Judge refuses to order animals returned to roadside zoo

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FILE – This Nov. 2018, file photo shows Sanjiv, a Sumatran tiger at the Topeka Zoo in Topeka, Kan. The Topeka zoo says a tiger attacked a zookeeper after protocols for handling potentially dangerous animals were not followed. The zoo released a lengthy report Thursday, June, 6, 2019, detailing its internal review of the April 20 attack, when zookeeper Kristen Hayden-Ortega was seriously injured by Sanjiv. The report said “multiple” protocols and procedures concerning spaces occupied by tigers had prevented any similar attack at the zoo for decades.(Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP, File)

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — A judge in Virginia has refused to order the return of more than 100 animals to a roadside zoo that has a history of complaints.

The Winchester Star reports Frederick General District Court Judge Charles Foley ruled Thursday that Wilson’s Wild Animal Park owner Keith Wilson cruelly treated, neglected or deprived the animals of adequate care.

The court also ordered Wilson to allow veterinarians to periodically inspect his property and any animals remaining at the zoo.

Wilson has 10 days to appeal.

The ruling comes two weeks after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office joined with state and local authorities to seize the animals, including water buffalo, tigers and lions.

Federal inspectors have cited the zoo multiple times for violations. The zoo’s website says it’s closed until further notice.

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