MARION COUNTY — The state of Indiana has filed a motion asking a judge to find Wildlife in Need and owner Tim Stark in contempt of court for hosting an event over the weekend in violation of a temporary restraining order in a civil case.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed the case in February in Marion County, seeking to close down the roadside zoo in Charlestown and relocate all of the animals to approved sanctuaries. The complaint stated that Wildlife in Need has a history of abusing animals, not returning them to the wild and deceiving the public by misapplying funds.
A preliminary injunction was filed the same day, and there have now been two temporary restraining orders approved by the judge, the most recent on June 18. That order states that the owners will not take in new animals or exhibit animals until the results of a hearing this Friday.
The motion filed Monday by the state alleges that Stark and Wildlife in Need exhibited animals over Father’s Day weekend after a social media post advertising it:
“Chin up! Due to pending legal issues about his USDA license and to avoid any legal ramifications, Tim Stark, Wildlife in Need’s founder, has decided to give the people what they want,” court records show the Facebook post reads, in part. “He has decided to give free admission this Father’s Day weekend to show not only his animals but also his property without compensation. As he has stated all along, he has nothing to hide. So come see for yourself.”
The motion also alleges that Stark is in violation of the previous order by not reporting births or newly acquired animals after inspectors inventoried the property and its animals in early March. It states that over the weekend, Stark displayed both a wolf pup and an ostrich that he was not previously known to have.
The state requests that the court find Stark and Wildlife in Need in contempt of court, that it create an order to compel Stark to comply with the previous preliminary injunction and pay court costs associated with filing the motion.
A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday in Marion County Superior Court, Civil Division 10.