Posts Tagged 'zoos'


Four dead at Happy Rolph Conservation Area in St. Catharines.

Detective Constable Steven Spink said there were steel BBs and mushroom-shaped pellets found at the scene. Both guns used are likely rifles.

The injured animals are being treated by park staff.

The killers face break and enter, mischief and animal-cruelty charges.

“We’re going to prosecute fully,” Dave said.

Heartbreaking possibility

Calgary Zoo’s Maharani may be knocked up.

If blood tests confirm the pachyderm is indeed expecting a third calf, there’s a heartbreaking possibility the newborn will fall ill to the same disease that killed Maharani’s last offspring, Malti, in 2008.

The 15-month-old animal died of endotheliotropic herpesvirus, or EEHV, a fatal virus that attacks the circulatory system and can kill within hours of infection. Only a handful of elephants have survived the illness through treatment.

Since Malti’s death, animals rights activists have criticized the Calgary Zoo for continuing its elephant breeding program, arguing it’s irresponsible to put the lives of future animals at risk.


Tonghua dies at Toronto Zoo.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, another member of the zoo board, reiterated Thursday that the facility has no intention of getting rid of exotic animals such as tigers and elephants.

“There’s no zoo without exotic animals,” he said. “This movement that seems to be all over North America to get rid of zoos is irritating to say the least.”

Circle of life

Inspection underway at Calgary Zoo.

President and CEO Clément Lanthier said Tuesday he hopes the review by five experts without a direct connection to the Calgary Zoo will clear the facility’s name.

“We would like to celebrate life at the zoo, but death is also part of life and we have to educate the community about this.”

 Captive critters

 A meditation on changing values in anticipation of the Cobourg Winter Festival’s petting zoo.

We went to the Riverdale Zoo, taking for granted that beasts had to be housed in small cages with concrete floors. When the Toronto Zoo opened we saw how much better the conditions were for the inhabitants. Yet now, that same zoo is under pressure to send its elephants to a sanctuary where they can live out their days in a warm climate, and where they’ll have the space and the companionship they need and deserve.

Yes, times have changed. We need to think more about the animals themselves and less about their value as entertainment. I hope that things will be better this year at the petting zoo, because what I observed in 2008 was nothing to “feel good” about.

The tent was poorly lit and crowded. I took a photo showing 16 people surrounding a couple of animals in an open area. If the eight sheep in one pen wanted to lie down and rest they would have had to do it in shifts!

By all means, enjoy the winter celebrations in Cobourg. But please, think about the critters held captive for our pleasure, and about what we are teaching our children by supporting such an outmoded attraction.

Out of Toronto

Elephant expert says Toronto Zoo should give up pachyderm program.

Joyce Poole, who has studied these animals for three decades, urged city councillors to end the zoo’s elephant program. In a letter sent on behalf of Zoocheck Canada, Dr. Poole said the health of these animals is at risk because of Toronto’s cold climate and the fact that they remain confined indoors for long stretches.

Her plea comes as animal rights groups and supporters of the Toronto Zoo duke it out over the living conditions at the elephant exhibit following the death in November of matriarch Tara, 41, the fourth elephant the zoo has lost in three years. The zoo is now left with only three elephants.

“The Toronto Zoo should close its elephant exhibit and allow the three remaining elephants to live out the remainder of their lives in a warmer climate in a setting where they are free to roam outdoors and have the possibility of establishing normal healthy relationships among a larger social group,” wrote Dr. Poole, who has a PhD in zoology from the University of Cambridge.

Mountain View Conservation Centre

Out with exotics, in with native species.

Sarah Dubois, the SPCA’s manager of wildlife services, said it’s a better idea to care for local animals who are adapted to B.C.’s climate and environment.

“It’s a reasonable way to try to move forward,” she said. “It’s moving in the right direction.”

Zoocheck Canada spokeswoman Julie Woodyer said she’s “cautiously optimistic.”

But the centre should be careful where it sends its prized animal collection, she cautioned, pointing especially to the hunting dogs and hoof stock such as giraffes and a rhinoceros.



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