Toronto

Reindeer to be removed from Casa Loma stables after Toronto issues bylaw charge

Reindeer being kept at Casa Loma for the holiday season will be leaving town sooner than planned. That's because Toronto's animal services department have charged an Ontario petting zoo for violating the city's prohibited animals bylaw.

Animals were being housed between Dec. 29 and Jan. 8 for holiday season

Tiger Paws Exotics owns the reindeer, which have been at Casa Loma's stables since Dec. 29. (Twitter/@CasaLomaToronto)

Reindeer being kept at Casa Loma for the holiday season will be leaving town sooner than planned.

That's because Toronto's animal services division issued have charged the reindeers' owner — an Ontario petting zoo — for violating the city's prohibited animals bylaw.

A spokesman for the city says someone complained about the reindeer, which have been at Casa Loma's stables since Dec. 29.

Animal services issued the charges to the owners of Tiger Paw Exotics on Dec. 30.

"Since that date, the City has been notified that the reindeer will be removed from Casa Loma by their owner," city spokesman Bruce Hawkins said. "In other words, they will comply with the bylaw‎."

Prohibited animals under Section 349-2 of Toronto's municipal code include farm animals like cattle, goats and pigs, exotic cats like tigers and leopards, and monkeys. The bylaw does not apply to areas like veterinarians' offices, city-owned animal centres, and select farms and stables throughout Toronto.

Tiger Paw Exotics came under fire back in June after visitors to an Aurora, Ont., street fair called the Ontario SPCA for concerns about a kangaroo there. At the time, petting zoo owner Tim Height released a statement saying Tiger Paw takes exceptional care of all its animals. He said inspectors from the OSPCA visit the farm twice a year and are invited to all events in which the zoo takes part.

Height confirmed Thursday the reindeer will be removed from Casa Loma's stables.

"Of the 18,000 visitors since the reindeer arrived, all but two have been thrilled to see these magnificent animals," Height said in a statement to CBC Toronto.

Height said the reindeer are in great health and were housed in "luxurious" accommodations.

"These are my animals and any ill feeling felt toward them or Tiger Paw Exotics should not be reflected upon the generosity of Casa Loma," Height said.

A spokesperson for Casa Loma said investigators with Toronto Animal Services had no concerns with the care, health or environment of the reindeer.

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