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Coffee with the Lions

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Morriston subdivision upset over presence of wild animals

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Morriston’s Small Farms subdivision is in an uproar over the location of lions, tigers, bears, apes and monkeys in their neighborhood — with some animals as close as 250 feet to a child’s bedroom.

 

“I get the pleasure of looking at the lion while I have my morning coffee,” said Neva Riding, who lives across from a lion cage at the animal sanctuary on Southeast 192nd Court.

“If you haven’t heard a lion roar, it’s a pretty big noise,” she said. “I don’t want to live with lions, tigers and bears.”

The Levy County Commission, which heard complaints from residents who packed the meeting room, says it is prepared to square off with the state Fish and Wildlife Commission on this issue — again.

About a year ago, the commission discovered — after the fact — that the FWC had licensed an exotic animal operation in a primarily residential area. That operation has since shut down.

The FWC says that it has the sole power to regulate where exotic animals are permitted without regard to local regulations.


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