January 26, 2012 9:56:00 PM
COLLINS -- Authorities have seized three tigers, three cougars, two leopards, two wolf-hybrids and a Macaque monkey from a roadside zoo in Mississippi.
The Humane Society of the United States said Wednesday in a news release that it's helping coordinate the placement of the animals from the Collins Zoo. The Zoo, situated behind a pink wall on U.S. Highway 49, has been targeted before.
The Humane Society says the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks seized the animals after the Humane Society submitted legal complaints "documenting serious animal welfare issues as well as public safety concerns."
The animals will be split up between the Carolina Tiger Rescue of Pittsboro, N. C., and two facilities in Texas; Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation of Kendalia and Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary of Dilley.
Messages left Wednesday at the zoo weren't immediately returned.
"The animals at the Collins Zoo have been forced to live in inhumane conditions for many years, and The Humane Society of the United States is relieved to finally be able to rescue these animals and help them begin new lives in appropriate sanctuaries," Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for HSUS, said in a news release. "The situation at the unaccredited Collins Zoo is a prime example of the animal cruelty and public safety concerns that stem from our country's unregulated exotic animal industry. This should be a wake-up call to lawmakers and communities around the country to crack down on the casual ownership of dangerous wild animals."
HSUS said it conducted another undercover investigation at Collins Zoo in 2009 and "uncovered injured and malnourished animals and flimsy enclosures, including venomous snakes being held in unlocked enclosures accessible to the public."
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
1. Hood talks challenges facing Mississippi STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Columbus officer questioned for conduct with minor has only been on force 16 days COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Two arrested for burglary, receiving stolen property STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
5. Council terminates officer who allegedly solicited minor COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY