big cats as if they’re pets, and allowing celebrities to pet them. If Ms. Moos has interest in seeing firsthand how BJWT followers react to anyone asking even the most minimal questions (something we deal with on a daily basis) here are some of the responses to her own CNN backstory:

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I particularly love the last one pictured wherein the commenter say Serio “doesn’t appreciate zoos”. Except for zoos bought by his friends, and from which he then takes more babies to hand raise so he can post more videos of himself playing with them. This is–in Serio’s own words–how some of the cubs he’s currently raising were secured. The first story he gave involved rescuing them from a zoo, and being unable to house the mothers of the cub. Later, however, Serio has admitted that one of his personal friends bought the zoo in question, which would indicate no great risk for the animals, and thus no real reason to remove them from their mothers.

Yes, Ms. Moos’s backstory is a start.

It is not, however, enough to even dent the ego and social media presence of someone who thrives off of being the center of attention on social media sites and in “fluff” pieces of news which only serve to promote him and his status. As of the writing of this article, the “cutesy, this is awesome” versions of the jaguar stalking video have spread around the world, being featured on news sites in Norway, Australia, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Serbia, Chile, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and nearly every state in the US. The video has been shared hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions. BJWT followers are hailing this as evidence of the spread of the “BJWT Nation” and a triumph for them.

A triumph for them.

Not the thousands of wild big cats slaughtered every year. Not the tens of thousands of big cats that languish in captivity. This media frenzy is not a “triumph” for any animal.

All of this attention goes strictly to one group. Eduardo Serio and his millions of worshipers. Which is exactly what Serio wants, and has always wanted. All of the attention on himself and his empire.

For those of us who actually care about animals, the fight against such horrendous misinformation as promoted in this article in the Irish Examiner, continues.

It bares saying that in this post:

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Serio threatens those speaking out in opposition of him, saying that he has “unlimited amounts of money” with which to sue us–from another country–until we’ve been destroyed, and that he’ll use those unlimited funds to get rid of us. Yet in the Irish Examiner article it clearly states that he’s “trying to raise money to expand the size of the sanctuary”.

Now, either he has “unlimited amounts of money” or he doesn’t. Either he’s lying about how much money he has that he intends to use to sue those of us who publicly disagree with him, or he’s lying about needing the money to expand the foundation, but you can’t have it both ways.

What sort to “daily abuse” that those like the I.C.A.R.U.S. Foundation deal with am I talking about?

Here’s an example of the rants we deal with, in which Serio rails against “Project Imbecile” for “trashing him” while blatantly lying about the “two women” who comprise “Project Imbecile” (check our articles yourself, we never said what he’s accusing us of saying) and erroneously associates “Project Imbecile” with big cat groups in Tampa. He goes on to say that he’s been accused of using the tiger, Achilles, seen in this video, for publicity, which he claims isn’t true. Despite that he’s making a video about Achilles on social media while talking about how he isn’t using Achilles for publicity.  Right after this section, Serio proclaims that the only real reason “Project Imbecile” hates him, is because he’s got 12k videos and photos posted on social media, and millions of followers, and we’re jealous.

Apparently, Serio bases expertise, and conservation on how many friends one has on social media, not what you actually do to aid conservation efforts. In Serio’s world, adding the hashtag #savetigers, or #savelions, or my favorite #notpets to videos of himself rolling around in his own bed with the aforementioned animals apparently somehow saves them, and shows people that they should never be treated as pets. I would link to the full length video, but I can’t find it. It’s either been deleted (something that happens often after a video has been posted) or it’s lost among the hundreds of videos posted since.

This is a vital point that Serio himself makes again and again, though.

He’s successful on social media and has millions of followers, and that is why he has “haters” who question his practices.

To Serio, it’s not about conservation of animals, about proper handling techniques, about captive big cats or about how they aren’t pets. It’s about the fact that he has millions of followers.

It’s about the fact that because he has millions of followers on social media sites, companies are willing to donate products, or services, to him, not because they care about the animals, but because they know that Serio’s followers will eagerly buy and support products that Serio uses and associates with, which will bring them a boost in sales, and money. It’s about the fact that for every one article that raises questions about BJWT, hundreds of ignorant articles are shared celebrating them, and erroneously likening the exploitation they use to a “special bond” never realizing that the animals featured have been hand reared and specifically selected just to be used in those videos. Articles like this one from Today, actually categorize the video and article under “pets” not conservation, something that is actually truthful.

