Joe Fortunato Animal Junction Bucks County Zoo Sued
Animal Junction, Inc., the operator of the Bucks County Zoo, is being sued by the landlord of the Warwick building that housed the now defunct zoo.
CDN properties, the owner of the property at 1540 Campus Drive, is seeking in excess of $50,000, attorneys fees, and additional relief deemed proper by the court.
The suit filed Wednesday in Bucks County Court of Common Pleas claims that more than $100,000 in damage was caused by the zoo in the two units leased by Animal Junction.
The plaintiffs said that the zoo operator failed to keep the two units “in good order and repair” as required by the lease. The suit charges nearby units were damaged by mold and mildew from the two zoo units. Also, the roof and electrical boxes, panels and components were damaged by conditions caused by the zoo.
The zoo closed last week
“Jungle Joe” Fortunato, a former Falls Township police officer, opened the Bucks County Zoo in March 2009 in the industrial park on Campus Drive in Warwick, near the border with Warminster. When Fortunato announced two weeks ago that the zoo was closing, he said the closure is temporary and will allow the zoo to “regroup and refocus on its efforts to construct a permanent facility.”
Fortunato said he raised many of the animals from babies, which made the decision to close the zoo especially hard. Most of the animals have already found new homes,
Fortunato did not return a phone call Wednesday night seeking comment on the lawsuit.
In this January 2010 file photo, Bucks County Zoo founder and director “Jungle Joe” Fortunato plays with a white tiger cub in the facility in Warminster. The cub called the zoo home temporarily, joining a menagerie of reptiles, small mammals and other animals that called the zoo home.
Bill Devlin: 215-345-3179; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @DevlinIntel