Success: Zoo Held Accountable for Animal Abuse

Cricket Hollow

Target: Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells

Goal: Praise the Animal Legal Defense Fund for filing a successful lawsuit against Cricket Hollow Zoo.

At last, Cricket Hollow Zoo is being held accountable for its unsanitary conditions and inhumane treatment of animals. The understaffed Iowan roadside tourist attraction was recently sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund following a lengthy period of widespread public outcry (including a ForceChange petition). As a result of the lawsuit, all endangered species in the zoo’s care must be transferred to facilities that can more appropriately care for them.

According to the ALDF, not only did the facility fail to provide adequate care for its animals, many of whom required highly specialized attention, but in many cases it failed to meet even their most basic needs. Lack of appropriate shelter, rotting food, swarming flies, inadequate staff, and unsanitary enclosures are just a few of the gross violations detailed in the ALDF’s lawsuit. Additionally, some animals were severely dehydrated, with no visible provision of water at the time of inspection. The zoo was found to be in flagrant violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Because the ALDF’s suit was successful, the Cricket Hollow Zoo’s tigers and lemurs, the animals specifically targeted by the suit, will immediately find refuge in legitimate, specialized facilities. The success of the ALDF’s lawsuit represents hope for other animals currently suffering in unaccredited, cruel roadside zoos. Praise the Animal Legal Defense Fund for bringing justice to the animals of Cricket Hollow Zoo and opening the door to a new life for the those that endured its horrific conditions.


Dear Mr. Wells,

Until recently, four tigers and three lemurs lived a life full of suffering in Cricket Hollow Zoo. Thanks to the success of the lawsuit you filed against Cricket Hollow, the facility is at last being held accountable for these abuses. Now the animals neglected within its walls can begin a new life, receiving adequate care, attention and love. Additionally, the success of your suit sets a positive legal precedent for all animals suffering in similar facilities.

We hope the lawsuit’s effects are broad and enduring, and that many roadside attraction zoos are similarly brought to justice in the near future. We praise you for hearing the public’s voice, taking action, and affecting legitimate change for abused and neglected animals in captivity. Thank you for filing suit against Cricket Hollow Zoo.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tracy Kuehl

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