November 5, 2012
The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling on the Greater Vancouver Zoo to stop acquiring giraffes and to relocate its remaining giraffe to a facility in a warmer climate. Research shows there is a problem with providing adequate nutrition when giraffes are kept at lower temperatures in unnatural climates for long periods of time.
“It’s very difficult to keep giraffes in this kind of climate. Giraffes need a diet that meets their increased energy requirements and it’s clear that the Greater Vancouver Zoo cannot meet the needs of giraffes or other exotic species, based on their abysmal record of animal care,” states Peter Fricker, VHS Projects and Communications Director.
In recent years, the zoo has been cited repeatedly for inadequate care of exotic animals including keeping Hazina the hippo in a concrete bunker for over a year, causing the death of four zebras by putting a Cape buffalo in the zebra enclosure, and keeping Tina the elephant alone in a small, barren enclosure, where she developed foot problems that eventually resulted in her death. As well, three giraffes have died there in the last year. The Vancouver Humane Society says enough is enough.
“It’s just not good enough for the zoo staff to throw up their hands and claim they don’t know what happened. It’s their responsibility to keep these animals in good health. Unfortunately their poor record shows that is not happening. At the very least, they should stop keeping and breeding exotics and concentrate on rescuing indigenous species in need,” said Fricker.
Fricker added, “There is no educational benefit for the public to see an animal being kept in a completely unnatural environment where the animal is only a sad facsimile of what it would be in the wild.”