Mountain View giraffe died of "cold and bad diet"

Humane society calls for government to set zoo standards

VANCOUVER, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - Media reports confirming that a giraffe at the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre died from cold and a bad diet have prompted the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) to call for new government standards for B.C. zoos.

A necropsy on the giraffe, which died at the centre in early December during sub-zero temperatures, has reportedly found it died from lack of warmth and an inappropriate diet. Necropsy results on a baby giraffe that died at the centre in the same week have yet to be released.

"It's outrageous that tropical animals died in an unheated barn in freezing temperatures," said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker. "Mountain View only installed heat under orders from the BC SPCA after the giraffes were dead. Their callous excuse that heat hadn't been an issue before is unacceptable."

The giraffes' deaths came amid allegations by a group of current and former Mountain View staff concerning animal cruelty and neglect at the centre. Fricker said the necropsy results and the fact that the BC SPCA has had to issue multiple orders to Mountain View lend credibility to what the staff have been saying.

VHS has called on the B.C. Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to launch a full investigation of Mountain View and to set specific standards for all captive animal facilities in B.C.

"Facilities like Mountain View need to meet high standards of animal care that are monitored and strictly enforced by the government," said Fricker. It's the only way to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again."

All B.C. captive animal facilities, including Mountain View must qualify for an MOE permit by April 1, 2010, despite the fact there are no specific standards for them to meet.

SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society

For further information: For further information: Peter Fricker, (604) 266 9744, Cell: (604) 603-5401

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