Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’
The Toronto Star‘s Noor Javed reports on the potential for the Bowmanville Zoo, one of the oldest in Canada, to survive the summer. Or not, as the case may be.
A sudden burst in attendance and outpouring of support for the Bowmanville zoo is sparking hopes that the embattled facility may be able stay open after all.
The privately owned zoo, which is home to a number of exotic animals including lions, lemurs and tigers, announced last month that it was shutting down at the end of the 2016 season.
Zoo officials said allegations made by animal rights groups, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), around the mistreatment of animals at the hands of the former director, had kept crowds away and attendance was down by more than 65 per cent from the previous year.
But since the June announcement, the zoo has seen a “strong swell of support from the community” and attendance is now only down “about 25 per cent from prior years” said spokesman Angus Carroll.
“I can tell you that attendance is up in recent days and that is great,” said Carroll. “Nevertheless, we are not out of the woods. Attendance is still below last year and not where it needs to be make the zoo viable,” he said.
Noor Javed of the Toronto Star‘s reports on the impending end of Bowmanville’s zoo, open since 1919.
The exotic animals of the Bowmanville zoo — wolves, tigers, and baboons to name a few— will be looking for new homes after the east-end facility announced Thursday it will be closing at the end of the 2016 season.
At a press conference, zoo officials said recent “allegations” made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had led to a “catastrophically” low number of visitors— resulting in financial problems.
Earlier this year, the zoo’s director Michael Hackenberger stepped down after being charged with animal cruelty. The charges were due to a video released by PETA in December which appeared to show him hitting a tiger with a whip during a training session.
“Untrue allegations made by PETA in regards to a tiger incident have created a climate in which the zoo can no longer operate,” said Angus Carroll, the zoo’s director of communications, who estimated attendance is down 65 per cent since last summer.
“The zoo attendance is down dramatically, and in fact that hardly captures it. Catastrophically. So, there just isn’t enough money to run this zoo at this time,” he said.
In an interview, Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation’s director of captive animal law enforcement said “the blame lies solely on Michael Hackenberger.”
Eric Andrew-Gee’s article in The Globe and Mail looks at the import of the escaped capybaras of High Park.
[A]s the hunt settled into a waiting game, the capybaras themselves erupted into the city’s collective consciousness. Newspapers breathlessly reported every sighting. TV news trucks became a fixture around High Park. Social media went wild.
Soon, there were not one but two capybara Twitter accounts. Clever designers pasted their image everywhere. A bar on Queen Street West changed its WiFi password to “Capybara.” And one Twitter user implored High Park’s annual Shakespeare production to put The Taming of the Capybara on the program.
Even before the Toronto escape, capybaras were pseudo-stars of the Internet, beloved and endlessly memed for their surreal physical hybridity and Eeyore-ish countenance.
This was different. Early on, the capybaras were cast as heroic rebels. The nicknames didn’t take long: Bonnie and Clyde. When one local wag placed them in a photo of Steve McQueen’s motorcycle from The Great Escape, the transformation was complete.
Their lionization may have reflected a growing cultural unease with animal captivity, crystallized recently by the shooting of Harambe the gorilla after a child found his way into the ape’s enclosure. Or it may be the idea of once-tame animals fending for themselves in the wilds of High Park, which seems to have a special hold on the Canadian imagination: Last year’s Giller Prize-winning novel, Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, is about a pack of dogs with human minds set loose in the same park.
Alyshah Hasham’s report in the Toronto Star of the conviction of a woman in the Yonge and Eglinton area on charges of animal cruelty related to her cat hoarding is disgusting. How could she have let things get so out of hand?
For two years inside the non-descript home of a law professor, a nightmare was brewing.
“Wall to wall cats; floors, walls, furniture rotting and coated in cat urine, cat fur and cat feces. The smell was literally overpowering,” a judge said Thursday. “The first officer on the scene thought there might be a dead body inside the house.”
Hours later, as OSPCA staff in haz-mat gear were in the process of removing a feral colony of 107 cats from the home, homeowner Diane Way returned with a pull-cart full of cat food.
“This was a sad case,” Ontario Court Justice William B. Horkins told the court Thursday, after a 23-day trial.
“With apologies to Shakespeare, Diane Way loved her cats ‘not wisely, but too well’ and as with Othello, there were tragic results.”