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

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