Broken home

Closure of Stanley Park petting zoo upsets staff.

“I don’t know what will happen to him! I don’t know what will happen to any of them! They’re our babies, all of them. Most of these animals have been born and raised here. This is their home. They don’t know anything else.”

Schebel had been crying ever since she got the news that the Vancouver park board had voted to close the petting zoo as a cost-cutting measure. The entire staff broke down in tears when they were told, she said: They were sick with worry for the animals’ futures.

To the staff, the animals had become more than just charges to feed and clean up after, they had become family. They had been at their births, and fed them as babies. They had seen them give birth. There were two and three generations of animal families in the farmyard, Schebel said, and none of them had ever been split up.

“How will an old animal like Pookie, who has been here so long, get along with other llamas? I don’t know how he would react, not knowing anything else.”

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