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  4. Cops seized nearly 100 animals found starving in 'filthy' habitats from a Virginia zoo. They also found animal body parts.

Cops seized nearly 100 animals found starving in 'filthy' habitats from a Virginia zoo. They also found animal body parts.

Katie Balevic   

Cops seized nearly 100 animals found starving in 'filthy' habitats from a Virginia zoo. They also found animal body parts.
  • Virginia police searched a zoo amid an animal cruelty investigation and seized nearly 100 animals.
  • They found dozens of dead animals, as well as a disturbing number of animal parts.

Authorities removed some 95 animals from a Virginia zoo, including dozens of dead animals, amid allegations of animal cruelty.

Natural Bridge Zoo, nestled in the town of Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, "is and always has been privately owned," according to its website.

Now, authorities are investigating the zoo's owners for animal cruelty, according to a search warrant published by WDBJ-TV, a local CBS affiliate in Roanoke. Animals at the zoo were found in "filthy" habitats without enough food or water, the outlet reported.

The zoo touts on its website that "there is nothing like standing next to a giraffe, getting nuzzled by a llama, hugging a baby dromedary camel, or gazing into the eyes of a huge white tiger to make you feel and appreciate our wonderful world of animals."

A list of animals seized from the search included dozens of animals, dead and alive. Living animals seized included capuchins, lemurs, parrots, gibbons, tortoises, llamas, and a donkey, among others. Among the deceased animals were a euthanized white Bengal tiger, five deceased cranes, seven deceased servals, an alligator, llama, mandrill, and Burmese python.

Police also said they found animal body parts in their search. They found zebra legs and a pelt, a giraffe head, three legs, two tails, and five bags of "frozen giraffe feces" and a "giraffe cape (skin)", a mandrill head, a bongo pelt, and several specimen jars labeled, "ASHA."

The zoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Sunday. Mario Williams, the owners' attorney, told WDBJ that the zoo will fight the charges.

"We're going to challenge the criminal charges, one by one, show us where the neglect was, you got to show us all this stuff," Williams told the outlet. "You just can't run around saying stuff. And without any proof really."




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