There is a little town on the Alberta Prairies called Three Hills.

The town is famous for a few things.

First, there are three hills just outside of town.  Actually, they are more like giant dirt mounds but on the Alberta grasslands that is pretty good.

Second, Three Hills has a college.  Not a big one but a college none the less.

And finally, this sleepy town has a Zoo called the GuZoo.

The GuZoo has been in the news for the last while.  It seems the owner of this private zoo had been allegedly mistreating his collection of exotic animals for years.  In March a petition was started on Facebook that called for the investigation of the GuZoo and it’s treatment of animals.

After the inspection and assessment of 108 items under the Alberta Zoo Standards, the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums has revoked Guzoo’s license.

I have been to the GuZoo with my kids and they had a great time.  They got to hold a baby tiger and lion.  They were able to feed many of the animals.  I am not expert on animal care so I leave my description at that.  My kids had a great time.

What I will do is make a list about the GuZoo.  Whether you like or dislike this little animal collection, you cannot dispute these facts.

Here are 7 facts about the GuZoo

1.   Lynn Gustafson is the owner and visionary behind the GuZoo.  He Dreamed it.  He Built it.  He Runs it as a true family business.

2.  In 1990 the GuZoo became a licensed zoo under the government of Alberta. Since that time the GuZoo grew to become Canada’s largest private zoo.

3.  The GuZoo feels that animals educate.  That is why they had a hands on approach to their animals.  What that means is that visitors were allowed to make contact with many of their animals, including some of the exotic ones.

4.   The Collection of Animals grew to around 400 animals.  Many of the animals came the GuZoo when the owners could not care for their pets anymore.  This included big cats and other exotic pets.

5.  The GuZoo also had a traveling petting zoo that traveled in the local area.

6.  During feeding time, visitors were welcome to come help zoo staff sort and feed the animals.  I have never seen the Calgary Zoo do this.

7.  The GuZoo always seemed to have baby animals present.  There may have been some standards that were not being kept by the GuZoo but it was not the breeding program.  That is one area they got it right.

Tell us your thoughts on the GuZoo.

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Seven is the Perfect Number

14 responses »

  1. gerhard says:

    I love the new looks of The Top 7 !!

    About GuZoo: I have really enjoyed the zoo and admired Mr. Gustafson for the work he has done. I hope the zoo will stay open!!

  2. Bev Brand says:

    The situation with the Guzoo is a tragedy. Please help this family get an appeal. A valuable part of Alberta History is being taken from all of us.

  3. liz56 says:

    It would truly be a shame to see this place not continue. It has provided many lessons and also enjoyment to thousands of people every year. There is never a problem to stop and ask one of the people working around the place a question. They are always happen to stop and talk and tell you the story of how a certain animal got to be in their care.

    It is a great place. The animals are happy and healthy.

  4. Marina says:

    They treat everyone including their animals as family. I have been numerous times and have helped out in many of areas, this is a place of love. I for one, support the Guzoo family 100%. I am thankful for this family for taking in the animals no other zoos would. I am embarassed by our government, they have asked this family to take in abandoned and injured animals and have now abandoned them when they are in need. It is disgusting. Who’s rights are they going to take away next? YOURS?
    IT IS AGAINST THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ACT TO NOT ALLOW AN APPEAL!!!

  5. Marina says:

    Also if you listen they do make comment that the animals were all in good health, animals that reproduce are healthy animals

  6. Rob B says:

    Nope, needs to be shut down, and this would be made more obvious if the government gave the results of the investigation to the Alberta public rather than the investigated person (the Guzoo owner).

    • liz56 says:

      Before they give anything to the general public they should make the correct. Some of the statements are totally incorrect, some are particially incorrect. There is not a thing in that report that could not be fixed. They did not bother to find out what was being done at the zoo prior to going there to close them down. They did not even set foot in the zoo.
      There is no way that anyone should not be given the right to appeal. The Canadian Constitution makes sure of the right to appeal. I always thought that Alberta was a part of Canada and therefore must uphold the law. The Alberta government does not seem to think so apparentely.
      There have been no charges laid in regards to the animals.
      The report states the animals are in good health., Cages passed inspection.

      It is very hard to believe that there is not something far more going on. This is a mission to shut down Guzoo legal or otherwise?? I know my thoughts on this matter,

  7. V Warren says:

    They were shut down for reasons such as public safety, lack of animal care, poor documentation, improper food and water, etc. Time to shut this place down as the government has ordered and let the animals live a better life. The owner has made money breeding exotic animals for money, this is not a sanctuary it is a money based business.

    • Holly Hurst says:

      You my friend are an idiot. Obviously you have not visited. And, the better life these animals will be getting, is death. Yup, that really makes sense.

  8. biancakate says:

    Animals don’t reproduce if they’re in distress?! Are you freaking kidding me? I guess puppy mills don’t exist then. Wth people, give your heads a shake.

    • Holly Hurst says:

      You are so right. I bet Guzoo has had more babies than all the zoos in Western Canada combined!!!

      • liz56 says:

        That would be a totally false statement, and obviously from someone who has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

  9. Steve Carnegie says:

    The guzoo is ridiculous. They have the opportunity to have their animals regime at no expense to them. Regardless they are going to be rehomed so why not take the help? Now he’s claimed himself a church to get around the laws he is trying to break! Good grief get real.lock the gates and throw away the key once the animals are out!

  10. thetop7 says:

    Latest update: Bob Barker is now interested in the future of the GuZoo. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2011/06/09/calgary-private-zoo-barber.html

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