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Bowmanville Zoo bows to public pressure, ends declawing policy for big cats

Tweets, Facebook comments and placards, oh my.

The Bowmanville Zoo is bowing to public pressure and changing their policy on declawing big cats.

Durham region residents concerned the Bowmanville Zoo was planning to declaw some of its lion cubs have been staging protests and asking questions of the zoo in hopes of stopping the practice.

In response, the zoo has told CityNews they will not declaw any of the lion cubs and will not declaw any big cats in the future.

A Facebook post on the zoo’s website on Monday said the conversation had become too heated.

“Several contributors – and truth be told, we ourselves – have drifted off course and we need to get this conversation back on track,” read the post.

That thread had garnered over 200 comments, many of them urging the zoo to reconsider its declawing plans.

The zoo maintains that declawing is for the animal’s benefit and none of their big cats suffered any negative effects, but they said they are willing to change with the times.

Critics say declawing is painful for the animals and could lead to health risks such as infection, arthritis, or lameness.

As a gesture of good will, the zoo plans to donate a portion of its proceeds from this weekend’s ticket sales to the Paw Project, a group dedicated to ending declawing.