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Florida Man Breaks Into Zoo To Free The Animals

The Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs is soon going to be closing its doors. There have been some communication with potential buyers to keep the zoo open, but so far things are just in the talking-stage.

But one Florida man had a better idea. 

Why not just saw through the gate in the middle of the night, and then go around opening the cages and setting the zoo's animals free?


According to WPTV.com, Bonita Springs resident Steven Trew had grown frustrated with the fact that the zoo was going to close.

So he busted into it in the wee hours of Monday morning, cut the locks on all the cages, and let the animals run free.

Trew, 58, didn't think beyond this part of his plan, seeing how the animals were now free to roam among people where they would either be killed, or ... well, yea, killed.

Hey nice plan, guy!

An Everglades Wonder Gardens employee, Jack Wollman, arrived to work at 5 a.m., and found the back gate of the zoo had been sawed open. He then noticed that the pigs, deer and bird cages were completely empty.

Wollman immediately checked the mountain lion cage, and found that it too was open. But the lion stayed put, never having left the cage. The zoo's bobcat also never left its cage.

Trew had also apparently kicked open all the perimeter gates, giving openings for animals to run through and escape the zoo entirely. Zoo officials were able to corral a good number of the animals back to their cages.

As it goes with trying to free zoo animals from a zoo into an urban sprawl that contains people, and roads and cars, things went badly for at least two of the animals.

One of the Everglades Wonder Gardens deer was killed on Imperial Parkway, while another of the deer has yet to be recovered.

For his part, Trew was found and held by Wollman until the cops arrived.

Lee County Sheriff's deputies arrested Trew and charged him with burglary of a dwelling and damage to property with criminal mischief.

"He heard we were closing and he wanted to set the animals free," said Wollman. "What kind of an idiot would let a mountain lion out right in the middle of Bonita Springs?"


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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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