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Nev. zoo clear to reopen pending bathroom upgrade

Tuesday - 1/28/2014, 2:01pm  ET

MOAPA, Nev. (AP) -- A husband-and-wife team of veterinarians could reopen their 3-acre zoo in Moapa as early as this weekend after reaching an agreement with Clark County officials over bathroom upgrades.

Roos-N-More owners Jay and Valerie Holt were ordered to close their accredited zoo to the public Jan. 10 after Clark County code enforcers determined their property violated commercial sanitation standards. The new agreement specifies patrons cannot use bathrooms inside a residential home on the property, an arrangement that county officials said created safety concerns and access issues for people with disabilities.

"The owners of Roos-N-More have been very cooperative during these last few weeks," Clark County Code Enforcement Chief Jason Allswang said in a statement late Monday. "I'd like to thank them for working with us and our partner agencies to resolve this situation."

Code enforcers said a follow-up visit Monday showed the zoo had addressed other violations, including improper use of electrical extension cords and unapproved signs near the property. The closure order will be lifted once the zoo owners finalize arrangements for a modular bathroom, which resembles a trailer.

They can use port-a-potties for up to 30 days while they wait for the modular bathroom to arrive.

County officials say the closure wasn't about the health or treatment of the nearly 400 animals the Holts have outside their home in Moapa, about 55 miles north of Las Vegas.

Roos-N-More is accredited with the Zoological Association of America and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the exhibition and captive breeding of exotic animals.

The collection of exotic animals began with a Bennett's wallaby named Pogo that Jay gave Valerie as a birthday present in 2002, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Today, the couple cares for several varieties of kangaroos, plus monkeys, otters, sloths, llamas, camels, a zebra, horses, cows, sheep and goats. The menagerie also includes birds and snakes, but the Holts don't keep large predators or animals known to attack people.

The zoo operates as a nonprofit, open to the public several days per month. The Holts also offer private tours, field trips and mobile "zoo-to-you" programs.


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