San Diego Zoo stepping up to help relocate some animals in need after Las Vegas Zoo closes

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Zoo is stepping up to help relocate some of the animals in need after the Las Vegas Zoo closed its doors.

Days after zookeepers walked off the job, a sign that read, "The zoo is closed to the public while we upgrade," was posted outside the Las Vegas Zoo. But now, their doors are closed and the animals have been relocated.

Team10 first reported the story in 2009 when an investigation into the conditions at the Las Vegas Zoo revealed photos of animals isolated in small cages.

Federal officials have been fighting owner and zoo director Pat Dingle for years. Many animal rights welfare groups tried to help him, but he refused.

The San Diego Zoo had been partners with Dingle until 2011 when they saw photos of the animals without enough shade or food, looking bored, lonely and stressed. They recalled the animals on loan to the zoo and no longer sent animals there.

With the doors now closed, the San Diego Zoo stepped in to help.

Some of the animals from Las Vegas ended up at the San Diego Zoo. Officials tell 10News that they are fostering some of the reptiles from the Las Vegas Zoo.

The animals are in quarantine. Zoo officials would not say how many animals they have or if they will be permanently in San Diego.

The last animal at the Las Vegas Zoo was the lone chimpanzee named Terry. This weekend, he was flown to Florida to the Save the Chimps facility.

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