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Cancun Tigers

Cancun Tigers & Jaguars Seized From Pepe's Property

Gente por la Defensa Animal (GEPDA), LCA and The Wildlife Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) have been fighting for the relocation of the Cancun tigers and jaguars for several years. Finally, after hundreds of thousands of people calling, writing and demonstrating - the Mexican Government (PROFEPA) seized the 8 remaining Tigers and 2 Jaguars from Jose Juarez Gil (AKA Pepe Tigre) in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday, April 21, 2011. Pepe acknowledged that his two facilities were unattended at the time of the raid and that he was operating on a shoestring, feeding the cats whatever he could find. Just before the raid, he said, he had found a dead horse he was going to feed them.

cancun 001Tigers being removed from Pepe's in Cancun, Mexico


PROFEPA stated the animals "did not have dignified or respectful treatment, and the conditions they were being held in were unsafe," and the animals would be transferred to "places where they can be guaranteed dignified and respectful treatment, as well as medical care and d," but they did not specify where.

Even though the animals have finally been seized from Pepe, there is still an on-going concern for their long-term well being. Until PROFEPA releases information on the animals’ whereabouts and their long term care… the fight for the Cancun tigers and jaguars goes on.

Take action:

Join LCA, GEPDA, and TWAS in the campaign to get these exotic cats relocated to the sanctuary in Colorado. Keep the pressure on the Mexican Government, as well as the Mexican Embassies and Consulates all across the U.S., by flooding their offices with emails and telephone calls. Please thank the Mexican Government for seizing the cats off of Pepe’s property and demand (politely!) that they release these beautiful animals to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO.

Previous Updates:

Urgent: Help needed to rescue the Cancun tigers (February 2011)

The decision of whether the Cancun Tigers are released comes down to one judge, Alfonso Gabriel Garcia Lanz. He is reviewing the case and will decide whether the tigers stay at Pepe’s, and will continue to be neglected, or if PROFEPA can relocate the animals to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, where the tigers will receive the care they need. These animals need your help now; they need to be moved to the sanctuary as soon as possible! Please write and call Judge Lanz and politely urge him to make a decision that allows PROFEPA to rescue the tigers.

These tigers can’t wait anymore, they need YOUR help!

Judge Alfonso Gabriel Garcia Lanz:
Office: Juzgado Segundo Distrito En El Estado De Quintana Roo (Cancun) Edificio Sede Del Pjf Cancun, Av. Andres Quintana Roo #245, Torre "C", Primer Piso, SM.50, MZ.57, Lote 1 Benito Juarez, 77533
Phone: (998) 2 83 30 02
Fax: (998) 2 83 30 03

Update on saving the Cancun tigers: (November 11, 2010)

For over two years LCA’s investigations have diligently worked with Pat Craig’s Rocky Mountain Wild Animal Sanctuary and GEPDA (Group Education to Protect and Defend Animals) in Mexico to free several tigers from a makeshift zoo in Cancun, known as Pepe’s Tigers. Together we have made a sustained effort to convince PROFEPA, the government agency that oversees wild animals there, to revoke the license of the owner, Juarez “Pepe” Gil, and have the tigers transported to the care of the sanctuary.

On October 15, 2010, LCA learned that 5 tiger cubs were born from one of the female tigers, Tabitha, who is confined in a ramshackle zoo owned by “Pepe.” It was rumored at the time that the sire of the cubs is “Satan”, a “brother” of Tabitha.

"Tabitha" with newborn cubs"Tabitha" with newborn cubs

Tiger cubs in a cardboard boxTiger cubs in a cardboard boxImmediately, LCA swung into action on the ground there to document the birth and the condition of the tigers in general. Three of the tiger cubs quickly perished due to basic neglect. Pepe had pulled the cubs from the mother prematurely to display in the window of his closed down restaurant to plead for donations for his own purposes. One of the two remaining cubs was being treated by a local vet, but Pepe’ refused to allow continued care and that cub perished the next day.

