Source:Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Date:11/12/14 to 1/8/15
KyCIR's radio/online/print investigation found that a Louisville-area nonprofit that houses wild animals has a troubled record; that state and federal officials have done little to address complaints; and the handling of lions and other exotic animals is potentially putting the public's safety at risk. The facility, Wildlife in Need, has a history of repeat violations of the Animal Welfare Act and for two years, federal inspectors cited the owner for not having cages tall enough to prevent tigers and lions from escaping. They found that despite these citations federal inspectors did not remove the animals, fine the owner or force him into compliance. Because of an obscure provision in Indiana law, state officials have no power to investigate or inspect the facility -- even after a neighbor shot and killed a 48-pound leopard that many believe was housed at the facility.