Animals at Las Vegas Zoo being moved to different locations

Darcy Spears

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Animals at Las Vegas Zoo being moved to different locations

CREATED Sep. 26, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Thursday was moving day for nearly 200 animals at the Las Vegas Zoo after it closed down last week.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials gave Zoo Owner Pat Dingle an ultimatum earlier this week to shut down the zoo after several zookeepers quit.

Trucks went to and from the zoo all day on Thursday.

The cougar was the first animal to get loaded into an unmarked truck and the people inside refused to tell Action News who they were or where they were taking the animal.

"Petting Zoo To You" tried to corral two ostriches, but the big birds were knocking people and fences down as they were herded into a truck. They had to be taken in by throwing a T-shirt over their heads and leading them by the neck into the trailer.

Lion Habitat Ranch workers were at the zoo for numerous hours trying to coax "Maniac Girl," the zoo's resident lioness into a cage.

She's very reluctant to go since the Las Vegas Zoo is the only home she's known since she's been a cub.

"The biggest problem is they have a water feature in the center of her cage, so we couldn't bring a cage in to pick her up. We had to put her in her little lock out area, and wait until she calmed down to get her loaded to transport," said Keith Evans with Lion Habitat Ranch.

After being in quarantine for ten days, she'll either go to Northern Nevada or stay at the Lion Habitat Ranch.

She's in relatively good health, except that she has no hair on her nose from years of rubbing up against the fence.

No one inside the zoo would talk with Action News, but a former volunteer, Bob Wantroba, said the city is partially to blame for the zoo's downfall, "I think the mayor should've stepped in and done something. We were sponsored by the San Diego Zoo, we had them come out, bring the animals. We had them bring out their ideas and there was no cooperation whatsoever from Las Vegas."

The chimpanzee, alligators and birds were all that was left at the zoo on Thursday evening.

The lion was the last to leave and the rest of the animals have been placed with the help of the USDA.