We have breaking news tonight, a Durham zoo, famous for providing animals for Hollywood movies, that recently came under fire after animal cruelty charges were laid says it will close its doors this fall. Joe Scarpelli has our top story.
“We are here today to announce that at the end of this season, the end of 2016, we will be closing down the Bowmanville Zoo.”
After years of controversy the Bowmanville Zoo, North America’s oldest private zoo, will close its doors. The company says it can’t operate due to a catastrophic drop in attendance.
“People are believing the allegations and staying away… and it takes a lot of people to run a zoo.”
It’s allegations by animal rights group PETA that Carroll says are the reason for the zoo’s closure. Last winter PETA made public a video showing owner Michael Hackenberger allegedly whipping a tiger repeatedly.
“You know they basically portrayed the zoo as poisonous and people shouldn’t go here and they’re not. So, yeah, I think that it’s fair to say that it is the actions of PETA that have led to this.”
Customers who were at the zoo as the announcement was made, say they were expecting this day to come.
“I kind of was, yeah.”
“Considering what happened with the tiger, yeah.”
The concern for customers of the zoo is the animals being without a home.
“Because if they are going to lose homes.”
“I hope that they find good homes for the animals.”
Carroll says they will begin contacting other zoo’s to place their animals.
“We think that all the animals here will get placed. There’s about 300 animals.”
Mixed reaction has been pouring in since the news broke… Wendy Partner tweeted saying misinformation from PETA forced our beloved zoo to close. Kevin DT says any closed zoo is a good thing. Carroll says they will begin contacting other zoos to see if they can find new homes for these exotic creatures… where they will receive the specialized care they need.