Timothy Stark is the owner of Wildlife in Need, a Charlestown, Indiana zoo that opened in 1999. It offered opportunities like “tiger baby playtime” and “hug a sloth.” Many reviews of this business were full of praise and exuberance for getting the chance to interact with exotic wildlife. However, some reviews were far from good.
Last week, a judge with the U.S. Department of Agriculture took action against Wildlife in Need. Tuesday the Indiana Attorney General parlayed that sentiment and filed a lawsuit to remove animals from the zoo. The suit claims, in 2018, Stark was playing with a tiger cub. He was bitten, threw the baby animal to the ground and repeatedly stomped it. Other allegations call into question proper enclosures, unnecessary medical procedures, and a tragic transportation incident where over 30 animals died.
Stark says he can’t remember ever intentionally abusing an animal, but recent court documents can’t be ignored. This zoo might have started off as a dream, but it blossomed out of control. Wildlife in Need should want what is best for these animals. They must allow outside agencies to properly evaluate the facilities. These animals deserve to be raised in a safe environment where their lives are not in jeopardy.
What are your thoughts? Share with us on Facebook. I’m Dale Woods and that’s my Point of View.