The Franklin Drive Thru Safari in Franklin, Texas, has been listed for sale after owner Jason Clay was indicted on wildlife trafficking charges along with Doc Antle, owner of Myrtle Beach Safari who was featured in the Netflix show Tiger King.
Clay owns both Franklin Safari and East Texas Zoo and Gator Park in Grand Saline. Both facilities have been hit hard with U.S. Department of Agriculture violations after Roadside Zoo News brought awareness to the animal mistreatment.
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The two roadside zoos have been cited with 35 violations of the Animal Welfare Act since June 2021. Animals were found with untreated wounds and dozens of animals had no access to water.
Some animals were so thin their backbone was showing. Two giraffes and a hippo had died “acutely and suspiciously” but no veterinarian had been contacted for the animals before or after their death.
The USDA found that Clay had trafficked or otherwise disposed of hundreds of animals without keeping any of the federally required records showing what happened to them, documents say.
One giraffe named Loki disappeared from the East Texas Zoo facility last year after the death of his companion, Azizi, and Roadside Zoo News has been unable to determine what happened to him.
Clay is under investigation related to a murder that occurred on his property across the street from Franklin Drive Thru Safari. He is on 10 years of felony deferred probation for withdrawing $187,000 from a disabled individual’s bank account without the man’s consent and for felony aggravated assault for violently beating a man in a bar brawl.
Clay was indicted in June along with Antle for wildlife trafficking charges. Antle is accused of trafficking lemurs, cheetahs and a chimpanzee with his partner Moksha Bybee, Clay, and Charles Sammut of Monterey Vision Quest in Salinas, California. They're also accused of creating false records for the animals.
In August, Antle began the process of selling his roadside zoo to his partner, China York. The USDA re-licensed the facility in York’s name in September. The Department of Justice wrote in legal documents that the sale would encumber property subject to seizure and would transfer ownership and control of the animals at issue in the lawsuit.
Clay has now listed Franklin Drive Thru Safari for sale.
According to the listing on Texas Ranch Sale, the 240 acre property in Roberston County houses 100 different species of animals.
Clay is offering various options for buyers. They can purchase all of the property, just the roadside zoo, or they can purchase just the property in the back, which includes the main house.
The asking price for the roadside zoo is not listed. It is unclear whether the sale will have an affect on Clay's federal charges.