Iowa lawsuit takes aim at conditions at 'roadside zoos' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa lawsuit takes aim at conditions at 'roadside zoos'

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A federal lawsuit against a privately owned zoo in Iowa that houses hundreds of animals, including exotic tigers and lemurs, could provide the first definitive court ruling in the country on how so-called "roadside zoos" must care for animals considered endangered.

The lawsuit filed last year by an animal rights group on behalf of five Iowa residents criticizes Cricket Hollow Zoo, a facility in the small northeast Iowa farming community of Manchester. A brief trial is underway in Cedar Rapids.

The lawsuit claims the zoo maintains deplorable living conditions that violate the Endangered Species Act.

A separate lawsuit challenges conditions for other animals at the facility.

Animal advocates laud the effort but the zoo owners say they're animal lovers, too, who have been unfairly maligned.

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