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Bringing Your Tiger to a Bar is Illegal, Ranch Owner Learns

The owner of Big Run Wolf Ranch was charged with bringing a tiger into a Lockport bar.

While this is not a real tiger, the one a guy brought into Uncle Riche's bar actually was, police said. Credit: Joseph Hosey
While this is not a real tiger, the one a guy brought into Uncle Riche's bar actually was, police said. Credit: Joseph Hosey
Written by Joseph Hosey

JOLIET, IL — A man and a tiger walked into a bar, police said, which is apparently against the law in Illinois.

The owner of the Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport, John Basile, was charged with reckless conduct and possession of a dangerous animal in connection with the Feb. 16 incident at Uncle Richie's bar on Ninth Street.
Basile, 56, "brought a tiger restrained only by a leash and unmuzzled into a bar open to the public with patrons inside," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Will County court.

The tiger "endangered the safety" of a woman in the bar, according to the complaint.

Basile could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Big Run Wolf website lists the ranch's "newest addition" as a Siberian tiger named Shere Khan.

The site says the ranch is a "federally licensed non-profit educational facility specializing in North American wildlife," and that it is home to eight wolves, a black bear, a cougar, a skunk, a woodchuck, three coyotes, two porcupines and a horse.


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