Animals from roadside zoo seized, find new home in East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Animals from roadside zoo seized, find new home in East Texas


In 2009, the Humane Society of the United States began investigating the Collins Zoo, an unaccredited roadside facility in Mississippi.

What they found set off alarms.

"We see that the animals are kept in substandard housing... it's flimsy, it's small. There are issues that could be of concern to public safety," said Mississippi Humane Society Director Lydia Sattler. 

The Humane Society sent complaints to state wildlife officials, who, just this week, granted a warrant to take the animals.

"Luckily we were able to go in yesterday and seize 11 of the most dangerous animals that this place had in woefully inadequate enclosures and being vastly mistreated," said Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch Director Ben Callison.

Five of the eleven seized animals ended up here at the Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison.

"Being the largest and most diverse animal sanctuary in the United States, we definitely are blessed with a lot of space,"said Callison.

He told us the ranch was requested to build temporary homes for three tigers.  

"What we would consider to be a temporary enclosure is three times the size of what they used to live in their entire lives, so they are getting use to the larger enclosures already,"said Callison.

"They'll live here until their rehab is complete and then either we will put them into permanent habitats here on our acreage or potentially find another sanctuary for them," he explained.

Although these animals came from Mississippi, the director says Texas is the worst state for privately owning exotic animals.

"There's actually more captive tigers in Texas in private ownership in Texas than there are left in the wild," Callison told us.

A frightening statistic this organization hopes to change.

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