ALBERTA

GuZoo Animal Farm Allegedly Vandalized: Fences Cut, Animals Escape

05/27/2013 03:07 EDT | Updated 05/28/2013 09:18 EDT
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Ostrich in a Zoo

Several animals escaped after enclosure fences were cut at GuZoo Animal Farm on Saturday night, according to owners of the petting zoo, located in Three Hills Alberta.

Direction signs guiding visitors to the zoo were also vandalized, and Three Hills RCMP is investigating.

Members of the zoo allege that an animal activist is responsible for the vandalism, but RCMP say there is no concrete evidence yet to support that claim, according to CTV Calgary.

Approximately eleven holes were cut in fences allowing, donkeys, sheep, ostriches, deer, coyotes and buffalo to escape, CTV adds.

"Most of the animals have been rounded up, the ones that are not we hope to have them back safe and sound tonight," GuZoo said on its Facebook Page late on Sunday.

The Calgary Sun reports that operators of GuZoo were forced to shoot a coyote after vandals allegedly set the animals free.

The zoo has for years had a controversial history littered with allegations of poor animal conditions and with many groups complaining about how animals are treated at the facility.

According to an investigation by Zoocheck Canada in 2011, none of the outdoors animals had access to potable water and many frozen water sources were covered by weeks of bird feces and contaminants. Other concerns in the report included a lack of cleanliness of cages and overcrowding in enclosures.

The Alberta government also decommissioned the license of GuZoo in 2011, reinstating it in October of 2012, according to Council of Concerned Albertans for Animal Welfare and Public Safety.

The petting zoo has since been allowed to re-assume operation.

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