Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lion Man in Trouble

Found this on the wonderful Mad Bush Farm blog. Craig Busch, the 'Lion Man' in charge of the famous Zion Wildlife Gardens in New Zealand is under scrutiny over allegations of mismanagement of the park. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of New Zealand is investigating reports of substandard facilities and unsanitary, crowded conditions at the park. There is even a dispute over the ownership of the facility between Craig and his mother.

Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Gardens were made famous by 'The Lion Man' television documentary series in New Zealand and the rest of the world. Three series of the show have been produced and the program has a worldwide following. Craig has been a subject of some controversy following charges of assault in the past. And now this. The followers of the lion man and his show would be quite distressed to hear this news. According to the article, conditions were so bad that authorities were even considering euthanizing nearly forty big cats at the sanctuary. I visited the Zion Gardens website and was amazed to find out that it houses some extremely rare big cats - the long extinct (in the wild) Barbary Lions and the rare and beautiful White Lions. If these magnificent animals were destroyed then it would have been a very tragic loss indeed. Let's hope that the conditions at the park improve and the big cats can survive and flourish in a good atmosphere. More here:

http://madbushfarm.blogspot.com/2008/11/so-much-for-famous-lion-man.html

UPDATE: It appears that Craig Busch's license to operate the wildlife park has been revoked. He has been removed from the facility by his mother and replaced by Glen Holland, formerly manager of Auckland Zoo. Craig and his mother Patricia are due to face each other in court next week. A sad situation indeed. Another article here:

http://bigcatnews.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-zealands-lion-man-has-license.html

20 comments:

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

Craig's mother apparently had something to do with his licence being revoked. I was sad when I found the original article. Craig had done a lot for the profile of the Wildlife Gardens. There used to be a Wildlife Park in Auckland but lack of public interest and finance caused the park to close - fortunately the lions and the two siberian tigers were found new homes and were saved. I fear now for the big cats there at Zion. I'll be monitering the MAF investigation closely and will give you updates on any events. I'm only an hour's drive from Zion so when I can I'll get up there and photograph the big cats.

Take care and say hi to the kitties. Liz

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

Further News on Craig. A plea from Craig's father to keep Craig at the Park. I have updated the "So Much for the Lion Man " post. New link at the bottom of the post.
Liz

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I hope this turns out well for the cats. Loosing them would be awful. That's just can't happen. Have a great day. :)

paula said...

all you hear is about craigs mother what about the animals welfare, the tv progamme series as just finishe in england, the cameras spanned all the park and therewas no signs of any discomfort, neglect, the animals all looked very well, when craig went away the animals missed him, especially zion, all this disruption is no good for the animals, mother busch should put the park first and don,t bring family matters into this, that should be dealt with behind closed door, not advertise it all the time, bring back craig otherwise noone will watch the new series when it comes out, and i hope and pray that there will be a new series, keep up the good work craig and your girlfriend, you make a good pair.

Roberta Bown said...

please get your act together and suppost the Lionman in his quest to care for these wonderful creatures they love him and no one else will be able to have the same contact with them as the Lions won't let anyone else in. so please sort things out for the well-being or the animals

Roberta Bown said...

plese reinstate your son Patricia as the Lions really need him put aside your differences and sort things out between you both in private put the animals needs first as they will not accept anyone esle as their dad they will grieve for him please patricia sort this out for the benefit for the animals

Roberta Bown said...

Please Patricia reinstate your son as the animals need him and they will wonder where he has gone so for the sake of the Lions especially Zion rebuild your relationship with your son for the well-being of the cats

sarah123 said...

you should give craig this cats back and his park.the cats are missing him.that why they are playing up for everyone.his mother should not kick craig out of the park.just put craig back with family(cats).an kick his mother out.that not a mother kicking her son to the ground and hurting the cats.got her out.

