Big cat sanctuary planned for Grand Bend blocked by Lambton Shores ban on exotic animals
Not long after learning a couple planned to open a big cat sanctuary in Grand Bend, Lambton Shores councillors have moved a ban on the ownership of exotic animals.
The bylaw, passed unanimously during a special council meeting Monday, prohibits people from owning, possessing, harboring, or keeping animals like lions, tigers, elephants, kangaroos, and crocodiles.
Lambton County Mayor Bill Weber tells 980 CFPL the area where Roaring Cat Retreat was intended to go — the old Pineridge Zoo south of Grand Bend — is a residential area.
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“There are a lot of children in the area, and [residents] were concerned with having their kids outside. There was concern for their safety,” he said.
Back when Pineridge Zoo was operating, some thirty-odd years ago, Weber says there was still concern about animals escaping from their enclosures and noise. The area also had fewer residential properties at the time, he added.
“There is no zoning for a zoo on that property, it’s residential, so going forward, any change in that would have to comply with the residential zoning or have a zone amendment done on the property.”
The sweeping ban covers all of Lambton Shores and mimics what neighbouring municipalities have in place, explained Weber.
“The community has to feel safe with what’s moving into this community.”
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