Lion, tigers and bear, OH MY!
Published: July 03, 2007 07:24 pm
Agents seize seven animals from unlicensed operator
By Michael R. Moser / firstname.lastname@example.org
Concern for the safety of area residents coupled with alleged violations of state and federal permit laws caused agents from multiple agencies to act quickly Friday and seize an African lion, three tigers, a cougar, a black leopard and a brown bear from a
Agents and officers were on the scene for about 20 hours as they executed a search warrant at
Hicks added that he was reluctant to discuss potential charges, or whether the case will be presented as a civil action or as criminal charges. Federal, state and local officials were involved in execution of the search warrant and seizure of the animals.
"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agents contacted TWRA after a local resident signed a receipt for two of the animals," Hicks said. "That sent up red flags all over the place. Two of our agents went to the property and observed a brown bear, and based on what they saw, obtained a search warrant for the property."
TWRA Officer Casey Mullens appeared before Cumberland County General Sessions Court Judge Larry Warner and around 12:30 p.m. Friday obtained a search warrant for
"This lady has been told they cannot do this," Hicks said. "She is down in this real remote area and hid the animals from us. Can you imagine what a problem and danger to the community it would have been if one of those animals had escaped and gotten into the canyon?" Hicks said. He added that the property is part of the
In addition to TWRA and the sheriff’s department, the Knoxville Zoo, Tiger Haven and
"The animals have all been taken to a safe and permitted place," Hicks said. The cats were taken to Tiger Haven in
A call to the number listed on the ad was met with a taped-recorded message promotion
The Web site boasts over 50 acres being developed for a home to exotic animals as well as commercial ventures which they say would fund the non-profit organization the
Attempts to contact the