Nothing BJWT does, aside from the ubiquitous hash tagging, has anything to do with conservation. It has to do with pets, and animal exploitation.

This is capitalism at its finest. We’re right back to kids buying Wheaties for no reason besides the fact that there is a celebrity they love on the box. Only in this case, the advertisement isn’t to become a star athlete. The message in this case, is to pet, coddle, play with and fawn over dangerous big cats as if they were pets. It’s to overlook the fact that by buying cubs from breeders, you’re supporting the breeding of captive big cats. It’s to be one of the “cool crowd” and play with big cats like celebrities do. It’s to exploit animals which do not belong in captivity, and would not be there except for people like Eduardo Serio who keeps them like pets, and promote the act of doing so.

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9 thoughts on “Why Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story? What Happens When News Outlets Only Report Half The Facts

  1. Lexi

    I am so tired of people not getting it with BJWT. Many of those news articles boast that he has hundreds of big cats on his 30 acres property… and NO ONE thinks that is a bad thing?? First of all, there’s no way he has hundreds of animals. He either lies about how many animals he has, or he’s trading them under the table and hopes that no one is noticing. How can anyone keep track though when he keeps no record of the animals that are coming in (or going for that matter). People constantly ask on his live feeds “where is ? I haven’t seen them in a while..” It just blows my mind that so many millions of people blindly follow this guy. This foundation is nothing more than a cult. I try to educate as many people as possible, and it is exhausting. People come up with the stupidest arguments for me, “they’re rescued from terrible places and they’re well taken care of now.” No one knows where they were rescued from, nor if they’re even being taken care of properly!! Obviously the newborn cubs are not being cared for since they’re practically drowning in the milk that they feed them, but let’s ignore all that because he posts videos that are “cute.”

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  2. Not lexi

    Have you guys researched into the situation in mexico, doesn’t seem like you know about yumka either. I think you would see that bjwt is the best option in mexico for these guys…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3040215/From-Big-Big-Boss-Mexican-circuses-forced-sell-tigers-5-000-wealthy-drug-lords-performing-animal-ban.html

    my take on a couple things
    – celebs raise awareness
    – celebs are the ones that donate the most
    – it’s still ok to sell tigers in mexico… is it wrong of him to take them?

    I accept that maybe he’s a little off and that the feeding wasn’t good..
    I’ll pose you a question though, who else in mexico is doing something positive, or who in mexico would you rather see these animals with? Is it the zoo that has caused the death of over 100 animals? Tell me, serious question

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    1. Hello, Not Lexi,

      We are fully aware of the situation with Yuma. However, we still do not see BJWT as anything “better”. Especially considering the dozens of missing, dead, or “gone dark” cubs that have been brought into the foundation only to vaporize either with no explanation, or a standard “caused by inbreeding” excuse.

      The article you linked to refers to drug lords, etc. Are you not familiar with the fact that Eduardo Serio proudly boasts of his own connections to such figures? Did you not see his recent post in which he declared a former president of Mexico–a man who bilked the country out of millions of dollars, sent it into a recession, and is suspected of murdering his own presidential opponent–to be his hero? There are confidential informants in America who still won’t speak out against Serio because he has so much influence in Mexico, and so many underworld connections that they fear what might happen to any family still living there if they come forward. No, Not Lexi, we do not consider BJWT to be any better than Yumka

      Celebs raising awareness is only useful if they raise awareness in matters of conservation. Posting photos of themselves holding cubs far too young to be handled (some of whom have since died) and playing with captive big cats does nothing but advertise treating captive big cats like pets. As I just pointed out, one could conservatively speculate that BJWT makes millions of dollars each year through sales of their merchandise, donations, and revenue. But we can’t know for sure, because BJWT will not make those records public, like most legitimate sanctuaries.

      Yes, it’s still okay to sell tigers in Mexico. No, when Serio buys them, it’s not okay for him to take them. He’s just continuing to support the breeding and selling of them. And we have him on video admitting to both buying from breeders, and from private zoos.

      As for who else is doing something positive in Mexico, that’s an interesting question. I can tell you, though legally I’m not permitted to say more, that I know several sanctuaries have struggled to found themselves in Mexico, only to be inexplicably denied, or have their rights terminated by the government. One could ponder how that might happen. But then one must also consider that the founder of Mexico’s biggest, most prominent big cat foundation has former presidents for friends, and regularly invites the Profepa inspectors over to play with his animals, and then it might not seem so strange that other foundations have been banned from setting up shop in the country.

