The Aldergrove zoo’s eight-year-old moose, female Oakleaf, was pictured on Monday, July 20, with her ribcage visible. (Shannon Marcoux/Special to the Star)

The Aldergrove zoo’s eight-year-old moose, female Oakleaf, was pictured on Monday, July 20, with her ribcage visible. (Shannon Marcoux/Special to the Star)

Photos of ‘emaciated’ senior moose at Greater Vancouver Zoo spark call to SPCA

Langley resident Shannon Marcoux was the first to speak out about the animal’s visible condition

The moose’s condition is what David Isbister, organizer with Liberate GVZoo Animals, is calling “incredibly emaciated.”

A Langley mother took to social media after witnessing the “disturbing” sight Monday, during a trip to the Greater Vancouver Zoo with her two children.

“Am I the only person out there who thinks this is unacceptable?” Shannon Marcoux posted publicly to Facebook, along two photos of the zoo’s skinny female moose.

The animal, known as Oakleaf, is pictured standing in her enclosure, ribcage visible.

Because Marcoux saw no signage explaining the animal’s medical condition, she emailed the zoo, saying “the moose appears to be a few hundred pounds underweight.”

B.C. SPCA received a call of concern the next day, July 21, after the photos began to circulate online, spokesperson Lorie Chortyk confirmed.

Isbister added “folks are being moved to call the SPCA and report what they feel is an obvious example of some sort of abuse or cruelty.” 

“We must ask [Greater Vancouver Zoo] to stop their ongoing history of tragic events,” Isbister said on behalf of the animal advocacy group.

READ MORE: Trio of orphaned grizzly cubs find new home at Aldergrove zoo  

Zoo animal care manager Menita Prasad responded to a concerned Marcoux via email. 

“We are aware of her body condition and have been working closely with our animal health team to provide her with the care and attention she requires at this stage of her life,” Prasad said.

The employee added the “median life expectancy for females is 8 years,” and that moose is “a senior.”

The Langley visitor wasn’t satisfied with that answer.

Marcoux is now asking others to call the SPCA and report the condition of the moose.

“I have had animals all my life and I know that they can sometimes pick up worms, or need dental treatments, that can cause significant weight loss,” she sympathized.

But “it takes months [for such an animal] to get that emaciated.”

RELATED: Celebrating Father’s Day at the Greater Vancouver Zoo with a moose calf

The zoo, in Aldergrove, has a history of being criticized for how it cares for its animals dating back to 2005, when the first of several large species of animals died – for reasons other than old age – in its care.

Oakleaf arrived at the zoo back in April 2015. Her species are found in Canadian forests from the Alaska boundary to the eastern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Am I the only person out there who thinks this is unacceptable? Took the kids to a local zoo yesterday and saw this poor…

Posted by Shannon Marcoux on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Aldergroveanimal welfare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Curator Colleen Sharpe (left) and cultural exhibits technician John Bessette sit in a new interactive exhibit at the Museum of Surrey. “Dine on Time” tells the story of Surrey’s diner culture from the ’30s to the ’60s. (Photo submitted)
New diner exhibit serves local history at Museum of Surrey

‘Dine on Time’ offers glimpse into Surrey’s 1930s to 1960s diner culture

In a letter to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee Jan. 28, Delta Mayor George Harvie pitched the City of Delta become the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building after it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society. (The Canadian Press photo)
Delta Hospice Society must vacate premises by March 29: Fraser Health

The health authority served the society a notice of breach of lease on Feb. 25

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey council resurrects, fast-tracks 84th Avenue connection at Bear Creek Park

The city put the brakes on this project in 2007 because of community opposition

The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce hosted a COVID-19-related webinar Friday.
Vaccine rollout, supporting local businesses focus of virtual town-hall event

Zoom webinar hosted by South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The last three wild northern spotted owls live near the Spuzzum Watershed outside of Hope. The province recently ordered a halt to logging for at least a year to give the owls a chance to survive.  (Photo/Jared Hobbs)
Logging halted in northern spotted owl habitat near Hope

Halt will last at least a year, gives time to formulate survival plan for Northern Spotted Owl

Most Read