GuZoo Zoo

March 28, 2011 § 13 Comments

SOMEONE REPORT THESE PEOPLE!!!

So this is a “licensed zoo and animal sanctuary”??

When I first looked at the photos below, I assumed the “zoo” was closed for the winter – and someone managed to talk their way in…

But after reviewing the “zoos” website, I realize no one had to “talk their way in” since the “zoo” is open year round, every day from 9am to dark.  So, this is what the “zoo” looks like on any given day.  Nice.

The “zoo” is owned and run by the Gustafson family.  They fancy themselves childhood psychology specialists (read their “mandate” page), and I’m surprised they haven’t been shut down long before now since they seem to let children hold and pet the wildlife unsupervised… you know, raccoons, tiger cubs, baby lions, deer, bears, cougars… you name it.

Knowledge and understanding nurtures appreciation and respect.
This in turn, erodes fear and ignorance.

Background

So, after having a farm, then opening a “zoo”, they decided to become a “sanctuary” as well, to “orphaned bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, skunks, unwanted horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, cats, dogs, etc… all found their way to GuZoo”.  And according to the website, Fish and Wildlife officers would drop “orphans” off at their farm.  Good to know Fish and Wildlife officers were contributing to this:

Carcasses Laying Around - Not for Food

Carcasses Laying Around - Not for Food

That’s a rabbit and a goose in the photo above.  I’m not sure what the blood is from, but I do see what looks to be blood on the visible end of the rabbit.  According to the person who took the photos, these (along with another pile of carcasses) were just lying there, outside and between pens.

The other photo of carcasses just lying around:

More Carcasses

More Carcasses

Apparently these particular corpses were just lying in the snow, near some carnivores… and the poor things were going nuts because they were hungry and wanted at the dead animals.

Apparently they Like to Tease the Animals

Apparently they Like to Tease the Animals

Nothing like throwing a bag of croutons in with the rabbits, and leaving them to either figure out how to work the ziplock technology or choke on the plastic as they tear through!

All of the animals that need heat, like turtles, iguanas, the the little piglet in the photo below, etc. have barely enough warmth to keep them alive.  Many animals inside and outside were shivering and/or lethargic.

All Alone and Cold

All Alone and Cold

Sadder still, is the fact that they do not give adequate care to injured animals, such as the young goat below.

Injured Kidd

Injured Kidd

Anyone with ANY knowledge about herd mentality will tell you that this little guy is being picked on.  He is being run off from the food.  His growth will be stunted at the very least – if he’s not outright killed.  This baby should be put in quarantine until he is healed, and should be fed separately until he regains his strength.

The proprietor was asked about this goat in particular, and he said it was fine and didn’t need to be removed.

No One Would Let Him Eat

No One Would Let Him Eat

On their website they do discuss what seems to be a concern that’s been brought up to them often; what do they do with the animals during the winter?

We have a number of species who absolutely cannot remain outside during our winters.  Some of these animal are; the African Serval Cat, the Cabybara, some of the primates, the Zebu Cattle and the Watusi Cattle.  These animals are given winter living arrangements in a heated facility that allows for outdoor exposure on the warmer days of the winter.

Except they’re allowed out during Chinooks of course.

Did you know it gets really cold in Siberia?

And thankfully, all their lions and tigers have “adapted” to the cold winter months.  Too bad they haven’t learned how to boil water.

Only Water Here is Frozen Water

Only Water Here is Frozen Water

Again, anyone who cares for animals properly knows that eating snow is not sufficient to keep an animals water intake at an appropriate level.  It also lowers the body temperature, increasing discomfort.

Their explanation as to why animals lose “condition” in the winter months:

Some of the carnivore may loose some condition over the winter months.  The reason being is that frozen food is harder to eat then non frozen food. Although fresh meat is fed out, it may not always be consumed in its entirety before it freezes.  A fox or coyote (or lion or tiger) must expend more energy to consume and digest frozen food.  But, rest easy  knowing that during the summer months, captive carnivores have life pretty darn good, and can easily make up for a small condition loss.

Amazingly, instead of complaining about the condition of the animals, we should “give (their) poor zoo keepers some sympathy”, as they have to go out in the cold to starve feed and not water care for the animals.

Oh, and thinking of adopting a dog??  What about one of these lovable mutts?  I’m sure they’re not always caged up like that.  And look, it’s summer and there’s STILL no water available!

Poor Things

Poor Things

I guess just the personal dogs get to run free to terrorize play with the wolves…

Brave Pugs

Brave Pugs

Those dogs know full well the wolves can’t get at them, so obviously think it’s “fun” to get them all riled up.  I hear they love to run around and terrorize all the animals, and that there is dog and cat feces everywhere – even inside those so-called heated living facilities!

In reading about their adoption policies for dogs, they “destroy” any dog that shows aggression of any form, don’t believe in spending time rehabilitating potentially aggressive animals, don’t spay or neuter, and don’t have an adoption contract.  Perfect.

More Fun Facts

They’ve “branched out” and gone mobile!  They are willing to be hired out to do a mobile petting zoo!!  I bet that saves a lot of embarrassing questions when people can’t see the conditions they actually live in.  I especially love the way they word their booking fee:  $500.00 for the first hour, $150.00 for every half hour after that.  But of course, it’s a minimum, 2 hour booking!  Come on people, why don’t you just say “$800.00 for two hours, and $150.00 for every half hour past that”???

