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Thurmont zoo fined for enclosure violations

Wednesday - 8/1/2012, 2:04pm  ET

By DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press

THURMONT, Md. - The U.S. Agriculture Department says a zoo near Thurmont has agreed to pay $12,000 to settle allegations of numerous violations from 2007 to 2011.

The USDA said Monday that the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo neither admits nor denies the allegations.

One of the allegations stems from a 2009 incident in which a zookeeper was mauled by a jaguar. The USDA says the zoo failed to provide for proper personnel training and injury prevention.

Inspectors allege that in December 2007, employees also allowed a camel to escape and travel a quarter-mile from the facility.

The settlement covers unannounced inspections through Aug. 1, 2011. Three days after that August visit, a safari-ride visitor was bitten by a camel. The zoo director said visitors had been told not to feed the animal.


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