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Zebras, lions, kangaroos among exotic animals seized at Quebec zoo

A zoo owner in central Quebec is facing criminal charges after roughly 100 animals were seized at a facility in Saint-Édouard-de-Maskinongé.Normand Trahan was arrested Tuesday morning by SPCA investigators, with the assistance of provincial police, on charges of animal neglect and cruelty.If found guilty, Trahan could face up to five years in prison and a lifetime ban on owning an animal."To our knowledge, this is the first time in Canada that a zoo owner is facing criminal animal cruelty charges," said Sophie Gaillard, animal advocacy director with the Montreal SPCA.It is also the first time in Quebec that animal cruelty charges have been laid by way of indictment under the federal Criminal Code, Gaillard said, which opens the door to harsher penalties than under provincial laws.Several primates are among the animals that will be transferred to animal sanctuaries across North America. (Submitted by Humane Society International/Canada)"We're really pleased that this file is being taken seriously by the prosecutors involved," she said during a news conference at the zoo on Tuesday.The animals found at the Zoo St-Édouard, about 120 kilometres north of Montreal, include lions, tigers, zebras, camels, kangaroos and bears.Flags raised in 2018The SPCA said it started investigating after a visitor called them in 2018."We received a complaint from the public and conducted a thorough investigation, that led us to discover other pieces of evidence," said Gaillard.Two alpacas were seized in October 2018, following an initial inspection in August of that year. Four animal carcasses, including those of two tigers, were also found, as well as two birds.Before 2015, the zoo only featured nordic animals like wolves. (Submitted by HSI/Canada)Humane Society International (HSI), a non-profit organization, is tasked with caring for the remaining animals and finding them new homes.SPCA and HSI employees have spent the day going around the zoo to take inventory of the living conditions."Some animals didn't have access to water and proper food," said E ...Read more

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