Finally They Speak (GuZoo)

March 30, 2011 § 5 Comments

Well, actually they pick and choose what to “answer” on their blog – and make some stuff up as they go.  But who wouldn’t in this instance?  Someone has been trying to put on a better front – all gussied up and clean for the cameras this time.  Unfortunately the latest “interview” didn’t talk about the taxidermist comment.  Oh, but that’s ok, they explained that on their blog!  A blog, mind you, that they haven’t updated since June of last year – until now.

They’re not on Facebook – because ya know they were warned about Facebook:  “it is an avenue for identity theft, fraud and harmful intentions. I was warned years ago by a prominent media expert to STAY AWAY from Face Book. I urge to you (sic) all to as well” But it’s ok to have a website and blog, and your personal information posted everywhere… that’s soooo much better!

On the GuZoo blog, they went through a bunch of “comments” and then “responded” to them.  So, since you get to pick and choose and make responses… well, so so I.


Sarah said…

That’s all very interesting, but what about ZooCheck? They’ve obviously been inspecting for years and aren’t just someone who stopped by with the motivation to show how terrible your zoo is.


Any facility who has been subjected to Zoocheck knows for a fact that Zoocheck’s one and only mission is to close ALL zoos.  Of course they are going to find something to complain about.  Just like they attacked the Calagry Zoo and the Edmonton zoo the recent years.


According to zoocheck’s website:

…improved husbandry conditions for captive wild animals; new or improved municipal bylaws across the country that control or prohibit the keeping and display of wild animals by private citizens, circuses and traveling shows…

It looks to me like they are looking out for the welfare of captive wild animals.  No where did I see that they are intent on closing down ALL zoos.  Only ALL zoos that are not (a) caring for the animals properly and (b) are not giving the animals enough space and natural habitat to live comfortably.  They only say “animal protection campaigns have resulted in the closure of some of Canada’s worst zoos” and it sounds like they’re pretty sure you’re one of the worst zoos.


Steven J Carnegie said… …Im curious if you say there a waterers for winter why you have volunteers say that can eat snow…You cant survive off eating snow so why assume an animal bigger than you can.


How long can human go without water? I understand a human would die in less than a week without fluids. How long do you suppose a lion can go without water? Not sure I have read any studies on that, however, the fact of the matter is our male lion is 19 years old. So either he survives by eating snow in the winter, or we are watering him. You decide.


Really?  This is your response?  Wow.  You want us to decide, but yet it’s obvious you don’t listen to a word anyone says.  Even the experts!  But I guess you know everything!  What about this… what if you actually supplied water to the animals?  Maybe they wouldn’t “lose condition” so much in the winter!

If you took a 5 gallon pail, and filled it with water, and then melted that water, you’d end up with a CUP of water.  Consider, for one second, the energy it takes to melt the water (I hope I’m not going too far over your head here) and you’ll see that it’s much more difficult to survive on snow.  Not to mention the fact that it lowers your internal temperature when you eat snow – thus making those cold days that much more uncomfortable. Why don’t you put on as many layers as you can, then sit outside with barely any room to move (you know, so you can keep warm), and then eat snow on top of that.  Honestly, you might survive… but would you be happy?

You supposedly had a farm before.  Did you not water the livestock during the winter?  Or did you just assume the livestock could survive on snow?  Because I’ll tell ya, there are minimum standards of care for livestock, and one of those minimum standards is clean, unfrozen water in winter.


Anonymous said… The Calgary zoo is a real zoo with proper animal care and proper facilities to house the varieties of animals.


The Calgary Zoo is given a minimum of 22 million dollars annually in government funding. This is in addition to their gate admission. Their employees are paid by the City of Calgary. We have to pay our staff from our gate admissions. We are given zero dollars.

We could do a lot with 22 million dollars a year also. Do you know where we might get it?


I didn’t bother to research how much money the Calgary Zoo receives, I’ll just “take your word for it” at this point.  But your sarcasm and ignorance is not lost on me.  If you want to open a “real” zoo, then open one.  Don’t continue on with the charade of being a zoo, when you really are not one.


I even saw one of your “staff” a young teenage girl feeding the Lynx a box of “Lunchables”


This made me laugh because one of the criticisms was we are feeding our animals food unfit for human consumption. See, we are damned if we do, and we are damned if we don’t.


