- Associated Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The owners of an Oregon-based private wildlife center are petitioning to get their exotic animals back after Olympia animal control officers seized them a few weeks ago.

The Northwest News Network reports Thurston County animal control officers raided a converted storefront in downtown Olympia March 31 and again on April 4. The Joint Animal Services agency says an unlicensed, un-permitted exotic wildlife sanctuary operated inside the former camera store.

A sign that was in the window this winter said the location was acting as a “nursery” for the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center and Sloth Center based in Rainier, Oregon.

Search warrants show officers seized six sloths, two tortoises, an African anteater, three armadillos, an Asian water monitor, other lizards and smaller critters.

The attorney for the owners is now petitioning for the animals’ return on the grounds the seizures were improper and unjustified.

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