BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Over recent weeks readers will have followed Country Squire Magazine’s exposé after exposé on Chris Packham and his girlfriend Charlotte Corney, founder of the Wildheart Trust– related to tigers in Spain and Germany brought to the big cat sanctuary at their zoo on the Isle of Wight.
The revelations hit the pages of the Daily Mail last weekend. The Fundraising Regulator are now investigating the Wildheart Trust. It is clear this charity – and their trustee Chris Packham – have told lie after lie about the “rescued tigers” under their care in order to dupe the charitable British public. Moreover Isle of Wight zoo has taken in ticket money from the paying public, some of whom travelled from afar to visit these “rescued” tigers.
This week some new data came to light which we feel readers ought to see with their own eyes. You be judge and jury. Put aside the whole debate about circuses – which is a misdirection in this case – and please sit back and look objectively at the evidence we present to you and make up your own minds. Were the Spanish tigers that feature in this new evidence “maltreated“ by the circus family they were prized from?
Let’s go back to last Spring when Packham and Corney were raising money for the Spanish tigers which by then had already been transported from Spain to their Isle of Wight zoo.
The text of their Wildheart Trust Crowdfunder appeal could not be any clearer:
The accompanying Daily Mirror article – with the BBC’s Chris Packham all over it – talked of:
So how in your mind’s eye do you picture the “cruel” Macaggi Circus family who owned and “maltreated” these tigers? Cruella de Vils? Like the merciless ringmaster in Dumbo, right?
Here is Mr Macaggi visiting his tigers at AAP Primadomus – the Spanish animal centre where the Macaggis were told they could visit their beloved tigers whenever they wanted. Listen for the loving growl of the tigers – known as ‘chuffing’, a sign of affection and friendliness – as they are approached by Mr Macaggi:
Poor Mr Macaggi.
One day Macaggi called to arrange another visit to his beloved tigers at AAP Primadomus, but found his tigers had disappeared. He was not told where they had been taken to. He was not told about Wildheart’s intervention nor about their defamatory fundraising campaigns over in England which were blackening his name and ripping to shreds his reputation. He was understandably distraught. The Macaggis had been led to believe the tigers would be kept at AAP indefinitely and could visit them whenever they wanted. They only discovered that the tigers had been moved to the Isle of Wight when a female family member travelling with a circus troupe by chance visited the Isle of Wight Zoo and discovered “mistreated” tigers saved from a “cruel” circus in Spain by a well known BBC presenter. It was then she was stunned to see her family’s tigers – Mr Macaggi was furious by all accounts.
Remember, the Wildheart Trust stated that these tigers:
What follows are ten photographs taken of the tigers when under the care of the Macaggis. Do the tigers not look healthy and happy in their circus home? Do they look malnourished or the victims of cruelty? Do they seem to be crammed into pens? Ask yourself, why would anyone make up such a tall tale then place it in a crowdfunder spiel, except to dupe potential donors?
Following an extensive investigation by our journalists, this magazine hereby states that considerable monies have to date been raised by the Wildheart Trust under false pretences and should be returned to donors forthwith. The Charity Commission and the police need to continue to investigate the multiple discrepancies we and the Daily Mail have highlighted, talking with Mondo Marketing who ran the PR campaign associated with the tigers.
Meanwhile, why has the BBC still not suspended Chris Packham? Do it now. Or the BBC – having been warned multiple times, with warnings recorded – is complicit in this tawdry Packham/Corney scam and will be forced into a hugely embarrassing apology later on down the road when the full details of these matters are aired in court.
Happy Christmas to you all.