Tiger sanctuary near the Strip debated in virtual town hall

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas is no stranger to big exotic cats in the spotlight, often bringing in a lot of interest from tourists and residents. “It’s an evening of the world’s greatest magic,” said magician Jay Owenhouse. Owenhouse is based in Bozeman, Montana where he lives with his three Bengal tigers.

He was able to argue this case to commissioner Tick Segerblom and residents in a virtual town hall Wednesday night on why he should bring his tigers to a vacant parking lot near Paradise and Sahara for a yearlong magic show. 

“Our tigers will live in a great habitat living in Las Vegas the enclosure is 30 feet,” Owenhouse said.
In late November, a Winchester board denied this proposal, ultimately leaving it to the County Commissioners.

Opinions from residents ranged from both sides.  “I believe we should bring these animals back to the strip where they can show their full healthy beautiful lives to the people of Las Vegas,” said one resident. Another resident argued saying ” I can’t think of anything more ridiculous than these wild animals being confined in a cage.”

The wellbeing of the tigers and the public seemed to be a top concern in case of an escape.  “I’m speaking about someone that is experienced with working with exotic cats can take the cat by the chain and walk it to a safe area, so it doesn’t have to pay the ultimate price,” said one resident.

Owenhouse’s plan includes having an 11-foot barbed wired fence along with 24-hour supervision. Back in 2020 Owenhouse had the plans for his tiger magic show and sanctuary approved for a location on the south end of the strip but land owners changed their minds.

This will be discussed again in the commissioners meeting next Wednesday. 

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