Cricket Hollow Zoo License Suspended

Posted on July 2, 2015

For immediate release:

Contact:
Megan Backus, ALDF

bear-at-cricket-hollow-zoo-200pxMANCHESTER, Iowa — The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has learned that the United States Department of Agriculture has suspended the Cricket Hollow Zoo’s license to operate. As a result of the suspension, the Cricket Hollow Zoo was forced to shutter its doors from June 15 to July 8.  Late yesterday afternoon, ALDF alerted the United States District Court of the suspension, which comes as the Court considers ALDF’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against zoo owners Pamela and Tom Sellner for violating the Endangered Species Act.

As part of its motion, on June 1 ALDF submitted extensive evidence to the Court of ongoing mental and physical suffering to endangered tigers, lemurs, and gray wolves exhibited at the zoo.  ALDF supported its claims with USDA inspection reports and photographs that were developed to document chronic violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

According to the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA can suspend a license to operate an animal enterprise, such as the Cricket Hollow Zoo, “in any case of actual or threatened physical harm to animals” or if APHIS has reason to believe that the licensee has violated or is violating the Animal Welfare Act.

“The Cricket Hollow Zoo has repeatedly failed to demonstrate that it is capable of complying with the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act,” ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells said. “USDA’s decision to suspend its license is long overdue and only serves to bolster our bid to rescue endangered animals who continue to suffer and die there.”

Copies of the notification filed with the court is available by request.


7 thoughts on “Cricket Hollow Zoo License Suspended

  1. Adele Zierler says:

    What exactly are the violations the zoo has? Were the animals mistreated, not fed the right foods? Where are you going to have them housed? I do hope you can get them into a Sanctuary. They deserve it. Let me know. Thank you for looking out for them.

  2. Adele Zierler says:

    I don’t understand. You have above my correct email address. I don’t have a website.

  3. amanda_m says:

    Great news at least for now, ALDF.

    Well the article says ‘submitted extensive evidence to the Court of ongoing mental and physical suffering to endangered tigers, lemurs, and gray wolves exhibited at the zoo. ‘ to me that sounds like more than just getting fed the wrong foods…..

  4. Vicki Frazier says:

    I am so glad to hear this. I’ ve been watching updates on this zoo for over 3 years and it’s about time. The way they treated all their animals was horrible. I’m sure they started out with good intentions. I even wrote a letter to ask if I could help in way. Being from Iowa, but living in CA, it broke my heart to see how this place just kept getting worst.

  5. Vivian says:

    Now that the zoo has lost its license, has it actually shut down? If so, what has become of the animals?

  6. These poor animals. When animals are deprived of their natural lifestyle, without much enrichment, they get depressed and anxious, just like people do. Please get these animals out of this sad situation and into sanctuaries where they can live much better lives. People ROB animals of their natural lives! This is such a SHAME.

  7. DIANE M. KASTEL says:

    I DONOT UNDERSTAND WHAT A SUSPENSION ENTAILS? CAN THE ANIMALS BE REMOVED AND PLACED IN A SANCTUARY? DOES THE ZOO REOPEN ON JULY 9TH? WHO IS FEEDING AND WATERING THEM DURING THIS SUSPENSION? HOW DOES THIS SUSPENSION CHANGE THE TREATMENT OF THE ANIMALS ONCE THEY CAN REOPEN ON JULY 9TH?
    PLEASE RESPOND.

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