Canadian news outlets are reporting that a kangaroo in an outdoor pen at a petting zoo was found on the pavement and began foaming at the mouth after he had been kept without enough shade or drinking water. A concerned passerby told reporters that he became aware of the kangaroo’s condition when his 10-year-old sister began to cry after seeing the animal lying on the concrete in a cage with no protection from the sun.
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) June 7, 2016
The petting zoo, Tiger Paw Exotics, had been set up at a community street fair just north of Toronto. After seeing the kangaroo struggling on the ground and witnessing porcupines and rabbits fighting over bits of shade to lie in, the concerned visitor reportedly got into an argument with the owner of the petting zoo before calling local authorities to ask that they come to investigate.
An official with the Ontario SPCA instructed the owner to give the animals more shade, and the group is opening an investigation into the petting zoo. The street fair’s organizers said that Tiger Paw Exotics would not be asked to return next year.
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) June 6, 2016
Petting Zoos Hurt Animals AND Humans
Animals used in petting zoos are forced to endure the stress of being transported over and over again to unfamiliar environments, where they can be mishandled by children and frightened by noisy crowds. Not only are petting zoos stressful for the animals, they can also make humans ill. Countless humans have been sickened—and some have even died—after contracting diseases from animals in petting zoos.
Health officials note that petting zoos are teeming with serious pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella bacteria. Gross!
What You Can Do
Stay away from petting zoos and other animal attractions. If you want to see animals up close, visit a sanctuary that’s accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.