Lockport Wolf Ranch Man Charged With Taking Tiger to Bar

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
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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Shelly Muckey February 26, 2014 at 01:10 AM
PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE...click on the link and take a look at Shere Khan! This is a BABY tiger. This woman who's safety was in danger is just looking for her name in the paper and some cash in court. This was of course a bad decision but this ranch does much more good than anyone else sitting on their butts ignoring the ASPCA commercials and feed the children commercials.
Holly Hayes Jallits February 26, 2014 at 11:16 AM
I agree completely Shelley Muckey! Well said
Marilynn Reinhardt February 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM
Shelly -- you hit the nail on the head. John Basile has done more than anyone I know of educating kids and adults alike about North American wildlife. Perhaps he used bad judgment in bringing the BABY tiger into a public establishment, but I highly doubt, with his level of experience, that anyone was in danger by virtue of that animal in a bar. He has brought many of his animals to schools without any complaints. Some cry baby woman filing a criminal complaint is absurd!
Jello February 28, 2014 at 09:08 AM
What was that woman doing in the bar? Hmm??? Anyhow, I love baby tigers, as long as they're just babies.
Just Me! March 01, 2014 at 10:16 PM
Ummm, are you all insane? I have been to his "ranch" & if you think it is educational you must really learn a lot at the local carnival petting zoo's too. The artical states that this was not his first time bringing this poor baby into the bar, so he lacked judgement more than once. Baby tiger or not where was the common sense of this highly trained individual?! Let's bring this poor creature into bar with a bunch of wasted people, real smart!


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