Tiger and two camels stolen

***Update***
LATEST NEWS JUNE 22: I am happy to report that, despite mounting fears for their welfare, the three animals have been found alive and well inside the abandoned trailer. However, this still leaves many more questions than answers: How did the two original drivers lose the animals in the first place? Who took them and why? Why are wild animals being shunted from location to location by Bowmanville Zoo in the first place and is this form of animal exploitation acceptable? Should the zoo, in fact, be reclassified as a kind of circus?

Details are still sketchy at this point, but we will let you know any further news when we get it.

Background story:

It was reported over the weekend (20th June) that a truck and trailer containing a tiger and two camels from a Zoo in Ontario, Canada, had been stolen.

En route from Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada, the truck and trailer containing the three animals disappeared when the driver parked them outside a motel for the night. Initial claims of an “opportunistic” robbery became increasingly unlikely when the truck, without trailer, was found 73km away from the site of the theft.

Born Free Foundation is particularly concerned that an unsecured trailer containing three wild animals was simply left outside a motel while the driver slept. Furthermore, the fact that a tiger, a large carnivore, and two camels were enclosed within this same trailer may have subjected the animals to significant levels of stress. Both these situations seem to show little regard for the animals’ welfare or for their safety.

Born Free hopes that this situation, which has become a worldwide news story, will be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of the animals. We also hope this is a ‘wake up call to the authorities in Ontario, exposing, as it does, their almost total lack of adequate regulation regarding the welfare, security and transport of wild animals. According to ZooCheck Canada, Ontario wild animal legislation does not have any licensing or permitting component that requires current or potential animal owners to have the necessary expertise, experience or financial wherewithal to properly house and care for wild animals.

The supplier of the animals, Bowmanville Zoo, offers Animal Encounters and Animal rides on its website, and is famous for hiring out its animals to the television and film industry – a form of animal exploitation that is becoming increasingly controversial. This, surely, is another area the authorities should bring under control.

In the meantime, we hope to hear soon that the animals are being well-cared for wherever they are.

Blogging off

Will

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