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Chippewa Park's Wildlife Exhibit - Convert to a Rescue & Conservation Centre

This petition had 1,665 supporters

**UPDATE** The Friends of Chippewa Park - Wildlife Committee is working toward fundraising money for the Wildlife Park, please see our campaign.

The Friends of Chippewa Park Wildlife Committee is a group of volunteers that have a vision for the Wildlife exhibit at Chippewa Park, enhancing not only the park, but also the City of Thunder Bay and for the tourist that visit the area.

We would love to see our Wildlife Exhibit become a home for injured and abandoned wild animals. Those animals that can be rehabilitated and released will go back into the wild and those unable to be released will be cared for at the facility. It can be a learning experience for the public and schools as well as making it a ‘second chance’ for the animals. Much like the Bear and Wolf Conservation area in Ely Minnesota, that have earned recognition all over the world for their facilities and processes. 

We CAN do the same!

 Our ultimate goal is to lease the land from the City and care and maintain the animals and the exhibit. To get there we need to do a lot of research and to prepare a business plan, a fund-raising plan, as well as an animal care plan. To do this work we need your financial help.

We want to apply to NOHFC or FedNor for a one year internship and need to immediately raise $10,000 for our share of the intern and for the tools necessary to prepare the required plans. The funding agency will pay 90% of the wage and benefit cost of the intern. Ideally, the successful intern will be a graduate of a veterinarian school who will bring the knowledge gained to the position.

We Thank YOU for your continued support and look forward to working with the public in order to maintain and continue to give these animals a home.

Thunder Bay City Council will decide in February if the funding for the operation of the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit will be eliminated and the Exhibit Closed on May 1, 2017. The animals and birds will be shipped off to zoos around the country. The cost saving to the tax payer will be $83,500 a year. This works out to 56 cents per household per year. The Friends of Chippewa Park have a better idea: build on the existing wildlife exhibit by converting it to a wildlife rescue and conservation centre where injured or abandoned wildlife is brought to treatment, rehabilitation and where possible a return to the wild. In the meantime it can become a place of wildlife research to assist scientists in understanding how to preserve the species in the wild. Please help save the Wildlife Exhibit from closure and then see it converted to a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre.


Whereas the proposed City of Thunder Bay 2017 Budget calls for the closure of the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit on May 1, 2017 and all of the animals and birds relocated to zoos across the country, and

Whereas animals have been an integral part of Chippewa Park since 1924 and have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of children and adults alike, and

Whereas City Council has already decided that the future of the Wildlife Exhibit should be part of the yet to be completed Visioning Exercise for Chippewa Park and no decision should be made until that process has been completed and reported to Council, and

Whereas converting the Wildlife Exhibit to a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre  as proposed by The Friends of Chippewa Park and expanding it to provide larger enclosures for all animals and fowl is an option that should be considered, and

Whereas a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre is a place where animals can come to live and be protected for the rest of their lives. It’s a safe haven, where they receive the very best care possible. They are given every opportunity to behave naturally in a wonderfully loving environment, and

Whereas part of a Rescue and Conservation Centre is to rescue and rehabilitate animals that have been orphaned, shot, hit by vehicles, trapped, starved, suffering from mange, abused, injured by predator attack, injured as a result of human attack and/or neglected or abandoned. The Centre would provide a safe haven for unwanted, abused and injured wildlife, and

Whereas the Centre could also provide education to the community about co-existing with wildlife and humane solutions for wildlife-related issues. The Centre could provide quality educational experiences for people of all ages in our community with regard to living peacefully with wildlife, and

Whereas the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit has the space and habitat to care for large animals such as, deer, bear, foxes, lynx and wolves and others as well as aquatic animals such as beavers and otters and the countless numbers of raccoons, squirrels and other small mammals and birds, and

Whereas most people in Ontario live in close proximity to wildlife. In rural areas, it is common to see deer and moose tracks, as well as small mammals, squirrels, chipmunks and even raccoons. Imagine the life-threatening impact on these creatures when they are injured or orphaned or when their ability to live in the wild is somehow weakened or compromised, and

Whereas through its progression of recovery and later life, the animal is treated according to its species requirements. Specific formulae, food, vaccinations, and size-appropriate enclosures are requirements for successful rehabilitation.

Therefore, the undersigned call on the Thunder Bay City Council to:

1)    Reinstate the funding in the 2017 Operating Budget in order that the Wildlife Exhibit continue to operate, and

2)    Request that the consulting team of FOTENN Planning + Design and the Boreal Centre preparing the Vision for Chippewa Park examine the option and benefits of creating a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre, and

3)    Work with The Friends of Chippewa Park in the interim to develop a comprehensive education and marketing program for the Wildlife Exhibit

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