(Laura Smith/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

SPCA investigating after ‘emaciated’ moose euthanized at B.C. zoo

‘Family fun is no excuse for animal abuse,’ zoo protestors repeated during a Sunday rally at zoo

Dozens of protesters swarmed 264th Street in front of Greater Vancouver Zoo on Sunday, waving signs in shape of tombstones, chanting a message for those driving to the 120-acre Aldergrove facility.

“Family fun is no excuse for animal abuse,” they repeated from the mouth of organizer David Isbister with animal advocacy group, Liberate GVZoo Animals.

Their signs listed the names of animals that have died in the zoo’s care. The most recent was an eight-year-old moose, Oakleaf.

Zoo veterinarian Dr. Bruce Burton felt it was best the animal be euthanized Wednesday, July 22 – the day after photos of the animal were posted online by Langley resident Shannon Marcoux.

“We didn’t want to put her through any more procedures and tried every option we could think of,” Burton said, after explaining the moose had leg issues and teeth problems – which he felt contributed to her weight loss and loose stool.

RELATED: Eight-year-old moose euthanized at Greater Vancouver Zoo

The vet also noted that Oakleaf’s condition had drastically changed since the Monday (July 21) the photo was taken.

Isbister described the moose standing in the photos, ribs showing, as “emaciated.”

“Am I the only person out there who thinks this is unacceptable?” Marcoux posted publicly to Facebook, along with the two images.

The B.C. SPCA is currently investigating the animal’s care, spokesperson Lorie Chortyk confirmed.

“The B.C. SPCA is not the body that decides on animal cruelty charges – that is the authority of Crown counsel. Our role is as an enforcement agency, similar to the police or RCMP, that gathers and presents evidence to Crown counsel for their decision,” Chortyk explained.

READ MORE: Photos of ‘emaciated’ moose at Aldergrove zoo spark call to SPCA

Peter Fricker, a Vancouver Humane Society spokesperson, called the photos of the moose “very disturbing.”

“Equally troubling are allegations that animals at the zoo have not been receiving adequate care and that a number have recently died,” Fricker said.

The zoo, in Aldergrove, has a history of being criticized for how it cares for its animals dating back to 2005, when the first of several large species of animals died – for reasons other than old age – in its care.

Fricker added the allegations should be investigated by the B.C. SPCA using independent veterinary experts rather than veterinarians paid by the zoo.

General manager Serge Lussier said he has confidence in Burton’s decisions, but if he were to do it differently, he would have put a sign notifying the public of the animal’s health condition.

“If unfortunate situations like this do arise again, we will put a sign,” Lussier pledged.

Am I the only person out there who thinks this is unacceptable? Took the kids to a local zoo yesterday and saw this poor…

Posted by Shannon Marcoux on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

AldergroveAnimals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Saanich council seeks more information after hearing Uptown-Douglas plan

Council asks for further reports on economic, housing, transportation plans for corridor

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read