That does not answer the question.  Either of the questions.

If someone says you don’t feed the animals food fit for human consumption; that is one issue.  Probably not a realistic issue, considering most humans don’t agree that kibble and carcasses are fit for human consumption.  BUT, that being said, I doubt the person who said that really meant it literally.  So get over it.

As for the fact that a Lynx was eating a box of “Lunchables”… well?  Were you feeding exotic animals boxed lunches like this?  Because actually, I don’t think that IS acceptable!  Did you at least take it out of the packaging first this time???


How do you explain the exhaustive amount of complaints by visitors and zoocheck? The fact that you were a fur farm before a sanctuary???!!


As mentioned before, Zoocheck is anit-zoo 100% They want to regulate ALL zoos out of business. And the fur farm? Yes, it was explained on my web site that Mr. Gustafson had his fur farm licence revoked because he refused to slaughter his animals. So he put them under a zoo permit.


I read your website from front to back, before the shit hit the fan, and did NOT see this.  Did you add it after the fact?  (Regarding the fur farm licence being revoked because he refused to slaughter his animals.)  And really, why get a fur farm license if your intent was not to raise animals … um, … for their fur???

Also, what about the question they started with; how do you explain the exhaustive amount of complaints by visitors and zoocheck?  You answered with your rant about zoocheck, but what about the average guy who shows up at your place and walks away disgusted?

And one more thing; I have been watching the horse slaughter industry closely for years… one thing I see over and over again is the pro-slaughter proponent lamenting the increased regulations surrounding slaughter and horse meat.  Any time an industry is shown to fail at basic care and humane treatment of animals, regulations are put in place to protect those who can not protect themselves – the animals.  Don’t cry foul each time regulations are made more stringent, because if you were doing the best for your animals all along, those regulations wouldn’t be changing a thing on your farm anyway.


I am curious why domesticated dogs are still allowed to roam about the wild animal cages,


These are our family pets. If we tied them up, I bet you would complain about that too. We choose our dogs carefully, although these dogs may not be obedience trained, they have beentemperament tested to, a) be awesome with the public and, b) not harm livestock.

Obviously we can’t have dogs running around who are going to chase down our sheep.


Really?  Sarcasm again?  Called for?  No.  Bottom line, there is photographic evidence of those “family pets” teasing the wolves.  The person who uploaded the photos also noted the dogs were bothering other captive animals.  You don’t really state that your dogs don’t tease or bother the captive animals.  Because you can’t right?  Because there’s photographic evidence that they do!

There is a huge difference between dogs “chasing down sheep’ and dogs teasing animals they know can’t stop them.


why did you say you would send the animals to a taxidermist?


Mr. Gustafson wasn’t sure he should have said that as he was worried people would take it the wrong way. And most have. What the public doesn’t understand (by no fault of your own) is that all zoos have limits on what animals and how many they can or can’t have. For instance, we are only allowed three lions. If someone phoned us tomorrow and said, “can you take my two lions off me as I can’t look after them anymore”, we would have to turn them down. Legally we are only allowed to have three lions. Regardless of our facility, size of enclosure, capacity to house them…etc. People think that if we shut down, the animals will just be scooped up by other zoos. Sure, some might. But lions are a dime a dozen, not many zoos want a 19 year old male lion to add to their collection even if they were allowed by their governing authority to take it in. So, what Mr. Gustafson was saying, is that suddenly closing a zoo down can in fact result in the euthanasia of many of these animals.

Many people questioned the housing of our tiger and our macaques and voiced concerns about them tolerating our climate. May I say this: SIBERIAN Tiger, Japanese SNOW Monkey. Hope that helps. If not, Google it.

The primates who can’t tolerate the winter have a heated enclosure to house them in the winter.


No.  You shouldn’t have said that.  It was an ignorant and defensive stance.  Similar to the stalker who kills his victim; “if I can’t have her, no one will”.  Whatever bullshit response you can come up with now to try to “defend” Lynn’s comment is purely fabricated after the fact.  Spin doctoring.  Your explanation was in NO way his intent, and I think you know this.

