May inspection of Cricket Hollow Zoo prompted suspension; appeal keeps findings confidential

The federal inspection of Cricket Hollow Zoo in May found something troubling enough to temporarily suspend the facility's license, but exactly what prompted the closure won't be known until an appeal of the findings is complete later this month.

The eastern Iowa "roadside" zoo has been cited dozens of times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) over the past five years, but the May inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) apparently found conditions which warranted more than another citation. The zoo license was suspended for 21 days. It reopened Thursday (7/9) after another inspection by the USDA.

The report from yesterday's inspection won't be made public for 21 days, the period in which the zoo owners, Tom and Pamela Sellner, of rural Manchester, have to appeal the findings.

"I can confirm that we conducted an inspection in May," a USDA spokesperson said Thursday. "That inspection report has not been posted online because it was appealed by the licensee."

"We also conducted an inspection yesterday, so that report should be posted after the 21-day hold period," the USDA representative said. "We post reports 21 days after the inspection to give licensees the opportunity to appeal."

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