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Cricket Hollow Zoo, Animals Living Through Hell In Iowa

Cricket Hollow Zoo In Iowa Animal Abuse

The USDA Found The Cricket Hollow Zoo guilty of Animal violations every year over the past decade. But despite Cricket Hollow being hell on Earth for these poor animals, it’s still remains open.

As you’ll read in later stories. The Animal Legal Defense Fund of California (ALDF) and the State of Iowa are far more guilty in our opinion for the deplorable conditions these poor innocent animals are suffering through.

With All The USDA Fines And Editorials In Des Moines Register Newspaper Along With Many Other Sites Condemning This Horrific Zoo. 

The one clearly evident thing was the zoo owner’s Tom And Pam Sellner not caring one wit about any of the negative publicity these reports have produced.

When USDA inspectors entered the Zoo’s primate housing area, as well as the reptile house, and the educational center.

The smell of molding, putrid fruit was prevalent in the air. The fruit had become so rotten it had accumulated hundreds if not thousands of fruit flies.

The flies also had overrun open bags of feed that was haphazardly placed in various areas of the shelter.

Having inspected this zoo on multiple occasions. What these USDA inspectors witnessed wasn’t at all unique, in fact, it was just the opposite.


The repugnant conditions were just par for the course when it came to The Cricket Hollow Zoo.

Some of the other conditions the USDA uncovered at the Cricket Hollow Zoo:

  • There was an excessive amount of animal waste in the following enclosures: bear, rabbit, primates, cattle, llama, kinkajou, African porcupine, lemurs, armadillos, lions, and tigers. 
  • Most pens contained algae dominated stagnant water that had the look of not being changed for days if not weeks.
  • Besides the severe amount of fruit flies, the inspector also noticed similar swarms.
  • Along with the flies, the inspector found an overabundance of droppings indicating a rather large mouse population was living inside the zoo.
  • The water receptacle in the dog cage was empty. When the inspector, brought the poor animals a fresh bowl of water. drink, they drank vigorously and returned constantly to the bowl for the entire duration of the inspection.
  • Cricket Hollow claimed the dogs were watered once a day, But upon closer inspection, the inspector noted that the bowl had excessive dirt and other debris inside of it.

The Des Moines Register noted that nothing was more sickening than witnessing the delusional sense of pride that Mrs. Sellner was displaying for her zoo.

Sellner acted as if she was completely oblivious to the horrific conditions she was forced upon these innocent creatures.

Visitors have stated that during a recent extreme heatwave that Iowa was suffering from and the animals were in terrible condition. 

Most of them had absolutely no water, the carnivores had rotting food in their cages, and all of the animals were covered in flies (some of which had numerous bites that drew blood).

Complaints were filed, yet no relief came for those animals. Incredibly the conditions were deemed fine. 

After viewing the picture gallery Stevie Wonder could see that Cricket Hollow was anything but fine.

USDA inspector report:

“Considering the demands on facility owners, the number of animals, the species of animals and inspection history; it is apparent that there is not a sufficient number of employees in this facility.”

The inspector report also noted that Salima, a 30-year-old Hamadryas Baboon was showing signs of muscle loss and has to experience generalized hair loss over her entire body.

The inspector goes on to write that the Sellner’s have neglected to get Salima checked out by a veterinarian.

This isn’t the only “ding” the zoo received for not allowing the animals to have adequate vet care.

5 of their goats have “excessively” long hooves, which can cause severe pain and discomfort to the animals.

It also causes the goat to have a different stance, which can create musculoskeletal related issues.

USDA Inspection photo taken 12/10/11 showing excessively long hooves on goats.
USDA Inspection photo taken 12/10/11 showing excessively long hooves on goats.

The enclosures of the animals also made a huge impression on the inspector.

The dogs did not have a floor in their shelter, they also didn’t have wind or rain protection.

The support rail of the enclosure had also broken loose, causing the tarp to bow into the cage.

 The dividers in the rabbit boxes were in a state of “disrepair”- the divider had come away from the wood supports and had resulted in wires protruding into the enclosures.

It posed a severe physical hazard to the rabbits (yet is only considered a non-direct violation).

Chuki, a ring-tailed lemur (pictured to the right), lived in an enclosure that didn’t have adequate lighting. The back of the enclosure and the areas behind partitions are very difficult to observe.

The camels at the zoo had pushed the shelter off of its base, resulting in the shelter to become crooked. Which resulted in the camel not being able to stand straight.

While doing this routine inspection, Amirah, a one-year-old baboon, escaped from her primary enclosure. She was captured and returned to her enclosure, only to escape again.

This is a hazard to the safety of the animal, as well as any public that should visit.

The sheep and cattle enclosures were also in much dismay. There was a gap between the fence and the ground, with wires protruding into the enclosure. 

There was wool stuck to the wires where the sheep had crawled through to escape. Much of the other fence was broken, as well.

In the cattle pen, there was an accumulation of water and mud around the water tanks and the feeding area.

The cattle were required to walk through mud and feces to get to their food and water. The drainage was not sufficient.

Two enclosures housing tigers were approximately 10 feet high and did not have tops. The enclosures were not sufficient to contain the animals. (Again, these are still the non-direct violations…)

The inspector has cited them for several violations when it came to their cleaning, sanitizing, general housekeeping, and pest control.

This story is hugely important as we exposed the absolute blatant hypocrisy The Animal Legal Defense Fund of California (ALDF) when they supposedly came to the defense of these animals. 

Which the ALDF quickly abandoned these animals to a life of pain and misery, once ALDF’s real goal was achieved.

Click On Any Picture To Open Gallery

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