Here are the people who run GuZoo:

The Father

The Father

The Son

The Son

The Sons Wife

The Sons Wife

Their contact information

Lynn Gustafson (father)
Irene & Bill Gustafson (son and his wife)
PO Box 898, Three Hills, AB    T0M 2A0
Phone:  (403) 443-7463
Email:  guzoo@xplornet.com

Who to Report them to:

Mr. Richard Marz (PC).
His email address is:
oldsdidsbury.threehills@assembly.ab.ca

Read Any Number of Bad Reviews

PetsHub

TripAdvisor – some good, some bad – but I always read the “good” ones with a suspicious eye… it always seems like the same person logging in using different persona’s to leave “good” reviews.

Reports

In my research, I found this has been an ongoing issue, with people writing and reporting to whomever would ignore them listen.

Quote from WSPA email:  more than 150 violations of Alberta’s zoo standards at two roadside zoos – Guzoo Animal Farm (Three Hills) and Discovery Wildlife Park (Innisfail)

Quote from ZooCheck Canada:  In addition, children in the petting area are unsupervised putting both the young animals and children at risk of injury and disease transmission. From this report:  http://www.zoocheck.com/Reportpdfs/Guzoo07.pdf

Actually, read any of the reports on this page since it seems to have been an issue since 1987:  http://zoocheck.com/search.html?cx=017410547732590605057%3Ah7l-9y3em-4&q=guzoo&sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa=search&cof=FORID%3A11&siteurl=www.zoocheck.com%2F

Photos stolen from:  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=636678&id=563805693 (and they were uploaded just today!)

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§ 13 Responses to GuZoo Zoo

  • Bruce McDonald says:

    Nice article. I can’t help but wonder if the Alberta Government is in bed with Gustafson somehow (maybe Mr. G has oil on his land or something?)

    A government minister, Mel Knight, who has the power to close the place, said, DURING THE ON_GOING INVESTIGATION, that he hopes it stays open. He called it a ‘sanctuary and old-age home for animals’ on the Rutherford Show (Calgary conservative talk show). No conflict there at all. He’s either a liar or naive, either way he shouldn’t be in charge.

    I hope they close the place soon. Thanks for your contribution.

    Like

  • Lori says:

    I am very interested in seeing how this all ends up at the end of GuZoo’s 2 month temporary license while things are being investigated. This place is an obvious hellhole and people from all over are outraged over this “zoo” being allowed to remain open and these poor animals allowed to remain in the “care” of these people.

    Like

    • Not A Breed says:

      I agree Lori. I am waiting to hear what happens. All too often, after the initial flash of ‘publicity’, people don’t keep informed. I’d appreciate it if anyone saw anything to link to it in the comments or email me. I will look into it further, and write about it again.

      Like

  • Roskay says:

    Thanks for this, I’m glad I stumbled across your site actually. I will be checking back here also to find out what happens to this “zoo” or whatever its called, and to check out your other articles too. Cheers.

    Like

    • Not A Breed says:

      Thanks Rosay. I do this so that anyone who considers doing any sort of business with these people, who does a quick Google search will be able to see what type of person they’re dealing with.

      Like

  • Roskay says:

    Very welcome, my pleasure :) Honestly, I haven’t been to a zoo for 20 years because they aren’t the place I like to visit for personal reasons…anyways, I do know that the owners have repeatedly ignored government agencies and officials and continues to hoard and keep his animals (and his farm) in a deplorable state….
    It’s beyond me why he has been able to skirt the laws for so long, makes me wonder who’s dick he’s sucking? (can I say that here?)

    Like

  • Not A Breed says:

    You can absolutely say that here! :)

    Like

  • Inka Lanser-Liebe says:

    We had absolutely the same impression. We visited this “zoo” to rescue some cats who lived in a hell hole and in their own feces in order to bring them to a non kill organization. Unfortunately we brought home a desease. Although we stripped immediately and put our cloth in the wash machine, one of our cats, a stray which had not been vaccinated yet since we had him only for a week died of distemper. After our vet diagnosed him, we brought him immediately to the Calgary North Emergency Clinic but they could not save him.

    The first time we visited this concentration camp for animals to take some photos and pass them on to the media, my husband was not able to drive for a couple of minutes after we left this place. He was shaking.

    We are glad that after more than 2 decades of complaints this place will be shut down as well as Mr. Gustaffson who has nothing but his profit on his mind. We hope that all animals will find places where they do not have to suffer anymore. We know that this is ambitious but you can always hope.

    Like

    • Carmen says:

      Hello Inka,

      My name is Jackie, and I think you are a friend of my Uncle Michael Wilke in Germany. If I’m correct then please let me know. If I have the wrong Inka, I apologize.

      Thanks,

      Jackie M.
      Calgary

      Like

      • Inka Lanser-Liebe says:

        Hi Jackie,
        I just checked by accident these messages. Yes, Michael Wilke is a friend of ours, he is living now in Mallorca. We paid him and Renate a visit in 2010 and 2011. He is finishing is third book now. Hope you will see this message soon.

        Regards,

        Inka and Ron

        Like

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