The owners of the Natural Bridge Zoo, Karl and Debbie Mogensen, are scheduled to appear in court on December 20 following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and Virginia State Police. The investigation uncovered potential charges of animal cruelty and neglect at the zoo. A total of 95 animals were seized from their owner on December 6. The animals that were impounded include various species such as monkeys, lemurs, birds, macaws, parrots, pythons, turtles, donkeys, llamas, and a dog. The court case will also address the treatment of four giraffes and Asha the elephant, although it is unclear if Asha was impounded. The warrant also called for the seizure of deceased animals and animal remains that were found on the premises.
The investigation into the zoo began when a confidential informant, who worked as a farmhand/groundskeeper, started documenting conversations and interactions with other employees, management, and owners. The warrant reveals troubling conditions for Asha the African elephant, who was reportedly kept chained inside a barn with cracks in the walls. She was observed standing and sleeping in her own urine, with smeared excrement and urine on the floor mat. Asha's living conditions prevented her from freely moving out of her waste. The informant also witnessed instances of Ash