Three cheers and a hurrah for the city of Winnipeg and for the Winnipeg Humane Society. They did the right thing - but must suffer some slings and arrows from the possibly well-intended (but definitely misguided) citizens they serve.
Recently, a man known as "Safari Jeff" was fined $1,500 CND (approx. $1,147) for violating an exotic animal bylaw (called "ordinance" in the US) that prohibits traveling zoos and exhibits with prohibited reptile species within city limits. Safari Jeff is one of those guys who likes to dress up in a cross between the late Steve Irwin and the fictional Indiana Jones and show off his prowess with various "exotic" wildlife species (to the admiring oohs and ahhs of people who know virtually nothing about, and often fear, the animals displayed). His real name is Jeff McKay, and from Aug. 6 to Aug. 9, he was performing on stage at Kildonan Place Shopping Center.
Javier Schwersensky, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society, quite correctly said, "The air conditioning of a mall can be very punishing to these exotic animals and extremely stressful to their internal organs." He added, "It is a recognized standard of amphibian care that there be not only a proper diet and plenty of space, but travel be limited and species from differing regions kept separate."