The owner of the Bowmanville Zoo is facing animal cruelty charges after video footage surfaced in December, which appears to show him whipping a tiger repeatedly during a training session.
An investigation was launched by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals immediately after the footage came to light and on Wednesday, the owner of the private zoo, Michael Hackenburger was charged under the OSPCA Act.
He now faces 5 charges in total, four counts of causing an animal distress and one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal.
”The videos of Mr. Hackenberger interacting with Uno, the Siberian tiger, provides a basis on which to lay charges,” says Senior Inspector Jennifer Bluhm, Ontario SPCA.
She adds that “animal cruelty is a serious offense. Our investigative unit has spent significant time reviewing the facility and interviewing all involved. Our priority is always the health and welfare of the animals.”
The OSPCA says that it will now conduct another inspection of the Bowmanville Zoo and that all animals there will continue to be closely monitored.