Stanley Park petting zoo likely to close

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Stanley Park petting zoo likely to close

photo from flickr user chest-hare

photo from flickr user chest-hare

In the Vancouver Sun today, there is an article about the Vancouver Park Board’s efforts to cut costs. Stanley Park houses the “children’s farmyard” which is a pretty standard example of a petting zoo, with small animals chased around and mishandled by loud children. Not exactly the happiest place for the animals.

One of the cost-cutting measures the Park Board will likely take is to close the petting zoo.

She noted the Children’s Farmyard has long been a drain on the park board finances. Although it attracts more than 150,000 visitors a year, its operation is subsidized by about $160,000 annually.

I had no idea that our taxes were subsidizing such a thing, and to such an extent.

Woodcock expects it will take at least four months before the farmyard is shut down as the park board wants to ensure it finds homes for all the animals, which include llamas, goats, chickens, rabbits and hamsters. “We have some rare breeds here,” she said. “They aren’t your standard critters.”

These “critters” never deserved to be on display for children to paw at. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must have been for the chickens, rabbits, and hamster especially. All of these animals a frightened easily by loud noises and don’t like to be picked up.

There are no valuable lessons to be taught to children at a petting zoo. It only teaches that animals belong in zoos, on concrete, caged, for our amusement. I’ll be glad to see it close.



November 25, 2009 at 11:39 am

Majority of the time, small animals and children don’t mix. But children want to be around cute cuddly things and their parents think it’s a good way to teach their kids about animals. Not so. Children are rough and they lack the skills, patience and empathy to interact beneficially with small animals. The best lesson a parent can teach their kids about animals is to keep a respectful distance from them. Give the animals space and let them be. Petting zoos teach kids to harass animals for their own entertainment.

donna karl

October 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

We live on a 8oo acre ranch with lots of animals and we would love to have a llama for a pet, it would have a good loving home and would not be lonely as it could interact with the other animals here.
We live just outside 100 mile house in the community of Forest Grove.
We have horses, cows, chickens, pony, pigs,cats, dogs that are trained to herd cattle so are respectful and obedient.
Would love to hear from you.
donna karl

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