Today, Saturday March 2nd, 2013, several members of K.O.A.L.A. (Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance) attended a demonstration opposing animal abuse at Little Ray’s (travelling) Reptile Zoo. The event was held from 9am to 5pm at Bingeman’s conference center in Kitchener, Ontario.
The zoo, based in Ottawa, is touring Ontario and features reptiles, birds of prey, and a lynx with live shows where patrons can view and touch the animals.
Kitchener residents and K.O.A.L.A. members arrived at Bingeman’s but were promptly asked to leave the property by staff. A picket was set up at the Bingeman’s entrance on Centre Drive. Demonstrators held signs that read slogans like: “No Cages, No Chains”, and “Zoos Are Cruel”. One demonstrator, disguised as a parking attendant, handed out literature to hundreds of motorists highlighting examples of cruelty found at zoos as well as flyers listing genuine animal sanctuaries located in Ontario.
Several drivers leaving the event stopped to give their support. One zoo patron was quoted as saying “This zoo was horrible. It was advertised as an animal rescue but the conditions were horrid. They had an alligator sitting in the middle of the floor with its mouth duct taped shut so that people could pet her. What’s educational about that? A lot of families were leaving the event right away after seeing how terrible this place was”.
Demonstrators echoed this sentiment, with one resident saying “this zoo is marketed as educational and promoting wildlife conservation, but the reality is that it is just a travelling sideshow, no better than a circus. The animals are stressed out from over-handling and constant travelling. There is nothing educational about people gawking at captive animals in tiny aquariums. These animals are denied their freedom for our entertainment. Their needs should come before our amusement. Zoos only perpetuate the ideology that animals are ours to do with as we please. Animals are not our property and they should be respected, not put on display for profit”.
Despite being harassed several times by a Bingeman’s employee who threatened to have everyone arrested, the demonstration concluded peacefully. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org