HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — It’s a 60-day notice notifying leaders at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary they need to clean up or face a federal lawsuit.
“This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for a very long time,” said Senator Emmanuel Jones.
Carney Anne Nasser, an animal protection attorney, who pitched the wildlife trafficking case against “Tiger King,” Joe Exotic that lead to his conviction, is now the lead plaintiff on the Notice of Intent to sue Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary on allegations of multiple federal violations.
“The documented conditions were of concern to me,” said Nasser.
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The 11-page notice details several violations of the Endangered Species Act, involving 31 ESA-protected animals.
• Five (5) tigers;
• One (1) lion;
• Two (2) spider monkeys;
• One (1) Lar gibbon;
• One (1) Lar gibbon-Siamang hybrid1;
• Five (5) military macaws;
• Four (4) scarlet macaws;
• One (1) yellow-crested cockatoo;
• Eight (8) white cockatoos;
• Two (2) salmon-crested cockatoos; and
• One (1) grizzly bear.
The letter reveals details from a September USDA Inspection. One inspection revealed tigers were being fed meat infested with insects. The inspection found workers were feeding animals raw meat covered in ants.
The notice also claims Noah’s Ark forces bears to live in unsanitary conditions. It details the den for the tiger Sheila contained large amounts of soiled straw bedding. So much so, it was reported the center of the den was black in color. Per a facility representative, the dens for tigers and bears have not been cleaned out since they are awaiting an order of straw.
Nasser says the notice also details allegations that Noah’s Ark failed to prevent tigers and a lion from exposure to the potentially deadly Avian Influenza virus.
“Finding out that one tiger was forced to share an enclosure with the caresses of two dead vultures who had died of avian flu,” said Nasser.
Noah’s Ark Vice President Jay Allen is also accused in the notice for allegedly throwing a spider monkey to the ground out of a “fit of rage.”
- Video shows animals being removed from Noah’s Ark sanctuary as reports allege neglect
- Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary put on warning after inspection; board says they’re making improvements
- Noah’s Ark animal sanctuary will remain closed for several more months
- Bear bites volunteer at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, state investigating
- Noah’s Ark board member makes public statement for first time since state investigations
USDA investigators also noted a public safety concern of tigers and bears possibly escaping, due to several broken fences on property.
“There’s always that fear that an animal can get out,” said Senator Jones.
Tim Harrison, Director of the Nonprofit Outreach for Animals Inc., says their organization has made multiple attempts to help Noah’s Ark get in compliance.
“We have never been shut out from any facility, this is the first time, they apparently don’t want any help, and now we found out they needed help,” Harrison said.
Noah’s Ark sent a statement to Channel 2 not addressing the allegations in the notice, but said; We will not be distracted by former team members who are upset by the result of their own actions or decisions. We appreciate the interest that the public continues to show in our important work, and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to Noah’s Ark in the near future.
The notice requested Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary to make improvements. If improvements aren’t made the federal lawsuit will be filed. If this case rules in favor of the plaintiffs, Noah’s Ark will risk losing their USDA license that could force them to close to the public for good.
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