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.
Quotes from the two letters.
- 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.
- Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo Also their event on Facebook
- Busker Festival 2016 – start video at 4:28 mark to see snake and tortoise.
- Report on Council activity which includes a report about Diane Storen objecting to travelling zoos.
- Download the two letters: Catherine Valcourt – M. Michelle Nadon