Roberta Bown said...

please don't write old news as its boring Craig is the only man that can sort out these animals NZ please give this man his life back. and people stop printing old news. if one is interested in Craig and the big cats please send an email to Jill and stop writting old news

Roberta Bown said...

to Sarah123 be careful what you say hon as Patrica and Craig are mother and son and if they build their relationship which i am praying they do it will make you look silly honey so let your head rule at mo and not your heart but i do know its hard cause i have been crying since i have found out what has been happening x

Karen Porter said...

To whom it may concern, have observed Craig and his wonderful animals over the months in the UK, he is brilliant and he loves them and they love him. Please reinstate Craig he is a good man.

June said...

CRAIGS CATS LOVE HIM THAT IS CLEAR TO ALL THAT HAVE FOLLOWED HIS TV SERIES, PEOPLE THAT ARE NOW TRYING TO SAY HE IS CRUEL TO ANIMALS DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND, IF HE WAS, I BELEIVE THE ANIMALS WOULD NOT SHOW THE LOVE THEY DO TOWARDS HIM THEY WOULD HAVE KILLED HIM EASILY BY NOW. REINSTATE HIM FOR THE SAKE OF THE CATS HE CLEARLY LOVES. I CAN NOT BELEIVE A MOTHER WOULD NOT SUPPORT HER SON IN ANY WAY NECESSARY THATS WHAT MOTHERS DO, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER. THE CATS WELFARE SHOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE IS THEIR PACK LEADER THEY NEED HIM. I HOPE SENSE PREVAILS. X

Anonymous said...

How can anyone believe Craig is cruel to those cats? if he was then they wouldn't let him near them. The only cruel element here that I can see is Craig's mother - what mother would treat her son in this way? regardless of their differences. I for one won't be watching another series (if there is one) without Craig in charge. Poor man, those cats are his life, there are too many cruel parents in this world - I hope she's proud of herself!

Freda said...

AS AN ANIMAL LOVER I THINK CRAIGS MOTHER IS DISGUSTING. THE CATS SHOULD AND MUST COME FIRST BEFORE PETTY FAMILY SQUABBLES. HAVE SOME COMPASSION AND SENSE WOMAN AND LET YOUR SON DO WHAT HE DOES BEST BEFORE THE ANIMALS SUFFER ANY MORE. YOU ARE A VERY UNPOPULAR WOMAN AT THE MOMENT BUT AS YOU SEEM SO ARROGANT I DON'T SUPPOSE YOU CARE.
Freda, England.

Freda said...

For the sake of these beautiful cats please, please let Craig back in Zion Park - he is their daddy.

SHIRLEY UK said...

how anyone could be so heartless to animals i do not understand CRAIG should be allowed to be with his animals as if not they will pine for him someone must have a heart somewhere Shirley UK

Anonymous said...

Is'nt there enough fighting in the world? Talk about you differences in private and get back to what you do best Craig.Waiting for the fourth episode on tv, (if thats possible !) regards.

Anonymous said...

After reading various coments..about the demise of the Zion park..It seems to me that,,
Certain people could see the rise and rise of Craig.. and certain people saw the potential of the money making machine the Craig created..
And are trying thier damndest to take it from him .....YOU CRUEL MONEY GRABBING XXXXXXX'S

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, it's 2012 now. Does anyone know what's happened to Craig? My mom & my sister loved the series & even I enjoyed the few broadcasts I watched. I've heard all the nasty stories & even though I don't follow everything closely, I can't believe that a wild animal will be as comfortable as those animals were with Craig if he was being as abusive as some people have made him out to be. Apparently the person who released the so-called video actually admitted that it wasn't real. Craig, where are you??????

Roberta Bown said...

Gosh last famous words :) and now I can only pray that the cats remain in NZ but, needs lots of public love & attention - so come on guys let's support Zion park & keep it in northland NZ I personally don't want cb as keeper of these beautiful cats - they deserve much better then someone that declawed them and has sealed their fait to a life of enclosure- ship :(

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