Dozens of exotic animals removed from Tim Stark’s Wildlife in Need

“They’re taking my kids right now, and they’re going to destroy them”
Updated: Sep. 11, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After a series of court battles Tim Stark is losing his animals.

“I can guarantee you 30 percent of the animals they’re taking today will be dead before they ever get to where they’re going.”Owner Tim Stark said.

The animals will temporarily be housed at the Indianapolis Zoo. Should Stark ever win his case, he said he will never be able to get his animals back if they cross state lines, because the Indiana judge will not have jurisdiction to order the return.

The removal of the animals is yet another blow to Wildlife in Need in the year’s long battle between Stark and the state.

“I just want the truth to be known, what they’re doing back here destroys my entire life, everything and nobody gives a s**t,” Stark said.

The USDA yanked Stark’s license in February, but he appealed the motion and was allowed to continue operations in the meantime. Days later, the Indiana Attorney General filed to shut down the entire facility, claiming the animals in Stark’s care were living in deplorable conditions and needed to be moved to proper sanctuaries. The AG lawsuit sought to liquidate Wildlife in Need’s assets and prevent Stark from ever owning animals again.

Though the attorney general’s lawsuit has not been ruled on, in June, an emergency station in the case was filed to prevent Stark from bringing new animals into the Charlestown facility. Stark allegedly failed to report the May death of a lioness in his care, prompting the motion.

Stark told WAVE 3 News he wanted to be on the property when the animals were removed Friday, but said the court would not allow him.

“The animals need me here,” Stark said. “I can (remove them) safely. I can walk right in with them, pick them up, put them in cages, and I was willing to do that for the benefit of my animals. To make this less stressful for them, because they deserve this.”

“(Officials) brought out (the anger) in me. They made me stand my ground,” Stark said. “Guess what I hate more than anything. I hate me. I hate Tim Stark. This is not me, at all. I come from (the heart), but they won’t allow it. They keep attacking me, over and over and over.”

According to court documents, the zoologicial society will have access to Wildlife in Need from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 13, 15, and 17 to retrieve the remaining animals.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.