Fla. big cat facility owner fined for tiger cage violations

to pay fine in Polk Co. tiger cage case

By Dana Willhoit
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Darryl Atkinson, the founder of the Horseshoe Creek Wildlife Foundation, was ordered today to pay a fine of $267 in his case involving the improper caging of tigers he kept at his compound in northeast Polk County.

Atkinson pleaded no contest to 12 counts of maintaining wildlife in an unsafe condition.

An agreement allows Atkinson to continue operating his sanctuary. He agreed not to take in any more animals until he can show that he has the funding needed to maintain the operation.

Prosecutors said an agreement on the pleas and the fine was reached after discussion between Atkinson and representatives of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Prosecutors did not seek to have Atkinson reimburse law enforcement agencies for the cost of investigating the case.

Since 2003, Atkinson has been cited more than 20 times for not having large enough cages for animals kept on the animal farm west of Davenport.

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article? AID=/20070515/BREAKING/70515009

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