Controversial Canadian zoo ordered shut

June 2, 2011 at 9:08 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, June 2 (UPI) -- Some 400 animals at a private zoo northeast of Calgary, Alberta, aren't being cared for properly and provincial authorities have ordered the zoo closed.

The 20-year-old Guzoo Animal Farm near Three Hills was given a week to wind down operations Wednesday by Minister of Sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The facility has been targeted by animal groups since 2007, when Zoocheck Canada alleged more than 100 violations of provincial standards for zoos at Guzoo. The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums also reported deficiencies, the CBC said.

There has also been an online Facebook campaign to close the facility accompanied by pictures showing alleged neglect.

Animals at the zoo include a baboon and big cats such as lynx, tigers and mountain lions.

Zoo owner Lynn Gustafson told 660 News Radio in Calgary he didn't like the province's heavy-handedness in ordering the closure.

"They can do a report on you and they don't give you a chance to conform if there are shortcomings, or anything else and they can just take your license away from you," he said.

The fate of the animals wasn't immediately known, the reports said.

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