Wanta own a Zoo?!?


Animal Kingdom Zoo up for sale for $2.4 million after string of citations

and two deadly fires

After suffering two deadly fires and being hit with more than 200 citations for Animal Welfare Act violations, the owner of the troubled Animal Kingdom Zoo has put the shuttered roadside attraction up for sale for $2.4 million.

Owner Burton Sipp’s effort to get out of the zoo business follows a fire two years ago in which his wife died, and a second blaze six months later that killed 24 animals, including a mother giraffe and her 3-week-old calf.

The 24-acre facility has about 125 animals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but its zoological license expired in December, its pet store burned down in the second fire and a number of animals have died in recent months. It has not been open for several months, according to a neighbor and Springfield Mayor Denis McDaniel.

“There’s been a great deal of difficulty the last couple years or so,” McDaniel said. “Just driving by, one can see that things need to be done.”

Sipp kept the zoo closed after the second fire, reopening it last summer for several months before it closed again. A buyer would need to renew Animal Kingdom’s license before it could be reopened, said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

“You couldn’t have the animals without the permit,” Hajna said. “Conceivably someone could buy the property, but if they’re intending to use it as a zoo, they’d need to secure the permit.”

There’s been a great deal of difficulty the last couple years or so. Just driving by, one can see that things need to be done.

Sipp, who also trains racehorse around the country, could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone at his number in Moorestown said the zoo was closed and confirmed it was for sale, but would not answer further questions. She did not give her name. The listed realtor, Valerie Archer Belardo at Re/Max in Mansfield, declined to comment.

McDaniel said that Animal Kingdom may be violating township zoning ordinances. The business was originally a pet store, and Sipp applied in 1998 for permission to run a zoo as well from the property on Jacksonville-Jobstown Road, he said.

The ordinance only allowed Sipp to operate the zoo as long as the pet store was open, McDaniel said. He said he did not know if the zoning officer was pursuing the matter.

The USDA last year launched its fifth investigation of the zoo and has been conducting monthly inspections, which have uncovered persistent Animal Welfare Act violations, such as inadequate facilities. Sipp has been cited nearly every month for not having a vet to care for his animals.

Since September, the facility has had four preventable deaths of animals that had nonlethal injuries and illnesses, according to the USDA.

Over the past 12 years, the USDA has issued Sipp two warnings, fined him $469 but closed a 1991 case against him due to insufficient evidence, spokesman Richard Bell said.


Disclaimer connected to this blog….Things said are of  my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned  Best -B



~ by topcatsroar on April 16, 2013.

2 Responses to “Wanta own a Zoo?!?”

  1. Isn’t 2.4 million a little steep to acquire somebody else’s problems? Even without the USDA citations, there doesn’t seem to be much there for that price.

    • I have no idea…They might have some pretty valuable animals still…depends on the caging…the value of the land, I’m sure you catch my drift. -B

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