One month later, only one cub remains alive, periodically put on display in a barren storefront window (see photo below).

Dead tiger cubDead tiger cub Tiger cub in windowTiger cub in window

Two days ago, LCA learned that a worker who was inside Pepe’s dilapidated ranchero where other tigers were kept in substandard conditions, including a rare Sumatran tiger, was attacked by Satan, the father of the cubs. Pepe’ claimed the worker was a thief. The Mexican police thought otherwise. Pepe’ was briefly detained after he managed to get Satan back into the enclosure. The worker is recovering in a local hospital.

LCA has been working diligently at a solution to end the suffering of these animals. We can’t do it without your help. Please donate as generously as you can to LCA and the other organizations seeking to free the Cancun tigers, especially GEPDA which greatly needs financial assistance right now! Click on the following links for more information.

Wild Animal Sanctuary


Save the Cancun tigers (September 10, 2009)

LCA urges everyone to help rescue and relocate 7 Tigers that have been living in deplorable, substandard conditions, in Cancun, Mexico for FIVE years. They are kept in 12-foot cages, sitting in their own feces, with little or no interaction. They are not fed or given water regularly (they often drink water covered in algae, bugs, and rotten food). The level of neglect is appalling! "Pepe," the owner, refuses to allow a veterinarian to examine his tigers; consequently they are in dire need of medical attention!

Bengal Tiger with dislocated legBengal Tiger with a dislocated leg

"Pepe" used to own and run a restaurant/hotel in Cancun. Tourists would dine among the caged tigers, and for a fee, get a picture taken with them. When Hurricane Wilma wiped out Cancun in 2004, the restaurant was never re-opened. Consequently, the building they are caged in is in dangerous disrepair. They are malnourished, abused, and in dire need of medical attention!

Pepe dragging a tigerPepe dragging a tigerAnd it's getting worse! Read this testimonial from a passing tourist who saw the tigers recently and wrote this letter of outrage: I have seen these animals in March 2009 and one of the tigers kept trying to stand up but it's back legs would give way. While we were looking Pepe came out shouting at us to go away which we did not do. When I asked him to come to the side of the iron bars I was on, he refused because I told him I would put him in the same dying condition of these poor endangered big cats.

The Mexican Government wildlife agency, PROFEPA, recently reviewed and revoked the UMA license held by Gil Jose Juarez ("Pepe") after pressure from GEPDA (Gente por la Defensa Animal), an animal rights group in Mexico that has been trying to relocate these tigers to The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Keenesburg, CO.





Affectionate tigers at TWASAffectionate tigers at TWASAffectionate tigers relaxing on TWAS' 320 acres of grassland

The rescue mission was in place 10 days ago--the Mexican government has now reneged on their agreement to release and relocate these tigers to TWAS. They are now talking about sending these already abused animals to a zoo in Mexico City! PLEASE--help us put the pressure on them to honor the original plan: to release and relocate these tigers to TWAS, where they will get the medical attention they desperately need, as well as a beautiful home where they will be safe and taken care of. TWAS is located on 320 acres of Colorado grasslands and would be the perfect home for these neglected exotic wild cats.

A call to action:

Help LCA, GEPDA, and TWAS save these exotic cats by putting the pressure on the Mexican Government, as well as the Mexican Embassies and Consulates all across the U.S., by flooding their offices with emails, telephone calls, and letters demanding (politely!) that they release these beautiful animals to The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS), in Keenesburg, CO.

The Cancun Tigers could be frolicking here at TWAS!

Happy tigers at TWASHappy tigers at TWASPlease contact the Mexican authorities and give a voice to the voiceless. The terrible existence of these beautiful, exotic animals is reprehensible! The Cancun authorities don't want negative publicity to affect their holiday trade--this desire to avoid negative public perception can be used to pressure them to do the right thing and relocate these tigers immediately to The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS)!

Help LCA, GEPDA, and TWAS rescue these exotic cats!





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