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February 17, 2001 12:00 AM

Exotic Animal Auction

A bizzare auction brought both collectors and the curious to a controversial exotic animal farm west of Sioux Falls today. Owner David Jasper is liquidating his unusual livestock that runs the mix from alpacas to zebras and every species in between. KELO-LAND's Perry Groten takes us to the animal auction block. The auctioneer's call-of-the-wild rang out in the bitter cold. "Holy cow, somebody turn up the heat." But cows were too run-of-the-mill for this farm auction. Bidders had their sites on a much more unusual menagerie. Ed Ramm of Sioux Falls said, "The macaw I can keep in my house, I don't know why anyone would want a zebra, same with a bear, to me, they should be in the wild." Doug Olson of Chancellor said, "Unless you can eat them or breed them they're no good, but I've never had a zebra before, so I thought I should have one." Veterinarians with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board are supervising the auction to make sure everyone who buys an exotic animal has a license to own one. But some people are concerned about the condition of the animals up for bid. Sioux Falls Veterinary Assistant Tracy Williams said, "There's birds in there without any food and water inside the bidding barn, they're not very well taken care of at all, their coats don't even look right, just not healthy." The owner of the animal farm, David Jasper, wouldn't talk to us about his auction. "No, David Jasper says no one on the property with cameras." "Okay." People worried about the animals hope they'll have much better homes with new owners who are willing to pay the price. Jasper's other business, "D and J Glass and Art," is under investigation by state and federal authorities. Customers have complained about shoddy work. While his workers have complained about not getting paychecks.
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