SAINT JOHN (May 4, 2020) – A CTV News Atlantic story by Laura Lyall.
With Saint John’s Cherry Brook Zoo closing its doors, the search is on to find new homes for the animals and raise the money needed to feed them in the meantime.
The organization that represents Canada’s accredited zoos is helping put out the calls to help while the phone has been ringing off the hook at the Cherry Brook Zoo after word of its impending closure.
“It’s just been nonstop on our end,” says Martha McDevitt, the Cherry Brook Zoo’s executive director.
Callers are wondering about rehoming the zoo residents — a complex process which is now in the works.
Part of that process involves Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, the organization better known as CAZA.
“What we’ve done so far, we’ve actually helped them and reached out to our other 29 accredited zoos across Canada and have asked them if you can take any of these animals,” said Jim Facette, CAZA’s executive director.
McDevitt said some zoos have already offered to adopt some of the animals.
“We’ve had about 14 or so of our species out of our 34-35 different species, so 14 of those have been, they’ve asked us, we can take these animals,” McDevitt said.
Fellow CAZA member, Moncton’s Magnetic Hill Zoo, says they have been looking into this, but nothing has been confirmed, said the zoo’s director, Jill Marvin.
“We’ve looked at our collection plans, we’ve looked at our infrastructure and our staffing, to see if we are able to accommodate those animals,” Marvin said.
Cherry Brook Zoo has called for funds to help feed the animals as they await adoption. So far, they’ve received about $3,000 toward the estimated monthly budget for animal feed and staff, which runs between $20,000 to $25,000 says McDevitt.
“The Cherry Brook Zoo is going to need to be financially supported in some capacity, to get from here to there, there being when they can actually close the doors and all the animals have a new home,” Facette said.