Zoo Dispute Ends in a Settlement

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Lion_waiting_in_Namibia, by Wikimedia user Ebe 123, licensed by Creative Commons.Two endangered lions are the subjects of the latest quarrel between animal activist group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund of California, and Cricket Hollow Zoo, located in Manchester, IA. Following complaints that the lions were unnaturally thin and exhibited poor posture, a lawsuit was filed. The intended outcome of the lawsuit was to push and advocate for the lions to be moved to a facility that would offer them the care they require and deserve.

The defense fund and the zoo have combated in the past, concerning the well being of lemurs and tigers. In that case, the Animal Legal Defense Fund of California won. The judgment that followed the victory required the zoo owners, Pam and Tom Sellner, to transfer their lemurs and tigers to another zoo. The purpose of the transfer was to allow for proper care of the animals.
In the most recent case involving the lions, the owners of the zoo and the defense fund have agreed to settle. The parties must file documents with their expectations and demands of the settlement by August 27, 2016. As per an injunction ordered by a federal judge, a veterinarian examined the lions. The veterinarian concluded that the condition of the lions was not normal and may lead to chronic injury.
Despite the unfortunate instances of the lions, lemurs, and tigers, the US Department of Agriculture recently renewed the operating license for the Cricket Hollow Zoo. This renewal is concerning, considering the fact that in recent years, the zoo has committed “nearly 100 violations.” Some of the documented violations include, “numerous animals were confined with excessive flies and built-up waste,” and “various species were held with no ventilation and ‘a strong, foul odor of fecal waste and ammonia.’” Due to the defense fund’s persistent attention to these unacceptable conditions, the zoo’s neglected animals have a voice and a chance at a healthier life.