Controversial Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary is back open to the public

After more than a year of hardships and controversies, Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Henry County is back open to the public.

Employees told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln that the sanctuary was having a soft reopening on Friday, and will only open on Fridays for the time being.

In August 2022, an outbreak of bird flu at the sanctuary led to 700 vultures being found dead and resulted in another 100 birds being euthanized.

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A month later, a USDA inspection report revealed several animals living in dens covered in waste.

President Shelly Lackly said the report was taken six days after several groundskeepers quit.

After a months-long quarantine, the animal sanctuary reopened in January 2023.

Later that same month, the sanctuary was devastated by a tornado. Two months later, the property was overwhelmed by flooding, forcing it to shut back down.


A former veterinarian who worked at the sanctuary filed a lawsuit against them earlier this year.

State Senator Emmanuel Jones called on Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr to launch a full investigation into Noah’s Ark.

“Even in this moment, they’re still lying about what they’re doing,” state Sen. Jones said.

Three employees, including Lackly, were charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty last month.

State Sen. Jones says the charges came after several citations against the animal sanctuary were ignored.

“These charges tell me they’re running a criminal enterprise as it relates to the health and wellbeing of the animals at Noah’s Ark,” said state Sen. Jones.

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