(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

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Ucluelet fire crew extinguishes residential blaze

Ucluelet’s fire chief is praising his crew for making short work of a residential blaze on Tuesday.

DFO reports unusually high whale mortalities in 2020

“It’s so important to have all these eyes and ears in the community reporting these deaths.”

Tofino housing project criticized at public hearing

Town’s council hosts first public hearing since start of COVID-19 pandemic.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read