Stanley the Giraffe — the crown jewel of Malibu Wine Safaris — now sits in his pen as Exhibit A … because authorities claim his owners are breaking the law by having him there.
ABC7 reports the CEO of MWS, Dakota Semler, and her pops, Ron, have been charged in connection to an investigation that allegedly revealed Stanley — and perhaps other wild animals roaming around — have been flying under the radar without the necessary paperwork to warrant their stay. The place is packed with animals you might see at a zoo.
They were reportedly informed by the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife that the Semlers never got the necessary licenses to house such exotic creatures — like giraffes, zebras, etc. — and as such, they’ve been accused of falsifying records to obtain permits to that effect.
As a result, Dakota — who owns/runs the place — has reportedly been charged with maintaining an animal facility or a wild animal without a license. Her dad — who apparently owns Stanley himself — has reportedly been charged with providing false info on his application for Stanley’s restricted species permit with the CDFW. Both pled not guilty.
As for Stanley, Fish and Wildlife say he was “seized in place” — meaning they’re not taking him to any station for booking or processing … ya know, ’cause he’s like 18 feet tall. And as to the question of how the hell this didn’t come to law enforcement’s attention earlier — they’re claiming they relied on the word of the Semlers when they filled out their docs.
Here’s the kicker … ABC7 suggests that Malibu Wine Safaris might’ve been newly put under a microscope because of pissed-off would-be customers — several of whom apparently complained about not getting refunded during the pandemic … or not refunded fast enough.
So, because they upset their loyal base — ABC7 says it started digging in, which might’ve triggered the investigation and subsequent charges. Oh, the irony …
As you may or may not know … Stanley is a fan fave at the sprawling attraction at Saddlerock Ranch — tons of celebs have stopped by over the years and posed for selfies with Stan, who’s always happy to nibble on someone’s hair … preferably some celery or lettuce.
Of course, he also cameo’d in ‘The Hangover Part III‘ … riding passenger with Alan.