You've Won, Zoo Check. What a Hollow Victory

To the Editor;
My daughter was born almost 18 years ago. The front page of the Calgary Herald, on the day of her birth, showed Lynn Gustafson, owner of the Guzoo, with his new lion cub, Wallace. We visited the Guzoo in the coming months. We met Wallace and all the other animals - they became well known to our children.
Over the years we have cuddled baby tigers, held baby rabbits, fed the pot bellied pigs and imitated the doves. We have been able to see animals that otherwise would have been unknown to our children. Mr. Guzoo has been one of our favourite people. He has cheerfully and willingly introduced us to new animals at his zoo. He always recognized us when we came - even when we moved and there were months and years between visits.
When we taught Sunday school in Three Hills, the Gustafsons' lent us animals to take to class to show the children the wonders of God's creation. Our students were able to pet a lamb, giggle at a duck, and cuddle a bunny. Having the animals there really brought home to the little ones the wonders of the animals.
Over the years, too, the Zoo Check people visited the Guzoo. They found injured animals. No wonder, since Mr. Gustafson rescued animals that had been hurt in the wild or on the highways, and carefully nursed them back to health. They complained about the fencing, and Mr. Guzoo built better fences. They have tried hard, for many years, to get the Guzoo shut down. Thankfully, they were not successful - until now.
Finally they have induced the beaurocracy to cave to their arguments and shut down a zoo which has been a favourite of many children and adults over the years. They are now able to end the life work of a man dedicated to sharing the joys of animals with generations of children and their parents. Mr. Gustafson started the Guzoo to show different animals to his children's friends - and the zoo grew, as did his passion to expand the wonderful influence of the Guzoo to more and more children. A few years ago Mr. Gustafson lost his wife - now he has lost the zoo. Why? Because of the complaints of the few. The few who have not spent their time and money rescuing injured animals. The few who have not desired to educate their children about animals up close and personal. The few whose ideals of animals in the wild have blinded them to the needs of nursing injured animals and of showing children animals they can see.
All the animals at the Guzoo will soon be gone. Some will go to other zoos - I hope they will survive the transport. Some will have to be euthanized - apparently dead animals are better to Zoo Check than live animals that can be easily viewed by people. And apparently even the dogs and cattle owned by Mr. Gustafson will have to go too. That is simply vengeance on the part of those who persecute Mr. Gustafson.
I am thankful that our children have been able to enjoy the Guzoo over the years - and saddened that their children will not be allowed to do the same.
You've won, Zoo Check. What a hollow victory.
Mrs. Elizabeth King, B. Ed.