Secretly recorded footage exposes the horrific conditions at roadside zoos


Ontario is the “Wild West” when it comes to oversight over zoos, leaving animals to suffer and putting human safety at risk.

We recently released our report, “Nothing new at the zoo”, highlighting the deplorable conditions at roadside zoos across Ontario.  

Well now, CTV’s investigative reporting program, W5, has released their own exposé calling attention to these roadside zoos and the sad and even dangerous conditions animals live in at these facilities. 

Our own Wildlife Campaign Manager, Michèle Hamers, sat down with W5 to discuss the current situation for captive wild animals in Ontario and why it’s not only bad for animal welfare, but potentially a human health and safety risk.

The full episode dives deeper into this issue, and why Ontario is thought of as the “Wild West” when it comes to oversight over zoos.

“As a researcher and captive wildlife expert, I am baffled by how normalized non-compliance has become. The system is broken, it has been broken for decades, for no good reason. Ontario is the only province in this country that is dealing with these types of unsafe and inhumane roadside zoos.”
- Michèle Hamers, Wildlife Campaign Manager 

While W5’s exposé only focused on three zoos, we know this issue is province-wide and there are dozens of places where wild animals are kept in degrading conditions for entertainment.   

Check out the full W5 exposé 

The Jane Goodall Bill would change the landscape for these zoos – it would prevent them from keeping crowd-pleasers animals like lions, tigers, wolves, bears, and crocodiles, among others.  

That said, the Ontario government cannot stand by idle. We need to push for more and stronger regulations to protect all species captive wildlife in Ontario. 

Join us and take this moment to speak out for the captive wild animals in Ontario. 

Act now

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