Winchester zoo owner charged with 46 animal cruelty counts

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Animals were seized during execution of a search warrant on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
Animal welfare experts testified in August as to the inadequate conditions and cruelty at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
The animals seized in Winchester are currently in the care of animal control agencies and exotic and agricultural animal rescue partner organizations.(Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
This photo was part of the evidence in the case against the owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park in Winchester, Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
The animals were found in inhumane conditions, the attorney general's office said. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
Here is one if the animals seized in Winchester. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
This photo was part of the evidence in the case against the owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park in Winchester, Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
More of the evidence from the attorney general's office is seen. (Courtesy Virginia Attorney General)
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WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — The owner of a Virginia zoo where more than 100 animals were seized earlier this year has been charged with animal cruelty.

A grand jury in Winchester indicted Keith Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, on 46 animal cruelty counts. Wilson’s nephew, Christian Dall’Acqua, is also facing charges.

The Animal Law Unit of Virginia’s Attorney General’s Office seized nearly 120 animals in August amid concerns of inadequate care. Federal inspectors have cited the zoo multiple times for violations.

A judge refused to return the animals to the zoo after a 12-hour hearing held this year in which authorities presented evidence that animals received insufficient food, water and living space.

A lawyer who represented the zoo at that hearing did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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