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  3. gaia

    I would like to know what you guys want him to do? There are so many other places out there that don’t post pictures or videos, that let people come in and watch them or pet them all throughout the day, and we will never hear or see about it. In mexico there are breeders who could be selling these cubs to anyone, i didn’t see any news articles refuting that.
    You’re upset about the celebrities, but it’s not like there’s a thousand of them. It’s a small amount who are donating large sums of money most likely… If you were to donate a large sum of money don’t you deserve to know what’s going on? Ok yeah i guess he could say no to them meeting the little cubs. IMO zoos are worse.

    Do you have a list of expenses, audits, minute by minute detailed events and everything you could possibly want from every other organization out there? Is it not possible that they all have something shady going on?

    Could he be evil… yes
    Could you be evil… yes

    Hit me with some facts and detailed plans about what you want and how you want him or others to go about it. It doesn’t help to bash something if there’s no forward thinking.

    I’m not a moron, i won’t be defending a guilty person, but i haven’t been shown any evidence that makes me think these animals are in danger apart from the feeding. There’s so many things i’d like to say, but i’ll wait for a response on this one.

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    1. Hello Gaia,

      What do we want Serio to do? That’s a long list. Admitting that he doesn’t know nearly as much as he says he knows would be a humble start. You simply cannot know “everything” when you’ve only been doing something for three years. And in one of his most recent videos, he literally called GFAS–which has been the leading source of information for captive animal husbandry for decades–idiots, stupid, and “not smart enough to ever understand him”. And while Serio speaks of love and humility, he shows videos of his cubs being improperly bottle fed, and at the same time boasts that he’s personally bottle fed 90+ cubs–the wrong way.

      Next, it would be nice if he didn’t lie. About everything. Literally. He’s lied (and been caught) about how he started the foundation, about where some of the cubs have come from, about the fact that they were taken from their mothers, about their deaths (sometimes changing the story of how certain cubs died). He’s lied about what the ICARUS group has said. Repeatedly. Even with our articles right here for anyone to read. He lies all the time. About virtually everything.

      As for other groups who exploit animals, you obviously have not gone through our articles and read them. If you had, you would know that we call out groups all over the world for doing the exact same thing that BJWT does. No, they don’t post videos like BJWT, but they exploit their animals in the same fashion.

      We don’t have any problem with celebrities. We’ve never said celebrity support was a bad thing. However, hosting celebrities (and you say that he’s only invited a few, but there are dozens and dozens of various celebrities on his Instagram feed) is good. But not hosting them and allowing them to play with the animals. All that does is perpetuate the glamour of having big cats as pets. As for them “knowing what’s going on” I have no idea what sort of information the donators are given. What they don’t need to be given is “play time” with the cats, which they then post all over social media, making “play with big cats” *the* thing to be seen doing.

      As for expenses, audits, detailed records, etc. most non-profits inside the United States post their financial records publicly just so they can be examined by anyone at anytime. Does this mean that it’s impossible for some of them to be “shady” as you put it? No. People can always find a way of cheating the system. However, listing sales of merchandise, and donations clearly for the public does make one look more legitimate and it eliminates the opportunity for people to question them, in many cases. Serio does not post any such documentation, and when he does post a document, he explains it in english, but does not offer an actual translation. Once it is translated, it does not ever say precisely what he said it would say.

      I don’t think Eduardo Serio is evil. Misguided, incredibly narcissistic, egotistical, and selfish, yes. But we have never called him “evil”.

      We have, many times, suggested “forward thinking” processes, which you’ll see, if you read our articles. We do not simply bash people. Rather, we attempt to suss out the truth, from the propaganda. You say that you don’t think these animals are “in danger apart from the feeding” yet one cub just died of unexplained causes (Serio blamed inbreeding, yet the cub was healthy when it arrived, and inbreeding was never mentioned until it died) and another aspirated milk on live video until the milk came out its nose, and it’s now suffering from seizures and other issues, all of which Serio blames, again, on “inbreeding”. The truth is, dozens of animals at BJWT have “gone dark” in the last three years, with no documentation of where they are now. Serio still claims to be “working on” stage three, yet he currently supposedly houses over 230 big cats on between 8-30 acres, something that is simply not logistically possible unless those animals are being kept in large groups and tight confinement.

