TAMPA — An exotic Polk County animal park owned by former Lowry Park Zoo president Lex Salisbury will have to pay a fine for a construction project.
The governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly referred to as Swiftmud, decided Tuesday to fine Safari Wild nearly $9,000 for unauthorized construction. Water managers determined that development on the property degraded water quality.
Conflicts between Salisbury's duties as the zoo's director and owner of Safari Wild, a proposed park north of downtown Lakeland, led to Salisbury's ouster in December. The zoo and city officials were conducting audits of the zoo's transactions with Safari Wild, including numerous transfers of animals.