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Fox escapes during inspection: Animal Haven Zoo hit with four violations after $6.4K fine

A white Arctic fox escaped from its enclosure during an inspection of Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin.

During a recent inspection of Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, a lemur was found loose and a fox escaped from his or her enclosure and the inspection had to be stopped while the animal was recaptured, documents indicate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected Animal Haven Zoo on April 14, 2022, and found that a ring-tailed lemur had escaped from his or her primary enclosure but was contained within a building.

Lemurs in a "corn crib" style enclosure at Animal Haven Zoo.

An Animal Haven Zoo representative told inspectors that the lemur has been escaping from the primary enclosure for a while by squeezing in between panels. The inspector noted that the lemur could be injured while loose or the lemur could injure another animal.

During the inspection, Animal Haven Zoo’s white Arctic fox was seen trotting loose in a sheep and zebu pen.

“The facility representative said that it was in its new pen this morning for feeding but must have gotten out,” the inspector wrote in the report. “We paused the inspection and gave the facility time to catch it.”

The fox was captured and returned to the enclosure it had been kept in previously.

Two pigs stand by a chute waiting to be fed in an enclosure at Animal Haven Zoo.

The inspector found enclosures for muntjac, bison, a pig, sika deer, and a camel were all in need of repair.

“These areas, if left in disrepair, could cause injury or allow animals to get out,” the inspector wrote.

A bison enclosure is filled with mud at Animal Haven Zoo.

An enclosure holding bison lacked artificial or natural shelter due to trees that had died which previously provided windbreaks and shade, documents indicate. The bison enclosure, an enclosure for two brown bears and a male pig’s enclosure lacked adequate drainage and most of their enclosures were filled with mud and standing water, including the areas that they ate and drank.

Animal Haven Zoo was cited with four violations for the issues. The violations bring Animal Haven’s total to 19 violations in the past two years.

All photos taken in 2020 and 2021 at Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin.

Just one month prior to receiving the violations, the USDA issued Animal Haven Zoo owners Jim and Dawn Hofferber a citation and notification of penalty outlining the following violations:

  • Four prairie dogs escaped from their enclosure in Nov. 2020; three of which were not recovered.

  • Animal Haven Zoo exposed a tiger cub to a dog in May 2021 and allowed the cub and the dog to interact.

  • In May 2021, Animal Haven Zoo exhibited a three-week-old tiger cub to school-aged children who were allowed to pet the animal. The cub was also used in photographic opportunities during the exhibition.

  • In August 2021, Animal Haven Zoo failed to provide veterinary care to a rabbit who had dried discharge on its right ear, discharge around its eyes and hair loss on its foot. The roadside zoo also failed to provide sufficient shade and shelter to accommodate nine rabbits in an enclosure.

  • In August 2021, Animal Haven Zoo failed to provide water to a liger for so long that when given water the liger drank continuously for at least four minutes.

  • In November 2021, Animal Haven Zoo failed to provide veterinary care for a brown Texas Dall lamb that had signs of diarrhea, was thin and walked in a weak and hunched manner.

  • Animal Haven Zoo on multiple occasions failed to maintain their animal enclosures in good repair. Violations included:

    • Broken chain link fencing near a muntjac enclosure.

    • A fence panel that was bent and disconnected from the fence post in a sika deer enclosure.

    • Bent and damaged fencing in the barbary sheep enclosure caused by a fallen tree branch.

    • Wire mesh fencing that had a hole, loose wires, and was detached from the gate framing in the fallow deer enclosure.

    • A wire panel that had sharp points between the pens in the camel enclosure.

    • A leaning fence post between the enclosures housing wolves and bison.

Animal Haven Zoo was ordered to pay a fine of $6,450 for violating the Animal Welfare Act.


Download Animal Haven Zoo's April 2022 USDA violation report:

PST_Inspection_Report_Dawn Hofferber
Download PDF • 164KB

Download Animal Haven Zoo's March 2022 citation and notification of penalty:

Download PDF • 249KB


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