Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Surrey ecology centre proposal

September 7, 2014 Martin MacMahon, News 1130

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A man who has launched smaller scale animal centres is trying to build a massive attraction in Surrey which would rival Science World or the Vancouver Aquarium. Gary Oliver has founded Cinemazoo and the Urban Safari Rescue Society, and now he’s got his eyes on an even bigger goal – bringing a state-of-the-art ecology centre to Surrey.

“We do have backers,” Oliver says. “We do have a company now who does proposals professionally that are going to be assisting us on this.” He is hoping to secure a sweetheart deal from that city to acquire a 10-acre site. “People in Surrey would benefit greatly from it, because there would be lots of opportunity for education,” explains Oliver. Surrey Parks and Recreation says Oliver is meeting with the city mid-September to present his business plan.

Comment: Cinemazoo has been exploiting animals of all kinds for years. Its “petting zoo” animals were hauled around to one venue after another, including Vancouver’s Pet Expo, the Dundarave Street Fair, and the Chilliwack Fall Festival. It was very disturbing to see young children interacting inappropriately with some of the animals, among them, rabbits.  

Cinemazoo not only rents out animals to the entertainment industry, but takes exotic animals to private homes for birthday parties, as well as holding parties at the facility.

They also take exotics into classrooms referring to it as ‘education’, encouraging children to handle the animals. This only teaches children that animals are here for our entertainment. In 2004 and 2010 Oliver was
investigated by the BC SPCA and the provincial Ministry of the Environment for concerns relating to the welfare of the animals in his care.

Considering the history of Gary Oliver, founder of Cinemazoo and Urban Safari Rescue Society, the Vancouver Humane Society is encouraging the public to contact the City of Surrey opposing the plan.   

City of Surrey: http://www.surrey.ca/city-government/2999.aspx 
Mayor Dianne Watts mayor@surrey.ca
Council: councillors@surrey.ca
City Manager: citymanager@surrey.ca

September 24, 2014 update: Carmina Gooch wrote to Surrey officials and staff expressing opposition to Mr. Oliver’s “Ecology Centre” proposal. The response from the mayor’s office, in part, read:  As we have yet to receive any tangible information from Mr. Oliver, at this time City Staff cannot evaluate the proposal or determine its commercial/financial sustainability to comment further.