Private zoo operator loses ID Supreme Court fight

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho man whose now-defunct private zoo in Nampa was a magnet both for school kids and disputes has failed to fight off a 2006 conviction for misdemeanor possession of exotic animals.

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled last week there was no evidence that Jerry Korn signed contracts in 2005 to transfer his exotic animals from his Nampa site to a new location in Payette County before Payette County passed a law forbidding exotic animals on June 1, 2005.

Korn contended the Payette County ordinance illegally impaired his contracts, but Justice Joel Horton wrote Korn failed to prove he'd finalized the contracts before the law was adopted.

Into the early 2000s, Korn's For the Birds menagerie won kudos for helping injured birds and birthing tigers -- but also criticism, including when a toddler was pounced on by a 170-pound tiger cub in 2003.

Korn is still fighting animal cruelty charges filed in June by Payette County.