Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Out of Africa

Out of Africa

Check for yourself to see if they meet the sanctuary standards for an accredited animal refuge.

Out of Africa shut down with 300 animals

Wildlife park gets eviction notice

By Erin Reep, Tribune

Out of Africa Wildlife Park has until June 30 to find a new home for about 300 wild and exotic animals.

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation issued the notice to vacate on May 5. The 16-acre park had planned to move in July 2005 to a 104-acre property near Camp Verde , but must now accelerate its efforts.

In a statement released Monday, the park said the eviction notice threatens "action toward the park's property and wildlife, including seizure, impoundment, sale and disposal."

The park also has to restore the land by June 30, the statement said.

Fort McDowell officials took action because park officials showed no signs of keeping their promise to provide an exit plan, said Michele Crank, Fort McDowell tourism and public relations manager.

"In June 2002, Out of Africa issued a letter of 'intent to vacate' to the nation," Crank said.

"At that time, the tribe had asked them for a plan on how they were going to restore the land," including how it would secure a bond to pay for the restoration, Crank said.

The wildlife park has been on the reservation since 1988, Crank said.

In 2002, the park requested 16 additional acres to double its site, which Fort McDowell officials denied. The park then began searching for a new site, Crank said.

Out of Africa was closed Monday. Park representatives could not be reached for comment.

Fort McDowell "has always worked with Out of Africa owners in allowing them to stay on the land," Crank said.

Contact Erin Reep by email (ereep@aztrib.com), or phone (480) 970-2312

http://www.outofafricapark.com/index1.html