Oh My! Agents Seize Lion, Tigers, and a Bear

Crossville, Cumberland County (AP) -- Tennessee Wildlife officers have removed an African lion, three tigers, a brown bear, a black leopard and a cougar from enclosures in a remote area of a commercial wildlife operation on the Cumberland Plateau.

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency District Spokesman Dan Hicks said officers used logging equipment to reach the animals in a gorge on Campbell's Wildlife Refuge property about ten miles north of Crossville.

Hicks says the animals are in good condition.

The state says the fencing wasn't strong enough.

He says the trucking company that delivered them contacted the government.

Hicks said the privately owned refuge is located at the edge of the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. He said agency officials previously informed the refuge operator, Carla Campbell, that she could not keep such animals without a permit.

Campbell has run media ads and has a website promoting the wildlife canyon as a 50-acre "home of the exotics." She did not answer telephone messages or an email seeking comment.

Hicks said no charges have been filed but an investigation is continuing.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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