Residents relieved after exotic animals removed from Grand Bend property
KITCHENER -- The owners of the Roaring Cat Retreat in Grand Bend have relocated their animals after a lengthy court battle.
There is relief among the residents living nearby, including Wendy Lee Barber, who says she previously had a terrifying experience living so close to the retreat.
“I pulled the mail out and I’m sifting through it, I turn around to get in my car and there’s two lion cubs on the front lawn,” she says.
Barber says she's thankful that she was able to quickly get into her car.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but just then two people ran around the side of the house and they’re chasing these cubs, I think they’re trying to get back into the enclosure,” she explains.
Following a legal battle with the municipality, a court ordered that the animals had to be removed by June 2.
According to December 2019 court documents, the property had eight lions, two tigers, a lynx, a serval and six lemurs.
“We believe the animals are all removed from the property,” says Lambton Shores mayor Bill Weber.
However, the owners are not disclosing the current location of the animals.
In an interview with CTV News on Monday, owner Mark Drysdale says they are searching all over Ontario for a site.
“We have honestly drove from pretty much from Manitoba to all of Quebec because you got to remember every province has different laws,” he says.
Mayor Weber says that going forward he hopes that the property will be used in compliance with zoning and bylaws.