British Columbia

Lion cubs seized from private B.C. zoo

A man whose fiancée was killed by his pet tiger in 2007 has pleaded guilty to violating B.C.'s alien species regulations after conservation officers seized two lion cubs from his private zoo.

Zoo owner Kim Carlton must also pay $500 fine after fiancée dies from attack

A man whose fiancée was killed by his pet tiger three years ago has pleaded guilty to violating B.C.'s alien species regulations after conservation officers seized two lion cubs from his private zoo.

Kim Carlton, shown speaking with reporters at the front gate of his private zoo in Bridge Lake, B.C., pleaded guilty to violating the province's alien species regulations. ((CBC))

Kim Carlton pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled alien species after conservation officers took the cubs from his Bridge Lake property near Williams Lake in the Central Interior on Wednesday, according B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner.

"This is a step forward because it's the first conviction under our new legislation that restricts for the first time ownership and possession of certain dangerous, alien species in British Columbia," said Penner.

Carlton was fined $500 and the cubs were relocated to an accredited wildlife facility for safe care.

Wildlife Act updated after death

Carlton's fiancée, Tanya Dumstrey-Soos, 32, died after the tiger attack at his zoo in Bridge Lake in 2007.

At the time, Carlton said Dumstrey-Soos was petting the tiger good night, as she did each evening. But on that particular night Dumstrey-Soos was wearing a dress.

Carlton said he believed the tiger swatted at the dress and caught his girlfriend's leg, severing an artery. The couple's children fought off the tiger, but Dumstrey-Soos died of blood loss before she could get medical help.

The incident led to updating of B.C.'s Wildlife Act to include controlled alien species regulations in March 2009.

The new regulations means pet owners can no longer own several types of foreign mammals, amphibians or reptiles, unless the animal was already in B.C. when the new law was introduced.

The regulation also includes restrictions on possessing, breeding, transporting and releasing animals in British Columbia.

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