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Wizard World petting zoo under fire for treatment of animals

Last Updated Mar 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm EDT

A Toronto family is raising concern over the welfare of animals inside a Wizard World petting zoo.

What was supposed to be a fun March Break event, quickly turned into a nightmare for Bakker (who did not want us to use his last name) and his two kids.

The family witnessed, and later shared to social media, photos of a camel, laying in a tight space in its own feces.

“Just looking at the camel, it made me feel sad,” said nine-year old Liam.

“I left pretty upset, and I was sort of wondering why I went there in the first place,” added his sister Brianna, who is 12.

Wizard World wouldn’t allow our cameras onto the premises, but the Operations Manager tells CityNews, the petting Zoo is operated by a third party.

Wizard World also says the owner of the petting zoo personally reached out to the Ontario SPCA to ensure he was following protocol.

“The animals are fine, the pens are cleaned constantly, there’s at least six staff there, they give them water and food on a consistent basis,” said Andrew, Operations Manager with Wizard World.

The OSPCA said while an officer was dispatched to the petting zoo to do a regular inspection, its office also received a complaint.

The group adds that it can’t comment on that inspection, but does say that the case is closed and no further investigation is needed.

But for Bakker, more needs to be done to protect animals.

The OSPCA said it’s not up to them to push for stricter guidelines for petting zoos, which they say, is the responsibility of the provincial government.

“We certainly feel that there are provisions within the regulations that are very effective in insuring the welfare of these animals,” said Jennifer Bluhm, Senior Inspector with the OSPCA.

When asked if he’d ever go to a petting zoo again, Bakker said he would.

“To keep an eye and be an advocate for the animals, because if I do see conditions like that again, I’d be more than happy to blow the whistle and stick up for them because they can’t stick up for themselves.”

The petting zoo inside Wizard World is scheduled to operate for at least one more day.