Las Vegas Sun

December 11, 2018

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Town board votes against proposed zoo near Strip

Board members voice concerns about animal welfare

Citing a number of concerns, including animal rights, the Paradise Town Advisory Board on Tuesday denied an application from a company wanting to develop a zoo near Mandalay Bay.

The company, Las Vegas Safaris, had requested a permit to display exotic animals in a covered tent in a lot across the street from the resort. The company planned to construct a temporary 3,400-square foot facility for six months to test the market before building permanent structures.

The zoo would feature baby giraffes, rhinos, zebras and possibly camels, Kelvin Haywood, a local architect representing the business, told board members.

Las Vegas Safaris has already set up at the location, and Haywood pointed out that county animal control officials had not objected to the plan as long as proper safety precautions — including fencing and contingency plans for an escape — were taken.

Clark County’s zoning staff, however, had recommended the board deny the application because the facility was not in harmony with county code.

Although the application was denied, Las Vegas Safaris can appeal the decision to the county commissioners on Aug. 4.

In rejecting the application, board members expressed concern for the animals.

“Frankly, I think it’s rather inhumane to the animals,” said John Williams, the board’s chairman.

Roger Smith, the board’s vice-chairman, called the plan “ridiculous” and condemned the practice of “ripping” the young animals away from their mothers and natural habitat.

Attempts to reach representatives of Las Vegas Safaris by phone for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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