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Man charged after bringing tiger into local bar

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Saturday, March 1, 2014, 8:12 PM -

Lockport, Chicago has never been called a wild kind of place -- but where else could you see a tiger walking through downtown? 

"He was taking his tiger out for a walk," said Lockport Police Chief, Terry Lemming. 

That's essentially the charge against John Basile, who runs the Big Run Wolf Ranch just outside town. 

The ranch is really a jumble of cages where Basile keeps wolves, a bear and yes, a tiger, just behind his home. 

"My concern really was for the people who frequented downtown area," added Lemming. "This was at 7:30 night on a Sunday in an area that has a lot of people walking around." 


SEE ALSO: Learn about the Amur tiger in our weekly web-series, Endangered Species


That's where Ethan Autman shot video (seen above) while out with this girlfriend last Sunday. 

"He was thinking he didn't do anything wrong," recalled Autman. "I think he was kind of drunk, though." And police thought the same thing. 

Earlier that evening Basile had been spotted inside Uncle Ritchie's Bar along with his tiger -- the same bar where Basile's tiger apparently bit a woman in December, although she never reported it. 

John Basile faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, reckless conduct and possession of a dangerous animal.

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