United States of America v. Zachery Keeler, dba Even Keel Exotics, LLC.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced that it entered a consent decree with Zachery Keeler, dba Even Keel Exotics, LLC, a Michigan roadside zoo, in an enforcement action alleging that Keeler violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The government’s complaint [pdf attached: Complaint_USDA v Keeler] against Keeler alleges that he prematurely separating an endangered lemur from their mother to facilitate public interactions, after which he attempted to sell the ESA-protected baby primate for $3,500. It also alleges that Keeler failed to meet minimum standards of care prescribed by the AWA and did not allow inspectors access to the facility as required. As part of the settlement, Keeler agreed to surrender nearly 150 animals and never apply for another AWA license or undertake AWA-regulated activities.
[To accompany Case Update "ESA and AWA Enforcement Action Results in Surrender of Nearly 150 Exotic Animals by Michigan Roadside Zoo" from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 204]