THREE HILLS. — The Alberta SPCA confirms it is investigating complaints into the treatment of animals at a privately run zoo near Three Hills.
A spokesman from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development also says a review of GuZoo Animal Farm is underway as part of the licence renewal process.
SPCA spokesman Ken Dean says “a very large number of complaints” came in Monday after pictures of animals at the facility including a goat with its face nearly covered in blood were posted on a Facebook page.
GuZoo owner Lynn Gustafson has been running the facility for more than 20 years.
He says he has nothing to defend, adding that dealing with animal activists and people who he claims don’t understand is part of the job.
Self-proclaimed animal lover Nick Burgess, who posted the online photos, says if a private zoo can’t care for its animals it shouldn’t have them.
“These pictures show carcasses piled upon carcasses, just endless, endless decay in the cages, rusted metals, exposures to many things these animals should never have to deal with,” he says.
Gustafson says the carcasses are given to him by local veterinarians and by Alberta Highway Services when they pick up road kill.
He says carnivores eat meat in his zoo just as they do in “city zoos,” but he does it out in the open rather than behind closed doors.
Gustafson says if he is forced to give up his animals, they will never go anywhere else.
“That lion is worth $10,000 to taxidermy, and if that’s what these people want, that’s what they’ll get,” he says.