Exotic animal hearing scheduled for August

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County to hold hearing

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

The owners of a controversial exotic animal sanctuary in the Small Farms subdivision has filed a request for a special exception to zoning regulations to allow them to keep the lion, tiger, bear, two chimpanzees they have on the property.

That comes on the heels of Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, County Attorney Anne Bast Brown and a number of residents in the area of the exotic animal operation attending a state Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Crystal River to protest the licensing of such operations in residential areas of the county in violation of a zoning ordinance.

Dr. Susan Billiar, a veterinarian, and her husband Brian Davis, moved the animals to their home on about 7 acres in March, touching off protests from neighbors, including a mother with a 3-year-old child and another on the way whose bedroom is about 250 feet from the big cats’ exercise cage.

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