(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

Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions, centre, and councillor Deb Haggard speak with Graham Hughes and others at a protest in front of the Port Alberni Shelter (Our Home on Eighth). Hughes and supporters have been at the shelter since Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC Housing agrees to review of Port Alberni shelter

City’s mayor, shelter’s executive director welcome news of independent review

Port Alberni RCMP have told protesters at a tent city in front of the Port Alberni Shelter (Our Home on Eighth) to take down their tents and leave the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Shelter protest organizer arrested, released in Port Alberni

Supporters told to take down tent city or face arrest, protesters say

The City of Port Alberni and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District are working on Housing Needs Reports and are seeking public feedback. (SUSAN QUINN / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
City of Port Alberni, ACRD release housing survey

Survey open to Alberni Valley residents until Nov. 16

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The final result of British Columbia’s provincial election won’t be known for at least two weeks because more than 700-thousand mail-in ballots have to be counted by hand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Mail-in ballots flowing into electoral offices

More than 4,000 received for Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding so far

Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions, centre, and councillor Deb Haggard speak with Graham Hughes and others at a protest in front of the Port Alberni Shelter (Our Home on Eighth). Hughes and supporters have been at the shelter since Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
City of Port Alberni calls for investigation into shelter allegations

Former provincial election candidate organized protest in front of PA Shelter

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read