Judge gets case against Iowa ‘roadside zoo’ accused of abuse
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A trial has wrapped up in a federal lawsuit against a privately owned zoo in northeastern Iowa that could affect how so-called roadside zoos around the country care for animals considered endangered.
Records show that the case in Cedar Rapids against Pamela and Tom Sellner and their Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester wrapped up Thursday evening. The judge indicated he may issue a ruling in the next few months.
The lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of five Iowa residents alleges that the zoo mistreats animals and keeps deplorable living conditions that violate the Endangered Species Act. The Sellners deny the allegations.
Such facilities are licensed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but animal rights groups say they need better oversight.