150 Crocodiles In Home? Several city councillors are fuming and want an investigation after an animal sanctuary rescued 150 crocodiles and alligators from a Toronto property last week.
But city officials don’t even know where the crocs were kept.
“Somebody better get off their chair and make sure that our citizens are safe,” said Councillor Jim Karygiannis, vice chairman of the city’s licensing and standards committee. “I am not pleased, I am not happy…and I’m not comfortable with this.”
According to Bry Loyst, curator of the Indian River Reptile Zoo near Peterborough, a man contacted them several months ago to report the crocodilians were outgrowing their enclosures. They range from four to 11-feet long, he said.
Loyst declined to say where in Toronto the animals were kept. He would only say many were kept in an “industrial/residential” area garage.
It took more than 20 volunteers four days to get the animals to the sanctuary, which called it “the largest ever crocodilian rescue in North America.”
The crocs were in good health.
Carl Bandow, a supervisor with Toronto Animal Services, said city staff don’t know where the animals were kept, so they haven’t been able to follow up.
“Because we don’t know where they came from, there really isn’t much more we can do in terms of a followup unless somebody is able to provide us with a location,” Bandow said.
He said the former owners could face legal action and a maximum fine of $5,000. Crocodiles, alligators and caimans are banned under the city’s prohibited animals bylaw.
Bandow wasn’t able to say if the city could, or would, investigate if there’s no complaint or address.
Loyst said he hasn’t spoken with Toronto Animal Services, but assumes “they’ll be happy they’re gone.”
“Whatever is the law, is the law — of course,” Loyst said when asked if the sanctuary would co-operate with an animal services investigation.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti called on city staff to look into the matter.
“I would encourage them to start thinking about what they can do outside of the box,” Mammoliti said. “I would encourage those neighbours to call (animal services) and if they’re not comfortable with the staff, call the politicians.”
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who described the situation as “the Noah’s Ark for crocodiles and alligators,” said the “inhumane” storage of the crocodilians could have been dangerous for them, the neighbours and the owners.
“I am just shocked that any human being in the city of Toronto would be crazy enough and/or stupid enough to pack 150 crocodiles and alligators into one (property).”