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Freedom for the Animals in the High Park Zoo - Let them run in a Sanctuary!

This petition had 1,101 supporters


I have visited the High Park Zoo as a child, and of corse I was thrilled to see them because the presence of other animals offers happiness. Animals inspire and uplift us. As an adult, I find it selfish to seek pleasure from their presence when their present state is so sad, locked behind bars. As an adult, grown up in this neighborhood, I now understand why they are caged. Human's continue to exploit other animals and with fake egotistical superiority and power. Do you not feel shame for caging an animal? Humans buy exotic birds and cage them thinking it's OK. Have we not evolved and learned by now that this is a moral problem? We are only hurting ourselves in the end, by being so damn far off. These animals have rights just like any human does. Who will speak up for them? I am sure some others understand that this is not the right way. I have heard many concerns from others about this zoo as well. Adults who are aware of the pain here and their children are aware as well. People who are aware of this false education will understand that there are other options for one to connect with animals, where the animal is not exploited. They understand these same feelings I feel and understand that this zoo is not a home for animals to live. Zoos are not healthy for their well being, physically and mentally, they are unfulfilled. This zoo is not providing education, it is a form of ‘edutainment’, a sight to entertain one for the brief ten or twenty minutes that they walk through to take a look. I see the sadness and the emptiness in their behavior and it upsets me and I am sure it must upset others. Perhaps others are confused or don’t know how to help. Sign this petition! Let’s bring them to a Sanctuary!

The Buffalo Farm, which is a Sanctuary in Mattawa, north of Algonquin Park is willing to rescue some of the animals in the High Park Zoo from their imprisonment, such as the, Bison, Sheep, Highland Cattle, and the Peacocks. Let’s start by bringing the bison, sheep, highland cattle, and the peacocks to the Buffalo Farm! Let them run!

Other sanctuaries can and WILL rescue the others! It is time to put an end to this prison which is a thing of the past! It is time to evolve and have proper education for people to understand these animals and see how they live when they are happy. Stop imprisoning animals for edutainment!


 The High Park Zoo is a sad place for me. These cages were built here in the city of Toronto in 1893 and originally meant for only deer. It is sad that we still have zoos solely for the purpose of our own pleasure and entertainment. Zoos have far greater cons than pros. It is sad that this zoo in the middle of a city, captured exotic species like peacocks and Emu’s and caged large migratory animals like Bison that don’t belong in this environment. In 2016, we are still allowing these prisons to exist. People are evolving and understanding that these zoos are not right for the animals and we have better ways of connecting and learning about animals! Let’s stop making justifications for these prisons. This zoo is not a historical zoo; it is a thing of the past that needs to change! This zoo is not providing education; the environment and context that these animals live in is a false reality and is not how they would live in the wild, therefore this display is teaching a false and sad reality. The only thing this zoo is educating me about is the fact that humans are completely disconnected to nature by creating barriers between humans and animals. These animals deserve better and deserve to live a life with dignity.

 The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has been trying to help the High Park Zoo reach funding that it needs to have better living arrangements for its animals.Why not work towards actually helping the animals? You are seeking funding to enlarge their enclosures in a city zoo where they are miserable and unfulfilled. Why not work on a plan that will truly benefit the animals lives? They can live on a Sanctuary. 


 The information in quotations was derived from the website (Toronto Parks and Trees) where they are seeking funding to help the zoo sustain itself:

 “The High Park Zoo is a popular year-round destination that has been a highlight for visitors to High Park since 1893.”

It’s 2016 and we are still blind from the sad reality of zoo’s - caging animals for our own entertainment. This zoo was built in 1893 solely for egotistical reasons and the plan was to only have deer. This zoo now has exotic species and large migratory animals that are here year-round? I can’t imagine what it’s like for them to be trapped there throughout the entire year, year after year.

“The Zoo is free to the public and attracts over 720,000 visitors each year.”

I don’t think zoos should exist at all. I believe we should only have zoos or conservation centre’s that work on breeding and rehabilitation programs. Zoo owners that profit off the imprisonment of animals disgusts me. The High Park Zoo doesn’t charge any money to enter. I am sure if they did charge a fee, it wouldn’t exist today because this petition would have been started by someone with some sense a long time ago. This zoo has little support and is underfunded. How does this effect their quality of life? It is time to shut it down and free the animals to a new home.

“The Zoo’s domestic and exotic animals offer both enjoyment and educational opportunities for people of all ages.  Among the zoo’s 50 residents, visitors can find bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, sheep, yak, emus and ducks.”

Some of the species living in this zoo are exotic and live in extremely different environments in the wild. I see the Emu’s constantly walking along the fence and that’s about all they do. They are confused and misplaced and it isn't right. These animals have very little human contact, perhaps maybe no contact at all. They are lacking love and proper attention. They receive minimum to stay alive and perhaps breed.


This zoo also has a couple Capybara’s, a species that is originally from South and Central America, where their habitat consists of lowlands from open plains to tropical rain forests. They have been introduced to North America. They like to be around lots of water such as swampy, marshy grassy areas bordering rivers, ponds, streams, lakes. They prefer nutrient-rich muddy rivers with aquatic grasses and need extensive meadows at low water times. All they have is a small human-made pond most likely Toronto tap water.


Bison are large migratory animals that live in herds yet they are forced to live in small paddocks here in the High Park Zoo. They can't even run. They deserve to live somewhere where they can run like they were meant to do, at the Buffalo Farm Sanctuary! Wouldn't it be great if these Bison could live on the Buffalo Farm with other bison and free animals.


“Your generous support to the Zoo will help support capital projects like the 2016 Honey Family Foundation/ Griggs Family Foundation fundraising challenge of $40,000 to improve the llama pen.”

This Zoo is needing financial support to have adequate living arrangements for these animals. How many other things need improvement at this zoo? How long are they going to be able to keep this prison a float? It is time to shut it down and give the animals some dignity to live a free and HAPPY life at a Sanctuary.

Some of the animals have already attempted to escape this prison from either incompetence or the underfunded construction. The peacock escaped to Roncesvalles and was seen hopping from house to house. The man named Moses, who spoke to the news about this sighting said, he’s not sure if he wants the bird to be caught, although he does feel that the bird’s best interests may lie in returning to the zoo. “I feel it’s safer, health wise, in the High Park Zoo instead of roaming around Toronto and potentially being either shot by a cop, or being hit by a car,” Moses said. Why isn't he sure if he wants the bird to be caught? Perhaps because catching exotic species and caging them for our personal pleasure and "edutainment" is wrong. Why is a caged species now on the loose amusing to us? To make a twitter account for the peacock and make jokes about their misplacement in an urban environment is quite odd and disturbing to me. Their native range is through India, Pakistan, western China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Look at the larger picture of what’s happening and put yourself in the peacock’s situation. The Capybara's escaped as well. They were trapped and brought back to the zoo. I think it's clear that this zoo in a city park is completely the wrong home for them. They can have a better life in peace at a sanctuary. Please sign the petition and make a difference and be the voice for these animals. They deserve better. Evolve the Zoo and free the animals to a decent environment. Why not have a fresh start to do something really wonderful; a space where animals are not exploited and neglected. Where the space is positive and uplifting, not disappointing and shameful. This is an opportunity to do something good. Please help the animals and do the right thing.



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