Lowry Park Zoo CEO Lex Salisbury is in hot water again.
Seems his for-profit side project, Safari Wild, has violated numerous water regulations and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMUD) officials may fine him tens of thousands of dollars.
From the Times:
Robyn Felix, spokeswoman for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, says Salisbury and his business partner, St. Petersburg veterinarian Stephan [sic] Wehrmann, ignored environmental regulations in 13 areas of the 258-acre site.
Essentially, Salisbury and his Safari Wild partner Stephen Wehrmann did not apply for the necessary permits as they constructed their huge animal park in Polk County. From the moat where their monkeys escaped from to fencing that destroyed wetlands, the violations could impact neighbors to the property. And those neighbors were already pretty angry.
Also keep in mind that Salisbury's park was not built in just any rural area of Central Florida. He's smack in the middle of the environmentally-sensitive
These latest violations are just one more blackmark against Salisbury, who has taken criticism over the last seven months for taking Lowry Park animals to the Safari Wild site, not disclosing the project to the larger Lowry Park Zoo board, and letting those forementioned monkeys escape. (See Creative Loafing's investigation of Safari Wild here.) He's currently on a leave of absence while Tampa city officials conduct an audit of the dealings between the two animal parks.