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Natural Bridge Zoo: Who cares for the animals?

By Jak Krouse, Fraley Williams and Stefanie Chiguluri

For 30 years, federal regulators have issued hundreds of citations against the owners of the Natural Bridge Zoo over the poor care of animals it displays to the public. 


In citation after citation—including one in March 2024—federal regulators accused the zoo’s owners of such offenses as bludgeoning guinea pigs to death, failing to treat lesions, overgrown hooves and other infections in animals, and allowing visitors to ride an elephant and take children’s photos with tiger cubs without supervision by employees. 


Video produced and edited by Fraley Williams 

But now, the zoo’s owners face what may be their toughest challenge ever as lawyers in the state attorney general’s office seek nearly $120,000 to cover the costs so far of caring for animals that were seized during a raid by state police in December and sent to zoos in other parts of the country. 

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