Roadside zoo week in review March 18, 2022


This past week has seen a flurry of activity related to roadside zoos. Here’s a quick rundown:


The U.S. Department of Agriculture published an inspection report for a February 1 inspection of Animal Gardens in Delavan, WI, which is USDA licensed as DeLavan Lake Animal Park. The facility was cited with two critical USDA violations for a marble fox that escaped from its enclosure, crawled under a secondary perimeter fence, and was hit and killed by a car several days later. The facility was also cited for a raccoon enclosure that had nails protruding out of it.


The USDA issued an Official Warning dated March 3 to Settler’s Pond in Beecher, IL, for an incident involving a child who was bitten by a macaque monkey.


The USDA issued an Official Warning to Ponds and Plants owner David Manser on March 3 after six prairie dogs disappeared from the Rhea, TN, facility. The prairie dogs are suspected to have perished due to predation or torrential rain that led to tunnel collapse. Ponds and Plants has been closed for several months. At a January inspection, Ponds and Plants no longer had any USDA regulated animals at the facility.


Jayden’s Jungle Exotic Pets in Aurora, IN, was cited with an Official Warning March 3 for failing to provide veterinary care to a prairie dog who had a swollen and infected eye that could no longer be opened. The facility was also cited for an incident in which a member of the public was bitten by a prairie dog and was hospitalized for the bite a month later.


Wildlife Encounters in Barrington, NH, was cited with an Official Warning March 10 for failing to provide their animals with shelter from inclement weather, for failing to have a secondary perimeter fence, and for failing to construct facilities of sufficient strength as appropriate for their animals.


Yogi’s Bears in Terre Haute, IN, was cited with an Official Warning March 10 for operating their roadside zoo without the federally required USDA license.


Documents submitted in court March 17 indicate PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is involved in a heated legal debate with the Indianapolis Zoological Society over which organization should take priority in recovering expenses related to the confiscation of animals from Tim Stark of the now closed Wildlife in Need in Charlestown, IN.