I have to admit to some hesitancy in posting this field trip we went on to Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo. We were SO not happy with how the animals were kept at this aviary and zoo. Small areas for the animals, some animals in poor condition, wire up the wazoo, chickens wandering everywhere, and junk food treats for the animals. But we had some moments of enjoyment, and that does make it worth talking about! 🙂
Our first Stop was at their Shakespearean Garden. This garden was filled with mini houses reflecting what Shakespeare would have seen back in his day. It was fairly obvious that some updating needed to happen but this dis not distract us from the buildings. It was actually quite funny watching voles scurry in and out of broken windows. My son was completely delighted as they were so funny. We tried to get pictures of them, even with my lad’s snazzy camera but they were simply too quick for us!
My boys obliged me with a picture, even if the one I took wasn’t the best of quality.
The village surrounded a pond that was filled with red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, cattails and lily pads. Listening to the birds was so delightful. For the most part we were the only ones in this area.
When we finished in the village we moved through the park area which was filled with an abundance of loud school children. It was fairly evident they spent money to keep this area nice for children. New equipment, splash pad, sand pit etc. My boys had outgrown this area so we passed through quickly and on to the animals.
The Zoo Animals
This black bear lived in an area about the size of our back yard. I did note that he had a great den area.
Her area was fairly large by mostly devoid of things to entertain her. I don’t recall seeing a den area for her. You probably can’t see it, but the gravel area in front of her was riddled with fruit loop cereal which they sell to kids to feed the animals. I told a group of children that lions don’t eat fruit loops so it was rather pointless to throw them to her.
I felt sad for her.. overweight, in complete public view of everyone. Just sad.
This is where my son got very annoyed. It took us about 7 minutes to walk the path up to the where the wolf was. The entire time she was scratching madly…. you know like how a flea ridden dog scratches. When we got up to her we saw a scrawny wolf, no pack, no sign of companionship. Just one wolf in poor condition. A couple who came up behind us said outloud “oh, that poor beast”. My curious, interested lad was angry. Animals in captivity need to be cared for well, this wolf was NOT. Mind, we don’t know the whole story. There were no staff from Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo around to ask questions of. All we could see was an itchy, very thin, rough looking animal with no social support (in the form of a pack). Didn’t seem right.
They had a large number of ruminants around: gazelle, bison, pygmy goats, boer goats, and I can’t remember the rest. They all had decent enclosures, though the bison area was a mud-pit. The pygmy goats were fat and friendly. You could tell they had over-indulged on the fruit loops. This section helped us feel a bit better about some of the care the animals received.
Many of the large enclosures had ponds in them. Ducks, geese and swans made their homes in them. This mallard had one of her own and a friend with her. She was mindfully protective of them. Most of the waterfowl looked in good condition, though a couple of the swans were filthy. And Chickens! They had so many chickens. Some free range, others penned. These mottled ones were just pretty, my son hoped to catch one but they were just a bit too quick. We’d need a chicken hook. 🙂
I cropped this photo down so you wouldn’t see the abysmal conditions these albino raccoons lived in. They didn’t look well, but they are also albino so I don’t know how much of that was colouration and how healthy they were or weren’t. They seemed to enjoy fruit loops.
Didn’t my son do a good job of capturing this parrot? Well at least it’s from the parrot family, I can’t recall exactly which one it was.
My son, lover of spiders that he is, tried very hard to get a clear image of this little jumping spider. He failed, but he gave it a good go.
I should know the full name of this crested bird but it’s escaping my mind. He caught our attention as we wandered toward the sheep and the kangeroos. Quiet bird, wandered it’s good size enclosure picking things off the ground.
Large python, nothing to do or even climb on, small room, stagnant and dirty pool of water. That’s it.
After the fun of the crested bird and the kangeroos….the reptile room was horrible. Don’t go to it, just don’t.
Two different kinds of lizards piled onto this table. Savannah and something else.
My son took his time capturing this beady-eyed cockatoo. This bird watched him closely the whole time, occasionally bobbing his head at him. Not sure what that means in cockatoo language. 🙂
We saw all the animals, appreciating most of them, liking the care for some and deploring it for others. Then we enjoyed our lunch, and decided to head back home. On the way we spotted a museum, but that’s a post for another day. We also stopped at a provincial park to our exchange student could see Lake Erie as well.
All told Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo needs to step up their care of the animals they have. Perhaps find new homes for some of the multitude of baboons and seeing if they could combine those five areas into one larger one for a bigger troop. Increasing the size of the area for their tigers, lions, and bears. Perhaps finding a way to make less of a mud pit for their bison (though that might be a challenge) and rehome that wolf. Seriously.. give it a new place with good medical care.
It was an interesting day with good conversation about how to care for animals under your watch, and things you could do to help the animals do better. Not doing fruit loops as animal treats would even be a good start.