An arrest warrant has been issued for Tim Stark, the owner of the southern Indiana Wildlife in Need zoo and one of the subjects of Netflix's Tiger King. According to court documents, Stark been found in contempt of a court order after he allegedly removed animals from the controversial roadside zoo before the Indianapolis Zoo could seize them.
The ordeal comes after a court-appointed the Indianapolis Zoological Society to remove animals from Wildlife in Need and care for them. According to Monday-filed court documents, however, several of those animals, including a sloth and monkeys, were not at the property when investigators returned to the zoo Sunday. During an interview Tuesday, according to WDRB, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said that several of the missing animals, worth approximately $170,000, were later discovered on a neighbor's property, "located in a box truck, sealed up with no water, no ventilation, in deplorable conditions." Court documents revealed that other animals, including toucans, cougars, and porcupines, remain missing.
The state is now accusing Stark of removing dozens of animals from the zoo between Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. Court documents also accuse Stark of inciting violence towards members of the Indianapolis Zoological Society through a profanity-laced video posted to Facebook, in which he allegedly said, "If you've got time to sit here f–ing watching me rant and rave, you're a– should (have) already been out there on my property throwing rocks at them mother–ers."
As a result, the state is asking for Stark to return the rest of the missing animals and for him to be held in contempt of the court order and put into the custody of the Marion County Sheriff until all animals are removed from the zoo.
"Stark vehemently demonstrates his opposition to the Court's Order by words and actions and voiced his strong desire in open court to re-locate the animals in his own way," the warrant, signed by Marion Superior Court Judge David J. Dreyer, states. "WIN and Stark are in contempt of the Court's Order. Stark is immediately remanded to the custody of the Marion County Sheriff until further order of the Court."
Stark, however, has denied the accusations, alleging that he was asked to crate several of the animals for the zoo and put them in a box truck on his neighbor's property. He said that "now, they're wanting to say I was trying to hide them," adding, "if I was going to hide the d– thing, do I look like an idiot? I wouldn't have hid them right there in plain sight."
Stark and his roadside zoo were among zookeepers and roadside attractions featured on the Netflix docuseries. His is the latest zoo to face legal action, with Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, now owned by Jeff Lowe, having been closed permanently.