The Kingsville owner of a wild lynx is continuing his legal battle to keep the cat in a minizoo in the 11900 block of Jerusalem Road.
Daniel Vitilio said in a phone interview July 2 that he has filed an appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis, seeking a reversal of an April 3 ruling against him by the Baltimore County Circuit Court, which upheld earlier administrative decisions.
The county’s Animal Control Division refused a wildlife permit for the 2-year-old lynx in 2005, saying the animal presented a rabies risk. Vitilio has argued the cat is kept in a double cage and cannot escape.
In the recent interview, the owner said he has collected 500 signatures in support, including many from about 2,000 yearly visitors to his private zoo.
“It’s been free for 21 years, and I get children, school groups, handicapped kids. I even give haunted hayrides,” he said.
Vitilio said he is seeking volunteer lawyers to help him in his appeal, which several attorneys have told him could cost $20,000.
– Linda Garman Weimer