Mice in one of the animal's pens. Photo Courtesy: PETA
Photo Courtesy: PETA
LAS VEGAS -- The fate of wild animals at the Las Vegas Zoo is still unknown as government agencies begin to get involved.
The sign stating the zoo is closed is still posted at the front gate. Although the sign indicates the zoo is being upgraded, that is news to two former caretakers who say the zoo is in danger of permanently closing.
The zoo's owner refused to answer questions and the future of the wild animals inside remains unclear. Sources tell the I-Team that federal agriculture department wildlife inspectors went inside the zoo Tuesday morning, acting on a recent complaint.
The City of Las Vegas confirms that it sent in a deputy marshal to assist the USDA in moving the wild animals, if needed. The I-Team has confirmed that three animal caregivers quit recently saying they conflicted with the zoo owner's management style.
Numerous families, hoping to spend the day at the zoo, showed up Tuesday to find the gates locked.
"It was a nice little zoo. It was not a problem getting in and out. That's why we came, to have a nice day with the baby, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, does it?" Jacquie Semerdjian said.
Pictures obtained by the I-Team were taken by an undercover PETA activist. They show what they say are mice infestations inside the wild animal holding cages. The I-Team has left a message with zoo owner Pat Dingle to get comment on the photos. He has yet to call back.
On Monday, Dingle did say "all animals will be taken care of." He also said that "he'd go public next week" before hanging up the phone.
The animals at the zoo include a lion, a cheetah, a chimp, a crocodile and some apes. There are a few possibilities as to where the animals could end up. If the zoo's owner gives up his USDA exhibitors license that could pave the way for animal welfare activists to find sanctuaries for the animals. The animals could also end up on the wild animal auction circuit which local activists believe could put the animals in further danger.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
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