Some confiscated animals are returned to Natural Bridge Zoo

On Friday January 19 Judge J. Gregory Mooney upheld the seizure of 56 of the 95 animals taken from the Natural Bridge Zoo.

The other 39 animals will be returned to the zoo according to Mooney’s ruling.

Mooney upheld the seizure of the 56 animals under Virginia Law which allows the impounding of animals.

That law states that any animal that has been abandoned, cruelly treated, or suffering from an apparent violation that has rendered the animal to be under immediate threat to its life can be confiscated.

Mooney made it clear that the ruling was not a judgement on the overall conditions and practices at Natural Bridge Zoo but rather application of the animal abuse and cruelty laws on the books as specifically applied to the animals seized in the December 6 raid.

Mooney denied a request from the state that the zoo be subject to unannounced inspections over the next 5 years.

The animals that remain in the state’s care are rehomed in locations around the country including the Oakland and Cincinnati Zoos.

A link to the report from the Cardinal News is here.

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