Zoo Confidential

Experts say dangers lurk at roadside zoos.
3:00 | 08/18/12

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Transcript for Zoo Confidential
The zoo it's a classic. -- -- -- But even though it's generally very safe things can go badly awry. Call it zoo crunch. I thought he was to get up close to the -- He wanted to take -- win -- And I. -- -- -- -- -- Yeah. -- want to look at. Ever closed the first results. I don't know. The biggest dangers experts say are lurking at so called roadside zoos backyard businesses. -- her feet you can pet feed and -- with some of the fiercest predators on earth. They are formed it -- sort -- let him. These facilities over a thousand of them dot rural America and they are often just mom and pop operation. Feel -- -- anything. And I think. Look at this undercover video shot by the humane society of a child at a roadside zoo in Oklahoma. Flat tax and scratched by a tiger. -- is hospitalized for a possible tiger. -- some visits can be -- -- -- -- and Hayley Hillenbrand who died while posing next to a tiger for her senior class picture. Tiger lunged -- her and attacked during. -- -- -- -- So how is is that there are hundreds of these places. -- critics say nanny state governments have such lax regulation that pretty much anybody can start of a backyard zoo. States require less paperwork and red tape to buy at tiger as -- had been many shelters require to adopting him. Wired up. It -- -- -- to find out what it takes my colleagues and I wired ourselves up -- hidden cameras. OK -- go -- tae woo and visited the animal haven zoo in wildly to Wisconsin posing as first time cat buyers. -- put your hands in the preview of the report. Internet -- ninety. In Wisconsin -- is perfectly legal to buy and sell its tiger -- -- without any paperwork didn't even when the -- somebody like me with zero experience. Get through I mean if you're gonna go out there and sit and you're a man -- -- -- -- Owner Jim hopper Byrd gives away his full grown tigers for free -- -- we didn't. He offered us this one named princess. The friend who. Very Geithner currently -- good thing. However she was extremely unfriendly when I went in for a closer look. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Go get them because you won't live long enough people down. Well in our initial conversation he told us he didn't need any paperwork at all for a bad tiger. When we arrived he did ask us for a letter from the local government and -- USDA license which requires a site visit. But he quickly added neither of those -- -- difficulty yet. They should -- one here look at your hand until it's quiet and the water -- is believed. Happening. The good. And then it was time to tell Jim and his wife who helped run the place. That we were not really in the market for a tiger at all. Right partisan in here like -- something -- work release a legal. Jim went above and beyond what the law requires but is that really enough to let somebody walk away with a potentially lethal animal. You had no way of knowing whether I was gonna allow little kids in there to take pictures with a tiger you really don't have any way of knowing whether I'll be responsible -- absolutely. But nobody gave me a tiger at -- -- But you agree that tigers are -- -- yet this country. While the -- yeah yeah super -- that these animals pose more risks to visitors. It's a lot of guys. There have also been dangerous and deadly incidents at large and established news as well. -- It's. -- and is do in Alaska who jumped over a barrier to get a better picture of a little weird name I think he. Narrowly missed an -- artery in. In this horrific video a man in Singapore crosses a vote. Right into -- tiger including. Managed for everyone's -- Somebody was to jump into the -- dropped sixteen feet down. I don't know how you -- -- that you know you -- in case the animals it completely but that's not really fair animals. Another big problem. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- do try to provoke the animals. Why someone wants to believe -- yeah. For analyst decades. Trying to harass animal I don't understand. Yeah. Here yeah. Picks a fight with a. -- get this guy take it to the next level physically poking at tiger with a stick. I'll get spoken. And look at this guy running back and forth -- -- young lion. This video has hundreds of thousands of hits but we found the guy image his name -- Kevin Lombardo. What do you say to people those days being you're just you're torturing an animal its -- I think those more playing with I made it happen -- and -- the animal happy I don't diving for it even these guys said that if they -- you doing that it would stop. They -- yes. How to get her out -- one. Dot com. Talking can turn deadly. At the zoo in San Francisco and 2007 month old -- -- -- -- -- Three young men were allegedly harassing this 350 pound tiger named -- -- us. -- then left out of her enclosure and mauled them one of the -- later died. The bottom line here whether you're visiting a large established do or a roadside zoo. Getting up close with a wild animal is pretty much never -- a good idea. And you've got to remember these have been killed. That's their goal light district -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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