PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Over the past few decades, as an exotic pet trade boomed and Americans bought cute tiger cubs and baby monkeys, sanctuaries sprang up across the nation to take care of the animals that were abandoned when they reached adult-size or were no longer wanted.

The growth in both the number of the pets and the sanctuaries that rescued them has led to attacks.

One of the nation's largest wild cat sanctuaries reports that since 1990, more than 20 people have been killed by captive big wild cats at sanctuaries, zoos and private residences, more than 200 people have been mauled and 200-plus wild cats have escaped.

Experts say that sanctuaries are largely unregulated and anyone can open one. There are also no uniform safety protocols.

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