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Neighbors ask court to shut down Tiger Haven sanctuary

March 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM
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KINGSTON, Tenn., March 20 (UPI) -- A Tennessee sanctuary housing 265 tigers, lions and other big cats is being sued by neighbors who allege problems including noise and odor from the felines.

Everett Bloom, John Woody, Harold Pesterfield and Ronald Bean, neighbors of Tiger Haven, filed a lawsuit against the Kingston sanctuary and owner Mary Lynn Haven, aka Mary Lynn Parker. The suit alleges the home for big cats created an "unacceptable noise level, odor, waste and water runoff from the Tiger Haven facility," Courthouse News Service reported Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges Tiger Haven was granted a permit by the state to keep a single tiger in 1991, but it has since expanded to house "more than 265 big cats, including tigers, lions, leopards, cougars and jaguar, as well as 11 lesser cats such as serval, caracal, bobcat, and lynx."

The suit states "Tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars and all large cats and mixed breeds thereof are classified as inherently dangerous animals [carnivores] under Class 1 of the laws of the State of Tennessee."

The suit asks the court to ban Tiger Haven from "conducting their operation," and force the sanctuary to pay compensatory damages not to exceed $5 million.

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