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Wild Zoo Parties seeks permanent exemption to bring creatures to the County

The Prince Edward County Libraries kicked off this year’s Summer Reading Club fun with a visit from creatures at the Wellington Branch. Marc Cunningham introduced children and parents to spiders, snakes, ferrets, lizards and turtles.

Following a summer of Wild Zoo Parties in Prince Edward County, proprietor of the Belleville business, Marc Cunningham, is seeking a permanent exemption to the County’s Exotic Animal bylaw – instead of seeking permission every three months.

Cunningham appeared before council several times this year requesting an exemption for a period of time rather than event-by-event. His request was approved in June, with Shire Hall requesting two weeks notice of party dates, locations, and a list of what animals and reptiles are attending.

His shows typically include tarantulas, small and large lizards and snakes, tortoises, amphibians, small exotic mammals and parrots.

His deputation to Thursday’s Committee of the Whole states a request from the Wellington Library earlier this year sparked the initial request for exemption, and since, he has received more than 50 requests for presentations.

“We have been able to fill most of the requests, but since our exemption has expired, we have gone back to only offering our limited shows which do not use any prohibited animals,” Cunningham reports.

“Our public shows in the County went without a hitch. “We were able to interact with the public in a safe and responsible way, educate people on conservation and making good pet choices and provide people with experiences that they would not otherwise be able to have. We had no negative incidents with the public at all,” he reports. “Public health checked on us at one event we attended in the County, Hillier Park Day. They were happy to see we were following their recommendations and gave us the all clear. We had a meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources after the Soap Box Derby in Consecon to go over our permits and once again, we were given the all clear.”

“I have been performing these educational shows for over 10 years professionally, without incident,” he stated, noting his business also carries a $5 million liability insurance he “has never had to use.”

Filed Under: Local News

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