Zoo Ordered to Transfer Animals to Sanctuaries

November 27, 2019

A lawsuit filed against Crickett Hollow Zoo in Manchester, Iowa has resulted in a victory for the animals. After forcing hundreds of animals to suffer in miserable conditions, the zoo has been ordered to transfer them to sanctuaries.

“The testimony and exhibits provided a picture of exotic animals that are left to eat and defecate in the same areas where they live. Many, if not all of the animals do not have a clean water source constantly available to them. Proper sustenance that is not contaminated is also not provided. These issues are systemic. There is no effort on the part of the Sellners to modify any of their husbandry practices to provide for a better environment for the animals. The Sellners have shown no interest in rectifying problems by hiring informed staff, retaining a properly trained veterinarians and maintaining proper shelter.”

The judge who visited the zoo observed that animals were left in cages with rotten food, feces, and dirty water. Social species were kept in isolation, including a young baboon who died after being separated from his mother. 

Sadly, zoos are unable to replicate natural habitats, and many animals die prematurely or suffer from health issues that wouldn't be found in the wild, including mental health problems caused by severe distress. 

As Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) Executive Director Stephen Wells points out, Cricket Hollow Zoo is not an isolated case. "Similar facilities, commonly called ‘roadside zoos,’ operate nationwide due to weak laws governing the trade and care of captive wildlife, and even weaker enforcement. It is far too easy for unqualified individuals and facilities to obtain wild animals, including endangered species." ALDF is working to take legal action against these facilities. 


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