Zoo de Granby no longer plans to house elephants within the next few years

Liam Casey, Canadian Press

Zoo de Granby no longer plans to house elephants within “the next few years,” its CEO said when a senator on Tuesday presented a bill that would phase out the teams of these animals in captivity, including.

Paul Gosselin said that for some years the Zoo de Granby had thought of no longer keeping elephants. “It is becoming more and more difficult to take animals out of nature (…) and to exchange with other zoological institutions, on the other side of the border, from one country to another,” he explained in an interview.

“In view of all this and in view of the fact that we have to agree that the standards for elephants are getting stricter and stricter to keep them in zoological institutions, and in view of the fact that the bill is coming and we supported him, we, as an organization in Granby, decided to make the transition. ”

Mr. Gosselin said the three African elephants kept in Granby – females Thandi and Sarah and male Tutum – will relocate, although the destinations and timetable for these relocations have not yet been determined. “We will make the transition over the next few years,” Mr. Gosselin.

Senator Marty Klyne on Tuesday reintroduced a bill, backed by primatologist Jane Goodall, that would phase out the presence of elephants in captivity, stop the presence of big cats in zoos and give some animals legal status in court.

“I must congratulate the Zoo de Granby,” Mr Klyne said of their intention to no longer keep elephants. There is no better time than now. “

‘Jane Goodall Bill’ was first introduced in late 2020, but died on the order paper last year when a lightning strike was called. Klyne from the Senate Progressive Group says the bill will ban future captured lions, monkeys, bears and hundreds of other animals in small zoos along the way.

Several zoos have officially supported the bill, including the Montreal Biodôme, Zoo de Granby and zoos in Toronto, Calgary and Assiniboine Park.

Sir. Klyne says these zoos would be exempt from the captivity ban and that others could apply to be designated as “animal welfare organizations” that meet animal care standards and protect whistleblowers in the event of abuse.

“I’m pretty optimistic about it because it’s a very positive bill,” he said in an interview.

The senator adds that several zoos and animal rights organizations helped him draft the bill.

“They gave good value to the bill. They actually increased the number of species to include,” Klyne argued.

“Important day for animals”

Primatologist Jane Goodall, who has studied family and social interactions with chimpanzees for decades, called it an “important day for animals.”

“Many of them desperately need our help, and the Jane-Goodall Act establishes protection and support for animals in human care,” Ms. Goodall said in a written statement.

Toronto Zoo is proud to support the bill. “This represents a crucial step forward in the protection of wildlife,” wrote CEO Dolf DeJong.

Several other prominent animal rights organizations have also shown support for the bill.

“Animal Justice is particularly pleased that the bill provides animals with limited legal status in court – a groundbreaking step to ensure that our justice system puts their welfare first,” said the organization’s executive director, Camille Labchuk.

If the bill is passed in parliament, it will require organizations that own tigers or cheetahs, for example, to apply for permission to breed them or acquire new ones. Requests will be processed on a case-by-case basis.

The bill would also ban the import of elephant ivory and rhino horns.

On this file, Senator Klyne has taken over from Murray Sinclair, who resigned from the Senate last year. During the second reading of the original bill, at the end of 2020, Mr. Sinclair that there were 22 elephants in captivity in Canada: 16 Asian elephants at the “African Lion Safari” near Hamilton, Ontario, a lone Asian elephant named Lucy at the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta, two African elephants at the Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec , and three elephants in Granby Zoo.

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