(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

Robert Smithson of Smithson Employment Law Corporation presents a $10,000 donation to the Habitat for Humanity Okanagan’s Kelowna ReStore. (Contributed)
Habitat for Humanity’s Lake Country build gets $10,000 boost

“I couldn’t be more pleased to offer my support,” says Kelowna employment lawyer Robert Smithson

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

The District of Lake Country’s wildfire reduction work near Beaver Lake dam will repurpose ground debris for firewood to warm Okanagan Indian Band seniors’ homes. (District of Lake Country)
Lake Country to keep Okanagan Indian Band seniors warm through winter

‘Ironic and satisfying’ repurposed wood from fuel management project to provide heat: OKIB Chief

The North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society is seeking a letter of support from the City of Vernon ahead of its provincial grant application to establish a 37-space daycare facility to serve the Indigenous population. (submitted photo)
Organization looks to bring urban Indigenous daycare to Vernon

North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society seeks letter of support from city ahead of grant application

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Copies of an unsolicited newspaper have been reported arriving in mailboxes in Lavington and Predator Ridge among other municipalities across British Columbia. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
LETTER: Questionable newspaper appears in mailboxes

‘I would suggest people do their own research of this ‘newspaper’ before subscribing to it,’ Morning Star reader says

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read