The B.C. SPCA recommended yesterday that criminal and animal-cruelty charges be laid against a private zoo in Langley where three giraffes have died since December.
In the latest case, a nine-year-old Masai giraffe named Jerome died in February after being sedated so workers could trim its painful, overgrown hooves, said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of animal-cruelty investigations.
“Instead of having the proper equipment on site, namely a squease, and instead of training the giraffes to enter a squease and getting their feet trimmed on a semi-regular basis, they permitted Jerome to live in that condition,” said Moriarty.
When the hooves became large and so painful that the giraffe couldn’t walk correctly, the “risky sedation procedure” was attempted, Moriarty said.
The B.C. SPCA began investigating the 250-acre Mountain View Conservation Centre in late November after receiving complaints about alleged abuse of the animals from former staff members.
Moriarty said she hopes the charges will be accepted by the Crown within the next few weeks.
“We feel it is not acceptable for facilities that take on the responsibility of housing these animals to not look after them.”
Two other giraffes died at the park in December during an early winter cold snap.