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  4. gaia

    I can see your point, obviously he’s not showing all the animals as well. Would be nice if everyone got along swimmingly. I can also concede the point made on his attitude. Who’s to say they’re dead or sold off though. Once humans stop posting pictures & stuff of their own kids we don’t automatically assume that they’re dead or something bad happened. I have seen them and others post pictures of the big cats.

    Maybe we’ll never find out or maybe we’ll see them all in the near future. It’s totally possible that he just talks a lot of trash and throws out random numbers. But why would he list all those numbers if it makes him look suspicious? Just trying to keep an open mind to both sides because i also see claims against them made out of context.

    They seem genuine and It looks like they are doing the best they can with what they have. misguided may be a good term along with a lack of knowledge. Being attacked (if that’s how he feels) will also make someone less likely to listen to others though.

    Animals can be healthy when they arrive, same as human babies. We’re different but we’re also similar. There are many diseases that cause illnesses in different time frames after birth. and these cubs probably aren’t coming from the healthiest of parents. Again he doesn’t have to mention cats dying if he think it looks suspicious.

    It’s annoying to agree, but the more i look at it, the more it does resemble a petting zoo for a few elite. I’m sure most of them are experiencing better lives there though and at least they look happy. Also, since i’m not involved in the situation it would be wrong of me to judge from the surface.

    Anyways, i’m hoping for the best & for clarity in the near future. I thought about grabbing a shirt from them, but glad i did a little more research and took a step back.

    sorry for the jumble of words, lots of thoughts that i’m trying to express at the same time haha

    Like

    1. Hello Gaia,

      You’re completely correct in that simply not seeing an animal does not necessarily mean that something bad has happened to them, or that they’ve been sold. We’ve never accused Serio or BJWT of selling animals or killing them, we’ve only asked where the animals in question are, to no avail. Even die hard followers have come to us saying that they were inexplicably blocked from BJWT social media for asking about animals that are no longer seen. One of our main concern with the animals who are not featured in the main open areas, or on social media, is that those animals do have proper housing elsewhere. This is something that is never discussed, and never shown. And as per Serio’s own words, and announcements, he still does not have a “Stage 3” in which to allow the huge amounts of space he, himself, says are required for so many animals. So if he only has a limited number of acres, our questions are 1) Where are all the animals we don’t see at the house, or in the large enclosures of “the ranch” which are so prominently featured on his social media? and 2) Why is he continuing to take on other cats, when the younger animals (those less than a year old) are quickly outgrowing his temporary Stage 2? The suggested square footage for a pair of big cats is a bare minimum of 1200 square feet-2.5 acres, and for every subsequent cat added, that space should increase a full 50%. Following these guidelines, BJWT would need hundreds of acres, which they say they do not have. So it’s not a matter of accusing them of doing anything with the cats we don’t see, so much as asking where those cats are being kept.

      As for the “possibility” of Serio “talking trash” and “throwing out numbers” it’s not a possibility, it’s a proven fact. Time and again, Serio has accused those who question him of being “haters” and “jealous” and has flat out lied–and again, his lies have been publicly proven, and he simply denies having said whatever it was. Even with video evidence, he maintains that people misunderstood what he meant. And often he throws out numbers, and makes claims that are erroneous in an effort to look more like the expert that he wants to be. But do some research yourself. A simple google search will bring up multiple variants of Cielo’s story, the story of the cat who “started it all”. In some versions, Serio says that he and his cousin had gone to a pet store and found a man trying to sell her and they bought her. In other versions, Serio claims that his cousin was the one selling her, and that he convinced him to let him have her. In yet others, Serio claims that he and his cousin were both taking Cielo to sell her to the pet store, but when they discovered that the owner intended to use her for photo sessions, they backed out. These aren’t facts that Serio might easily get confused over, they are different stories entirely.

      I’m not sure how a foundation that has publicly called other foundations “idiots” “imbeciles” “bitches” and told them to “kiss his Mexican ass” in addition to threatening to sue them with “unlimited money” can seem “genuine” and to be “doing the best they can” to you. As for “feeling attacked” I’m not sure how a foundation in another country can feel “attacked” by people who are asking simple questions like “What happened to So and So, you said they were sick?” But that’s the sort of question that will get you blocked from their social media accounts.

