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South Dakota sanctuary loses federal license in settlement

SPEARFISH (AP) -- A beleaguered western South Dakota wildlife sanctuary that had 18 animals transferred away this week has lost its federal license for exhibition as part of a settlement agreement.

SPEARFISH (AP) - A beleaguered western South Dakota wildlife sanctuary that had 18 animals transferred away this week has lost its federal license for exhibition as part of a settlement agreement.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa says the Wednesday agreement means the agency won't pursue enforcement action based on September inspections of the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.

The department conducted a routine inspection Sept. 28. Since, nine tigers, one lion, one wolf and seven bears have been transferred to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Executive Director Pat Craig says nearly all of the animals were underweight.

Espinosa says the license revocation means the department will no longer look into the Monday escape of a tiger from its enclosure. The tiger injured the sanctuary director and was fatally shot.

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