MALIBU—Malibu Wine Safari, is a luxurious wine excursion that houses a wide collection of wild animals, including the famous Stanley the Giraffe. The establishment has  come under scrutiny for pocketing money from customers and is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge for “maintaining an animal facility or a wild animal without a license.” 

Located in Saddlerock Ranch and owned by the Semler family, the safari received dozens of negative reviews on Yelp from customers who have not received refunds during weeks of closure in March 2020 due to the pandemic. One review on Yelp of September 29, 2020 wrote: 

“Like many others here, I am down $700 because this company never indicated they were closed on their website…They have not responded to any of my emails regarding a refund, and they probably never will.” 

There has been no  comment by the Semler family about the situation. Malibu Wine Safari  recently deleted and suspended all of their social media accounts. ABC 7 reported that the Semler family received a $630,762 loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in April 2020, but no refund has been indicated by the use of the loan. They also reported several emails between angry customers and the company where they indicated offering customers vouchers instead of a full refund. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has “seized in place” Stanley the Giraffe from the company for illegally detaining the animal without any permit. Even though CDFW has complications with transporting an 18-foot tall giraffe, the Semler family is facing a citation and misdemeanor charge for not being issued a permit to house a wild animal, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. 

The Malibu Wine Safari is currently shut down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and  pending charges the owners face. All of the wild animals are no longer under the care of the Semler’s or their business.