Four years after taking over a private zoo outside Crestview, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is looking for a new owner. Price tag: $350,000.

CRESTVIEW — Four years after taking over a private zoo outside Crestview, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is looking for a new owner.

The refuge posted a Craigslist ad on Sunday seeking a buyer for the parcel and all of its animals. They also have listed the 10-acre park, once known as the Sasquatch Zoo, with a realtor.

The refuge took over the park in 2013, renaming it the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park and making dramatic improvements to the grounds, habitat and outbuildings. The zoo had fallen into a state of disrepair as its former owners struggled to keep up with the demands of 100 exotic animals.

Bill Andersen, president and chairman of the refuge's board of directors, said that while rescuing the animals initially was in keeping with their mission, continuing to run a zoo is not.

"It was the refuge's single-largest rescue effort," he said. ""We've spent an awful lot of time getting those critters happy and healthy, updating habitats and providing them with a quality place to live.

"I think our zoo is in the best shape it's ever been."

Andersen said they were shopping carefully for the right buyer, although he admitted that selling a zoo is not an easy endeavor.

He said their first choice would be for the City of Crestview and Okaloosa County to work together to take over the zoo. To that end, he has approached Crestview's mayor and plans to reach out to county officials next.

The zoo is listed as Crestview's No. 1 attraction on TripAdvisor.

Their second choice would be a wealthy individual who shares their passion for the animals and is willing to continue to employ staff members who are familiar with their care.

"It's got to be a buyer who shares our concern for the welfare of these critters," he said.

According to the listing, the $350,000 asking price includes everything from 90 "happy and healthy animals" to a stocked gift shop, fencing, outbuildings, a commissary with refrigerators and freezers, a tractor and a golf cart.

Animals mentioned in the listing include a white tiger, Bengal tiger, African lion, monkeys, bobcats, baboons, wolves, otters, a black bear, foxes, a sloth, lemurs and llamas. Most of the animals were part of the zoo when it was taken over four years ago from Debbie Mattox, who lives on a parcel next to the zoo.

She and her then-husband had started the zoo after rescuing a monkey in 1987 and learning they needed to have a special permit to keep it. Over the next 20 years, the zoo grew to include 100 animals, including big cats, farm animals and a black bear named Albert, whom Mattox fed by hand.

They also hand-raised the zoo's big cats in their home, taking them to the zoo only when they became too large to safely manage.

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