Zoos in Canada

In need of reform.

“A lot of zoos are trying to do far too much. They have far too many animals. They make claims that these animals are well-treated but that’s just greenwashing,” said Mr. Laidlaw.

“In an ideal world, no animal would be held in captivity but that’s not going to happen. We need to move away from fancy exhibits and the public needs to change its mindset.”

Ian Duncan, who sits on the animal care committee at the Toronto Zoo, said for zoos to succeed, they need to specialize in specific species and forget the concept of having large collections of many animals.

“Gradually zoos have assumed more of an education role, a research role, a conservation role,” said Mr. Duncan, a retired animal behaviour professor at the University of Guelph. “All these things will increase in the future into a decision for zoos to only keep one or two animals.”

Meanwhile, critics laugh at review requested by Calgary Zoo.

One of the zoo’s critics, R.J. Bailot with Zoocheck Canada, responded by telling CTV News, “Zoocheck feels it is a joke, it will be a biased report.”

Bailot says he believes the review would be biased because it will be conducted by two organizations that accredit the Calgary Zoo, the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) and its U.S. counterpart, AZA.

“We’re asking for an independent review that’s outside of arms length from the Calgary Zoo,” added Bailot. 

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