White Tiger Display Coming to Marshfield
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – A controversial white tiger display will be at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield in August. The board which oversees the fair voted July 30 against a motion to cancel the “All Things Wild” White Tiger Discovery Zoological exhibit scheduled for the fair August 20-25.
Dale Christiansen, the executive director of the fair, was glad the board stuck with his original recommendation to bring the tiger exhibit in.
The Fair Board had tabled its decision on the white tiger display two weeks prior to gather more information. A handful of concerned citizens spoke out against the tiger display at that time, and were back again last night to voice their opposition. Molly Schecklman of Marshfield got almost 700 people to sign a petition to block the tiger exhibit from coming to the fair and is disappointed with last night’s decision.
Schecklman says she will not be attending this year’s fair.
Gary Testrake of Marshfield spoke in favor of the white tiger exhibit.
Brynja Bjarnason of Marshfield had fought against the tiger exhibit, but said she was not surprised by the board’s decision.
Bjarnason and other opponents are challenging the claims by supporters that the display is educational and promotes the conservation of tigers. Bjarnason called the white tiger “a genetic mutation that’s gone wrong.”
Others spoke about their concerns over the attraction’s alleged history of animal abuse. Kitty Kingston cited violations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The white tiger exhibit recently raised concerns among Marshfield aldermen, prompting Chris Jockheck, who represents the Marshfield Common Council on the fair board, to get the issue placed on the July 15 agenda for the initial public hearing and discussion.