Packham’s Paper Tigers

BY NIGEL BEAN

Without a doubt these are very stressful worrying times for the vast majority of people in the U.K. I think it’s a safe bet to say everyone has been affected in some way either mentally or financially by this virus. Charities are no exception, I’ve read articles suggesting 48% of charities are already in difficulty as donations have dropped, and others are urging the Chancellor to intervene as fifty went bust in one day. So it really was no surprise to see Chris Packham using his privileged status as a BBC presenter to promote his girlfriend’s charity and zoo, the Wildheart Foundation, on social media.

I clicked on the link provided. And there was Chris Packham, smearing the circuses and asking you to give up your hard-earned money towards a bunch of rescued tigers. (There is something sick about smearing anyone at this time of national crisis, no?).

You don’t need reminding that Chris Packham is a staunch supporter and promoter of The League Against Cruel Sports, a charity with a somewhat dubious history given that it uses “Spike Stocker” AKA Terry Hill as a hunt monitor. Regular readers of Country Squire will know he was instrumental in illegally staging fake scenarios to paint UK circuses with faked videos – perverting the course of justice, no less.

The left wing used its various mouthpieces in the media to try to ban circuses. The Circus Guild took the unprecedented step of not talking to the press as everything they said was getting twisted to support the “progressive” agenda of animal rights. Labour, who were in charge at the time, jumped on the animal rights bandwagon and stood by watching as a native minority was sent a letter bomb, daily hate mail containing death threats, razor blades and dog excrement. The gutless politicians of both main political parties did nothing.

So, what about those rescued tigers?

There were six tigers claimed to be “rescued” at the zoo on the Isle of Wight. One died in December 2019, it was claimed from injuries sustained while in the circus a full five years previously. We will come to this one later as it’s the most infamous. Still, the five-year time span should already set off alarm bells on your bullshit monitor.

Here are a couple of related headlines:

Daily Mirror:

“Rescued from circus hell”

“Five tigers saved from circus hell thanks to Chris Packham and Mirror readers”

They were not actually rescued. We investigated.

There was no Spanish police operation swooping at dawn with animal rescue services. The tigers were actually donated. In an agreement with a rehoming centre they were voluntarily handed over into their care for nothing, instead of being sold off for 2000-3000 euros each. They were well-loved family pets as well as performing animals and could be found sometimes in the homes of the circus folk.

The rehoming centre found some excuses, such as the size of the exercise yard. They presented a thin tiger claiming it was underfed – all rather embarrassing, as well-fed tigers can be clearly seen wandering around in the background in their evidence photos.

That’s an old trick used by antis, show the oldest animal as the example. On that basis I could complain to the welfare services my grandmother is old, wrinkly and bent double.

And now onto the best known tiger tale of them all – Simi the Tiger – she became famous in 2015 as her situation was raised in the House of Commons by Andrew Turner MP (Con) at Prime Minister Cameron’s Question Time. This caused considerable embarrassment to the Prime Minister as once again the left-wing press leapt on the opportunity to press him for a ban on wild animals in circuses.

Turner asked:

“The Isle of Wight zoo is having difficulty importing a tiger. She was cruelly treated in a circus and has now been kept in isolation for nearly two years, despite Belgium being wholly free from rabies.”

He later issued a press statement:

“Simi the tiger has been in inadequate, temporary housing for far too long after being badly abused”

After five years at her place of “rescue”, the Wildheart Foundation Zoo on the Isle of Wight, Simi then died in December 2019, and the left wing press let the UK public know exactly who was to blame:

BBC News Website:

“A tiger rescued by Isle of Wight Zoo has died from injuries suffered during her time in a circus”

County Press:

“The zoo said today: “It is with great sadness we must report our beautiful tigress Simi passed away last week after a short illness related to injuries sustained in her previous life as a circus performer.”

So no mistaking who is to blame then?

Well, think again.

I contacted an animal organisation in Germany to convey my suspicions, not least because I know they take great pride in the way they train both lions and tigers. They have scientific studies to back up their excellent welfare standards. What came back again was more bad news for Chris Packham and his “Rescues”. This tiger rescue nonsense is a bleeding-heart ruse.

As far back as 2014, a full year before Simi`s rescue is brought to the attention of parliament, the Köllner family had won a court case over Simi and the seizure was ruled unlawful. It was even described in a German newspaper as “A resounding slap in the face for the public prosecutor’s office”. The news stories in the UK about Simi are biased nonsense misleading the public. Andrew Turner wasted valuable parliamentary time simply because he did not do his research and should now apologise. Simi was not the only exotic animal seized at the time and her condition was never in any doubt according to the multitude of vets that routinely inspected her.

From the court notes:

“None of the numerous veterinarians who had regularly inspected the circus had previously identified the deficiencies found on the day of the removal”

“Witnesses – all veterinarians – testified that the cats of prey showed quite normal behaviour, formed a “homogeneous group”, and even had a pleasingly large space. Only the tail wound of the lioness in question and her delay in healing were occasionally mentioned. Nevertheless, no veterinarian saw reason to order a visit to the vet”

The owner was cleared of cruelty over the lioness’s tail in 2016. The seizure was ruled unlawful two years previous and the family are currently locked in a six-figure compensation battle as the German authorities sold off the animals for around 100 euros each before the matter came to court. That’s how Chris Packham and his girlfriend ended up with Simi – effectively she was wrongly taken by the German authorities and not “rescued” by the Wildheart Foundation or Chris Packham at all.

I shall be writing to the Charity Commission and the police to investigate this bleeding-heart scam, as it appears well-cared for animals from the continent are being brought into this country because of stories whipped up in the left wing press. Selling the public a pack of lies about circus cruelty and “rescues” is fraudulent when the public are being asked to part with their hard-earned cash for lies.

The BBC should once again look at Packham’s position with the BBC. It is one thing using public money to build Packham up. It is quite different when a presenter uses his privileged position to get involved in promoting fake stories which are designed to loosen purse strings.

Edited by Paul Read.