Objections to Animal Show at CCC

Two women have written to Cobourg Council objecting to the Cobourg Community Centre hosting a “baby animal show” called Meet a Sloth – Diversity of Living Things.  The show is staged by Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo who say they are “combining forces with Animal Ambassadors with our largest and most comprehensive exhibit to date. Featuring a Baby Sloth, Kangaroo, Skunk, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Alligator, Snakes, Tarantulas, Tortoises, and so much more!”  Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is based in Ottawa but have four locations as well as touring.  Both writers ask that their letters be read aloud at the Council meeting but that is not usually done.  Neither woman gives her address but some Google research found that M. Michelle Nadon is an animal activist living in Aurora and Catherine Valcourt lives in Cobourg.

The show will be on Friday February 9th through Sunday February 11th and costs $14.50 per person – children under 2 free.

Letter Highlights

Sloth at Meet a Sloth – Diversity of Living Things Show
Sloth at Meet a Sloth – Diversity of Living Things Show

Quotes from the two letters.

Catherine Valcourt

  • Animals were not placed on this earth for our amusement. Certainly not for an intimate, up-close interaction with humans as is being touted by the write up advertising this spectacle.
  • While — at first glance all seems educational . To see a sloth or a kangaroo! But, it’s not just looking … it’s an interactive, hands on, in your face baby animal exhibit! [Photo at right is zoo’s promotional photo of a Sloth].
  • I fully understand that these are rescued animals from unfortunate circumstances. But I also feel by putting the creatures on display, allowing hundreds of hands to touch them this is also an unfortunate circumstance!
  • I’m asking Cobourg Town Council to revaluate this event, to take into consideration the plight of these baby animals and to stand up for the animals that have no voice of their own! Please do not let this event go forward.

M. Michelle Nadon

  • Animals are not objects placed on this earth for our enjoyment. Each is a sentient creature, with a destiny of their own. Baby animals belong with their mothers in safe, natural environments, with as little human exposure as possible.
  • And please don’t even bother trying to take the “it’s educational” route with me. That’s what the internet is for, and/or books. Would you expose your own baby for “people to enjoy at their leisure”, in a “family-friendly, hands-on environment”? This is barbaric. Freak-show-ish.
  • I ask you, in the name of all that is humane, to practice compassion for animals, and to please not let this event go forward.

The Council could probably order the event to be cancelled but there would no doubt be cancellation costs and it would also set a precedent since this last came up in 2016 and a policy was established.

In June 2016, Diane Storen made a presentation to Council objecting to the travelling zoos at the Busker Festival.  Council referred her concerns to staff for a report which was provided in October 2016 (details here).  Basically, only the accredited organizations listed on the Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) site can operate a travelling zoo in Cobourg and Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is listed.



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Walter Luedtke
4 February 2018 10:19 am

Hmmmm! Little Ray’s Reptile zoo seems to have discovered a niche in ecological entertainment.
“Our reptile shows span birthday parties, grade school and high school shows, roadshows – like fairs and museum exhibits, as well as corporate events and parties.”
Not sure whether cuddly alligators really enjoy sticky birthday party fingers.
Ah well!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 February 2018 1:04 pm

My grandparents had a farmstead at Hulls Corner, north end of Division Street. As a child I got to molest chickens, ducks, cows, rabbits, frogs from the pond, capturing slop in a tube for microscopic examination in my bedroom. I have molested animals, dead and alive, all my life. So many different textures of fur or hair and hides. Different textures of tongue on my hand, sloppy hound tongue or nail-file cat tongue. Killed a few small critters from time to time, sometimes outsourcing it to the cat. I do remember how marvelous it was to hold a slimy dew worm in my hand, feeling it squirm; the same with caterpillars hairy or not climbing up my arm. Gosh, I just realized I did all that without Purell. The times I use Purell is when I attend mass human events, like escalator or stairway handrails during rush hour.

In my first book of poetry, Walking On The Greenhouse Roof, (1969) I wrote a poem called The Sense Supreme which had the following repeating refrain:

My bones, my blood, my body,
all are sensitive, the world sensitive,
everything that touches me, I touch.

And then a few years later another poem came along that also addressed the touching issue.

You all want to touch.
I think your hands are cold
but they are not.
Which is important?
What I think?
Or your warm arguments?

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2018 3:05 pm

Ah Wally!!
The things you do for art!

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 February 2018 6:10 pm

I always thought that I was the only kid in town back in the 1950s who biked out to semi-rural spots to gather green pond scum in a wide-mouth jar for examination under my microscope back at home. The things you find out!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rusty Brown
18 February 2018 1:19 pm

There were lots of tiny creatures swimming in mine. I recall one creature that all of a sudden sent out small hairs from its mouth and quickly withdrew them. My excitement was off the charts when I saw that. Do you still have your microscope? I abandoned mine for girls a couple years later.

3 February 2018 1:32 pm

These ladies are right to be ‘generally’ concerned about abusive, profit-at-animal-expense organizations. Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is not one of these organizations. Like Wally, I believe that interactions (i.e. physical contact), for both the animals and people, is best when safely done. There is no physical contact over the internet and therefore learning is diminished. Further to claim ‘destiny’ is ludicrous. Would we want to leave these rescued (from somewhere, someone) animals to their fate whatever that might be. I feel certain that Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo will have trained individuals available to assure the safety of both of the animals.

Wally Keeler
3 February 2018 12:52 pm
2 February 2018 6:45 pm

What do we do about Wiarton Willy, Punxsutawney Phil and Shubenacadie Sam?

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Frenchy
17 February 2018 6:17 pm

Why does it have to be a groundhog anyway? If I see my own shadow on Feb 02, does that count, even if there isn’t a groundhog within miles?

2 February 2018 5:24 pm

They’re probably right. Hundred years from now I think everyone will be vegan. Too much unnecessary suffering to animals whether it be dairy, meat, or shows like this, people are waking up to it. While I’m not vegan I’ve tried many of the alternatives and I can barely tell the difference so I’m reconsidering the idea eating animals.

Diana Storen
Reply to  Batman
4 February 2018 4:17 pm

John: Thank you for this post on your blog. I had no idea this “zoo” was coming to Cobourg. I sure miss getting my daily news from Northumberland Today! Because Little Ray’s has CAZA accreditation, unfortunately, there is not much anyone can do about this group coming to the CCC. Our bylaw permits CAZA approved organizations to appear in Cobourg. This does not mean, however, that I agree with what they do. And it seems that I am not alone. I thank the two women who have come forward with their concerns. The fact that one of them apparently doesn’t live in Cobourg makes no difference. I support the re-location of a polar bear in a Mexican zoo. Compassion knows no boundaries or borders!

By the way, my first name is Diana. Thank you for what you do!

Reply to  Diana Storen
5 February 2018 6:50 pm

Thank-you, Diana. You are a great voice for those who don’t speak ‘human.’ I’m with you and with the two women. Nobody needs to handle every critter on earth. As these are supposedly rescued creatures, they should be cared for in as natural an atmosphere as possible, which means minimum human contact.

Diana Storen
Reply to  Jane
6 February 2018 4:27 pm

Thank you, Jane!

Reply to  Batman
5 February 2018 6:51 pm

Hey, Batman! There are many of us in the area. We’d love to have you join us. 🙂