Ontario Zoo Closes Due to Low Attendance

Controversial Canadian zoo to close this fall after owner stands trial for four charges of animal cruelty.

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Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, Canada will shutter this fall due to “catastrophically” low attendance. Last year, the zoo’s owner Michael Hackenberger was the subject of an undercover video obtained by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wherein the zookeeper is seen whipping a tiger named Uno. Hackenberger rented out animals from the zoo for use in Hollywood movies such as The Life of Pi and is now facing four counts of animal cruelty, which can result in a maximum penalty of $60,000, two years in prison, and a lifetime ban from owning animals. “It’s closing around a hundred years too late for the hundreds of animals that suffered there,” PETA spokesperson Brittany Peet said. “Any time a zoo closes its doors is time for celebration. None of these people should be in the animal business. It’s time for them all to find other jobs and find better homes for these animals.” Within one year, the zoo will relocate all of the animals they held captive.