Judge dismisses suit filed by couple fighting to keep pet bear

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LODI, Ohio — A judge has dismissed a civil case filed by a Lodi couple who are fighting to keep their toothless, 41-year-old black bear.

The couple filed the case to block seizure of their caged male bear, Archie, after they received a letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture saying they didn’t have a necessary permit.

The department says the Gillium’s permit application for Archie was submitted Feb. 27, more than a year after the state deadline. It has also argued that the bear wasn’t registered and microchipped as required.

The Gilliums argued that Archie is old and unlikely to escape. They also said they weren’t adequately notified about the permit law and that moving or tranquilizing Archie would threaten his life.

Judge Christopher J. Collier determined that the couple filed their suit before an order was issued by the state to seize Archie.

The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it may be refiled in the future if the state makes an attempt to seize the bear.

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