Also, saying “suddenly closing a zoo down can in fact result in the euthanasia of many of these animals” is just another threat/guilt trip.  Yes, sometimes animals are euthanized after seizure.  Sometimes due to poor health, sometimes for other reasons.  Personally I feel if they can’t find a suitable home/shelter/etc. then euthanasia is more humane than keeping them in a shitty home.  Dogs, cats, horses, etc…. many animals are euthanized daily because there are not enough suitable homes for them.  It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

There were four comments on this new post, one of which was:

Nic Burguss the guy that took those PHOTOS I found out is an actual PHOTO MANIPULATOR by trade. Just google his name and it comes up!

I am sickened that I’ve seen this type of comment in several places.  Just because someone can manipulate a photo, does not mean every photo is manipulated.  And to be completely honest, I have an extensive background using PhotoShop, and I will say he never even corrected the levels.  Those photos were taken on an average camera (not a professional one) and relatively low resolution (10×7 and 72dpi).  They’ve not been corrected or manipulated in any way.

And what, exactly, do people think Mr. Burgess manipulated?  Did he ADD the blood to the goat?  No, Mr. Gufstason admitted there was blood on the goat.  Did Mr. Burgess make the aquarium smaller than it really was?  No.  Otherwise I think the Gustafson’s would be screaming about THAT.  See, the only people trying to make it sound like Mr. Burgess manipulated the photos, are people who are NOT actually involved with GuZoo at all!

Then, the fourth and last comment is from the daughter-in-law herself:

I am sorry for offending anyone with the sharpness of my answers. I was wrong. I wrote this blog early this morning between 3 and 4 am. We have been under a lot of stress and have been hammered with repetative questions (the ones I addressed in the blog) and I guess my frustration showed through. Again accept my apology.

I’m glad to see that you understand that your answers came off snarky and unprofessional.  If you want to respond to allegations being made about your family and business, then maybe you should wait until you are rested and able to proof and edit your own work.  When a business is under fire, that business should respond with facts, proof, and solid logic.  Not sarcasm, telling people to Google information in a bitchy tone, and thinly veiled threats and half-truths.


§ 5 Responses to Finally They Speak (GuZoo)

  • Not A Breed says:

    I did not read all the comments on the GuZoo blog, but had to laugh out loud when I saw that Steven J. Carnegie wrote “Now heres an experiment for that take a 5 gallon pail pack it full of snow and bring it inside. Wait for it to melt and see how much water is in it. thats a lot of snow you would have to eat to obtain a small amount.

    Honestly, I have used the exact same argument about leaving animals to eat snow, and even used it here on this post – before I saw it on Carnegie’s comment!

    Good for you Steven! Logic and fact, what more can one ask for?


  • Jen says:

    Hello Everyone!

    I am posting on Behalf Of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. We have been contacted by Zoo-check and are willing to assist with rehoming as many of the primates as we are able. Our farm is currently at full capacity, so we are asking for your help to make this a possibility.

    We need help to raise funds and or supplies to build a new barn in which to home these animals. Gifts in Kind would be greatly appreciated as well. Anyone with experience in this field your input and help are greatly appreciated.

    Although we are trying our hardest to make as much room as possible we are not going to be able to help with out a new facility to home these guys. We have added all we can to our current building where we currently have 24 rescues including 10 lemurs, 2 japanese macaques, 2 olive baboons, 2 hamadryas baboons, 3 marmosets, 3 spiders and 2 capuchins! We are the only Primate Sanctuary in Canada.

    Please Help us help the primates of Guzoo! You can Donate at our Website – we are a registered Charity and are able to give receipts, or please contact with any other ideas or ways to assist. We look forward to hearing from all of you!!

    Thank You for reading!

    Barn Manager
    Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary


    • Not A Breed says:

      I wouldn’t normally allow a post like this one. The reasoning is I don’t want my blog to become an “advertisement” for people soliciting donations.
      I appreciate you are at full capacity, and I appreciate also that you’d like to build a new barn.
      I doubt, however, that it would be built in time to house any of the animals from GuZoo.

      Good luck, and I hope you find ways to help the GuZoo animals since taking any in seems to be out of the question at the moment. Please help find other good homes for them, and continue to check in on the animals welfare over the years. That would be helpful! I suspect there are not quite as many primate sanctuaries in Canada as there are other sanctuaries. Probably the only actual reason I approved your comment is the fact that you are a charity. Oh, and your belief “Animals used by humans have the right to be alive and cared for after they have served out their usefulness to humans.” I strongly believe that as well.


  • Chante says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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