Looking back at Ligertown

Looking back at Ligertown

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 20 at 8:54 AM

BOISE -- While authorities searched for wild animals roaming in Ohio, the images shown nationally brought a Bannock County sheriff's detective back to a night in 1995.

Ligertown was a compound near Lava Hot Springs where two residents kept dozens of lions, ligers and hybrid wolves.

It was September of 1995 that the situation at Ligertown got out of hand, and officials say nearly all the exotic animals were killed.

Bannock county Detective, Toni Vollmer witnessed it all, “So between the hours of 7:00 at night and 7:00 in the morning I want to say sixteen  lions were shot."

Robert Fieber and Dottie Martin kept the lions, ligers, and hybrid wolves confined to makeshift fences and cages. That September night, Toni and the rest of her fellow officers responded, Fieber was attacked by one of his animals and soon the rest were loose.

“We looked up on the hillside and saw these three female lions that were basically like cats looking at us and stalking us coming up from behind us,” said Vollmer.

The small community had been concerned about Ligertown for years, and finally their fears became reality.

Toni understands what law enforcement in Ohio must have had to go through Wednesday. She says, even though she is an officer, she feels remorse for the animals.

“People are going to give law enforcement a hard time asking why they didn't sedate these animals instead of kill them, well it's just not realistic,” said Vollmer.

Vollmer said after the incident at Ligertown years ago, Robert Fieber and Dottie Martin were charged with one hundred counts of animal cruelty and criminal endangerment. However they never served jail time for because they appealed the case.

The two Idaho residents have since moved on to another state.

Bannock County Sheriff's Office told KTVB they still have two warrants out for their arrest stemming from the 1995 incident.

 

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