A private zoo with over 400 exotic animals is on the market in Ontario

A private zoo in southwestern Ontario is up for sale to the tune of $4.499 million, but potential buyers will inherit more than just property fit for a jungle cat.

Located at 12734 Talbot Trail in the community of Morpeth, Greenview Aviaries Park & Zoo has been the subject of intense scrutiny from animal rights activists who argue that private ownership of exotic animals poses a slew of legal and moral questions. The sale of the property comes with the 450 animals currently on site. That means the buyers inherits a collection of 450 exotic animals including lions, tigers, water buffalo, birds and goats. The listing also notes the property is a “thriving family owned & operated business with multiple income streams,” including a house, sheds, barns, a reptile pavilion, souvenir shop, restaurant, playground and splash pad in addition to 20 hectares of land,.

The concern for some is the lack of laws governing the ownership of this wildlife. After all, whoever buys this property will inherit potentially dangerous lions and tigers with no requirement to prove they have adequate training or licensing to ensure they are fit to maintain the property and provide proper, humane care.

In the province of Ontario, individual municipalities enact their own bylaws as it relates to the possession of exotic wildlife and beyond that, is the only province without legislation surrounding exotic wildlife. In Chatham-Kent, where the zoo is located, Greenview Aviaries has an exemption under the community’s existing exotic animal bylaw enacted in 2015. This bylaw would be transferred to the new owners and according to existing owners – brothers Brian, Ken and Scott Daly – they are only considering sales to serious, qualified individuals. But animal rights activists aren’t convinced.

In a Windsor Star article Julie Woodyer, campaign director of the group Zoocheck Canada expressed concerns about the lack of training and quality control. “You don’t have to be trained in how to provide proper nutrition for the animals, how to manage them, how to build appropriate caging — or anything else.”

The business has been operating in the area for 38 years and according to a CBC report, hasn’t posed a problem for local law enforcement to-date. That said, the Chatham-Kent police have investigated reports of theft after six to seven parrots and cockatoos were stolen from Greenview Aviaries between October and November of last year.

One thing is for sure: this real estate purchase will come with a lot more responsibility than your average investment.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO