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Aurora residents 'disgusted' over treatment of petting zoo kangaroo

Last Updated Jun 5, 2016 at 11:41 pm EST

Aurora residents are concerned about the treatment of the animals on display during the Aurora Street Festival on June 5, 2016. Image credit: Jonathon Cole and Stephanie Nikolach.

Aurora residents are disgusted and concerned with how animals were being treated during the Aurora Chamber Street Festival after thinking a kangaroo was left dead in its pen.

“My little sister started crying,” said Jonathon Cole. “She thought the kangaroo was dying, she left because she knew something was wrong, she’s 10 years old.”

Cole, his girlfriend and sister all attended the street sale hosted by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, just like they have done every year but what they saw at the petting zoo by Tiger Paws Exotics left them alarmed.

A photo sent by Cole appears to show the kangaroo lying in a small four-by-four foot pen.

Cole said the kangaroo was stuck outside for six hours on the sweltering concrete with little to no bedding. He admits it had been raining on and off but thinks temperatures were over 30 degrees.

“This poor little fella was in direct sunlight with no shade and an empty water bowl, forced to lay on burning hot concrete,” said Cole. “He didn’t even have enough bedding in his pen to lie on top of.”

A little girl sits by the cage of a kangaroo at the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS
A little girl sits by the cage of a kangaroo at the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS

 

“It didn’t move at all, it looked like it was dying,” he said. “If I saw a dog in a car like the way this kangaroo was acting—it was literally foaming out of mouth, I would have broken the window open and save the dog.”

Cole said he was concerned and walked around the rest of the petting zoo only to notice more animals were without shade.

“There was a bunch of cages and a tent set up over the cages, but too many cages for too small of a tent,” he recalls.

Cole said there were two porcupines in a cage and that they were fighting each other to get shade.

One of the porcupines on display at the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS
One of the porcupines on display at the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS

 

That was when they approached one of the workers and asked to speak to the owner. They said they were directed to Tim Height of Tiger Paws Exotic who they said admitted it was wrong.

“He admitted to what he was doing was wrong and said the only reason I didn’t put out any shade for him was because it was supposed to rain today,” said Cole.

CityNews has reached out to Tiger Paws Exotic and Tim Height multiple times but have not heard back.

The couple claims they called the animal and distress line at Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to report what they saw. When they returned back they said everything had been changed because the OSPCA officer asked them to create shade for all of the animals.

“There was a petting zoo last year but it didn’t seem to have anything inhumane going on,” said Cole.

Early this year in March, a Toronto family raised concern over the welfare of animals at a Wizard World event which hired Tiger Paw Exotics. The concerns raised about the petting zoo pens of the camels caused changes to be made including larger size pens.

Brandy Kinnear, who also attended the street festival, is also concerned for the animals and would like to see an investigation into the treatment of them.

“I’m curious as to the legality of their operation and hope that this poor kangaroo gets a real life,” said Kinnear.

Cole said he plans on calling the Mayor of Aurora and the people who set up the festival to stop them from coming back next year.

“This should not be brought back to the Aurora street sale next year,” he said. “It is terrible for kids to see animals like that, it shouldn’t be like that now-a-days.”

Rabbits try to find shade during the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS
Rabbits try to find shade during the Aurora Street Festival. CITYNEWS