Exotic reptiles found dead in Caledon ditch

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OPP in Caledon found a group of exotic reptiles dead in a ditch on Christmas Eve.

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The animals, which included an alligator and five large exotic snakes, were found in the area of Escarpment Side Rd. and Horseshoe Hill Rd. on Dec. 24.

Police are treating the case as a possible animal cruelty investigation.

“There was nothing that indicated an obvious cause of death,” Const. Joe Brisebois said Friday.

This is not a unique situation in Ontario, said Dolf DeJong, CEO of the Toronto Zoo.

“Many individuals are operating non-accredited roadside zoos or have exotic animals in private ownership,” he said. “Your Toronto Zoo is proud to be providing expert assistance to the Caledon OPP in their ongoing investigation and strongly condemns the actions taken and complete disregard for the lives of these reptiles.”

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“We continue to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure strong regulations are put in place to prevent the private ownership of exotic and endangered animals or the housing of these animals in roadside zoos,” DeJong added.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-584-2241 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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