MARION COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Roadside zoo owner Tim Stark is in hot water again, with court documents filed in Marion County revealing that the owner of Wildlife in Need took up to 19 of his exotic animals to Oklahoma in 2019, with 15 to 19 of them dying during transport.
According to the documents filed on April 6, 2021, a judge found out about the numerous animal deaths alongside Stark’s use of Wildlife in Need’s credit cards and accounts, though he lost his appeal to keep his operating license in August 2020. The organization’s Facebook page still appears to be taking in funds as well.
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- Dozens of exotic animals removed from Tim Stark’s Wildlife in Need
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- Operating license for Wildlife in Need revoked
Stark was ruled responsible for the breaches, and Wildlife in Need’s assets and funds are set to be seized permanently by the State of Indiana. The documents show the Indianapolis Zoo has been designated the permanent receiver of Stark’s animals.
Initially, the USDA shut down Stark’s roadside zoo in Clark County in February 2020 after failing an inspection; he was accused of animal abuse and neglect. After appealing, he was allowed to keep the site open.
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.
The animals were taken from Clark County and moved to the Indianapolis Zoo in August 2020 temporarily; many ended up being transferred to sanctuaries across the country.
WAVE 3 News reached out to the Indianapolis Zoo to inquire where the animals were sent in late October, but an official said they were barred from speaking about the animals and their whereabouts under a court order.
Stark was arrested in New York in October on a warrant after allegedly assaulting and threatening an Indiana deputy attorney general during Wildlife in Need’s inspection in March 2020. He waived his extradition rights after his arrest and returned to Clark County on Oct. 28; he pleaded not guilty to charges of battery and intimidation of a law enforcement officer.