HAVE THE PARK’S ANIMALS BECOME POLITICAL PAWNS?
In Springwater Provincial Park near Barrie, Ontario, there’s a modest little wildlife compound (zoo) with a small, ad hoc collection of native wild animals. Recently, the Ontario government changed the Park status to non-operational meaning visitor services are no longer provided and staff are not present. That means the animals have to be moved elsewhere.
This was great news as the zoo is outdated and inadequate, and best of all, homes with better conditions have been found for all of the animals.
But now the animals are in limbo.
A number of residents in the region are campaigning for the Park to reopen under a new management arrangement and the animals seem to have become “political pawns” in the process. Some Park proponents claim the antiquated, inadequate, little zoo with its tiny animal collection is a sanctuary, a valuable educational resource, that it somehow makes the Park unique and that they need to keep it as an attraction to draw visitors (should they gain management control of the Park). We disagree.
Zoocheck and other animal welfare groups have wanted the display closed for years. The conditions are poor for many of the animals and they’ve suffered as a result.
The government recognizes that it’s time for the zoo to be dismantled and for the animals to go to more appropriate homes elsewhere, but the controversy about the Park and the animals has stalled things and the animal move is now in limbo. Whether the Park reopens or not, the animals need to be relocated.
Please send an email or letter to the Honourable David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources,firstname.lastname@example.org urging him to move forward with the relocation of the Springwater animals as soon as possible. Homes for the animals have been found. All that’s required is for him to give the go ahead.
Please copy your email to Premier Kathleen Wynne