A judge has ordered that all animals be removed from an Eastern Iowa Zoo due to improper living conditions. In a ruling on Sunday night, District Court Judge Monica Wittig found the Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester to be a nuisance.

The judge had previously toured the zoo and said that she had gagged at the stench while touring the facility. All of the exotic animals must be placed at accredited sanctuaries or zoos.

Pam and Tom Sellner were the owners of the zoo. Four plaintiffs sued to have the animals removed and have the zoo closed. The Sellners had operated the zoo since 2002 despite numerous complaints about how the animals there were being treated.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has stated that it would help transfer the animals at Cricket Hollow to "reputable sanctuaries and rescues for rehabilitation." Among the animals housed there were bears, mountain lions, a camel, a baboon, and goats. In earlier lawsuits, Cricket Hollow was forced to give up its tigers, lemurs and two African lionesses.

[via Gazette]