      In regard to the death of cubs, it would be much less suspicious if Serio ever mentioned a disease known to threaten younger cubs. Every cub–literally almost every cub that’s died–whom he mentions, is described as being “inbred” and “having complications of inbreeding”. The scientific fact is, there are hundreds of “complications” to inbreeding that are not fatal, and very, very few which are, and which strike unexpectedly. Fatal side effects of inbreeding usually result in death within hours of birth, not weeks or months. You can research this yourself. As recently as this month, with the youngest tiger cub, Arizona, suffering from seizures, Serio again cited “inbreeding” as the probably cause. But complications and defects of inbreeding aren’t something an animal outgrows, either. It’s something they deal with. But Serio often claims to “cure” the cubs of their “inbreeding complications”, which just isn’t physiologically possible.

      I’m sorry that agreeing with us on the matter of BJWT resembling a petting zoo annoys you, but I’m glad that you’re doing your own research on them. We always encourage people to look into things for themselves. It’s one reason we do what we do, to try and spread awareness, and urge people to ask questions themselves, and use whatever means they have to educate themselves on matters of conservation. Our second greatest concern with BJWT’s revolving celebrity guests (number one being that it creates an example that big cats are pets and should be treated like oversized house cats, without addressing the issues of wild conservation) is that at some point, there is going to be an accident, and it’s the cats who will suffer for it. What would happen if someone like Kaley Cuoco (who made the poor decision to accept an invitation to BJWT) had been bitten during her visit? Even a small wound can be a vector for disease. Just what would happen if a well known celebrity received even a minor wound which developed into tetanus? Rabies? Or even common staph and sepsis? The possible fallout, even with the foundation being located in Mexico, would be immense, and the result terrible for the animals. Should there ever be a mauling, it would be even worse.

      We too, hope for clarity in the future, and encourage you to keep your mind open, keep researching, and keep making your own decisions on things. That’s how awareness is spread, through the passage of information and free thinking 🙂

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  5. Mirian

    I was one of those people who followed BJWT last year. I asked a question about what happened to an older cat. I was blocked. I started researching and found answers that made sense to all the other questions I had. Eduardo seem to rely on social media to garner a lot of donations. It’s easy to hide, distort and assuage the followers. When I first investigated BJWT I easily found a few articles online exposing his lies. A year later I find it difficult to google these same articles or any new articles because Eduardo has flooded the World Wide Web with his agenda. His proliferation of articles range from asking for donation to expressing anger at opposing views of his operation. This has pushed down many well written exposes of BJWT that many people only see what Eduardo has posted. Eduardo has also opened many many differently named accounts on Instagram and Facebook, to name a few, because people are slowly catching onto his deception. One only has to find one of his many social media accounts and get suggestions to follow his other similar accounts. I found one under #queenkarmabjwt (although other account names are not as obvious) where he has a photoshopped picture of himself with Steve Jobs (Apple CEO.). Eduardo shamelessly asks the current CEO for a donation as he and Steve Jobs are of like mind. Well, Steve Jobs is not alive to confirm that. Eduardo is branching out like a virus as articles such as this wipes out followers of past accounts. He creates new accounts to keep his donation fresh and to lure in followers he’s lost in the past. He’s resorted to shaming another cat sanctuary in the USA to deflect from his questionable operation. Frankly, it’s like watching a 10-year old playing the blame game. I want to thank you for your very thorough, detailed and factual articles .

    Like

  6. Maguelone Dunoyer

    I wrote a message sooner in the night (for me). It’s now two in the morning and it’s been 4h that I’m reading some of your articles on BJWT. It’s amazing all the work of researches you have been doing.

    Two questions:
    – I saw on your “Meet the team” page that you have been working on helping Mexico to reform “their wildlife laws”. How’s the project going?
    – I’m a graphic designer, it’s my job to find solution for problems that involve visual image and communication (such as social media). I regret that in some of your article you acknowledge the power that social media & celebrities gave too BJWT without proposing to fight back by the same way. I’m not taking about slander. I think about why not use also the celebrities to make the problem more visible? Among BJWT fan (instagram), there is a lot of passive “fans” (like me before), who have no clue about the “problem”, people who are guilty of being naive and influenceable but overall want to do something good. If you can reach influencers who are sensible to animal defense with a good presentation, you can convince them to advocate your cause. A quick ass Instagram account can also help you to raise awareness among BJWT fans who are still concern about animal rights.

    Just a final thought. It’s crazy how #NotPets is used only for people PETTING wild animals and not even as a joke O.O

    Like

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