Chippewa Wildlife Park employee hopes photos show value of keeping facility open

An employee of the Chippewa Wildlife Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario, is hoping his photos of the animals that live there prove how well they’re cared for.

“These animals are very healthy. They’re checked monthly by a vet, their diet is prescribed by the vet,” Jason Corbett, one of the park’s animal feeders, told CBC News.

Corbett posted the photos to his Facebook page as a response to the city’s proposed 2017 budget, which suggested that the wildlife exhibit close by May of this year in order to save some money.

According to reports, this isn’t the first time the park has been targeted to help cut costs. Shuttering the wildlife park would save the city more than $83,000 annually, not including the money it would cost to close it.

The city would also be forced to find a place for all of the animals that are currently in the park’s care. According to Corbett, the animals were either born in captivity or brought to the facility to recover from an injury and therefore would not be able to survive on their own.

But some members of The Friends Of Chippewa Park are not only hoping that the park stays open, they’d also like to see it expand.

“What we’re proposing is that the city turn it into more of a conservation and rehabilitation sanctuary for animals,” Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk, president of the group, told CBC.

She says that expanding the facility and adding an educational component so that the public can understand more about the animals would be a great tourism opportunity, and a chance for the city to bring in additional money.

The Friends of Chippewa Park has created a petition to defer the decision surrounding the park’s funding until next year, when the ongoing plan for the park is complete.