Hearing under way to determine if Cricket Hollow owners should be held in contempt of judge's order

Owners of the troubled – and now closed – Cricket Hollow Zoo are again in court.

This time the owners of the roadside zoo near Manchester are facing charges they disobeyed the district court's December 2019 order that required them to turn over hundreds of animals for relocation by animal rescue personnel.

The trial of Pamela and Thomas Sellner on contempt charges began Wednesday (1/6/21) and is expected to conclude Tuesday in Iowa District Court in Delaware County. The case was filed a year ago, Jan. 8, 2020.

The contempt action brought by four Iowa residents seeks fines as well as "punitive imprisonment" until such time the zoo operators "identify the location of each missing animal. . ."

According to the contempt claim, agents of the animal rescue agencies went to the zoo Dec. 9, 2019 after the court entered its order Nov. 24, 2019, and "were unable to locate countless animals subject to the order, including most of the snakes (including various pythons), many amphibians (including frogs, salamander, axolotls), many reptiles (including turtles and tortoises), many waterfowl, five bears, several ponies, exotic chickens, macaws, parrots, ferrets, sugar gliders, fennec fox, coati mundi, kinajous, degu, a camel, a wolf hybrid and mountain lions."

The filing further alleges the Sellners "willfully violated the (court) order" by selling or transferring ownership of animals covered by the order, temporarily or permanently relocating the animals, and releasing animals covered by the court order into the adjacent fields "to hamper their removal."

CLICK HERE to view the contempt filing against Cricket Hollow owners.

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