Bowmanville Zoo Owner Steps Down Amid Charges

Durham, ON, Canada / channel12

New developments in the case of animal abuse allegations against the owner of the Bowmanville Zoo.

After five animal cruelty related charges filed, the Bowmanville zoo owner Michael Hackenberger has officially stepped down from his position… After hidden camera footage from PETA was posted of him whipping a Siberian tiger.

The zoo took to Facebook saying,

“We find these charges to be completely unwarranted and unsupported by the actual facts surrounding the allegations against Mr. Hackenberger.”

However, executive director of Animal Justice… Camille Labchuk says she’s shocked at Hackenberger’s reaction.

“I’m surprised he’s surprised. We live in a society where we take animal abuse very seriously. It’s a federal criminal offense to abuse an animal. So I don’t understand why Mr. Hackenberger thinks he should be exempt from these rules because we take animal abuse seriously and we want animals to be treated well.”

We took to the streets and to see what local residents thought.

“I think he was wrong.”

“I saw the film and the beatings of the tiger and I know he said he didn’t hit him but I think he did.. I say save the tigers!”

“The way he treats the lions, tigers… I don’t like that.”

“I think it’s absolutely horrible what he did.  I think he should be put in jail… Not only step down, but close the place down.”

The zoo also stated that the closure will result in more than 60 jobs losses, and a death sentence for many of the animals.

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