A Welland reptile zoo operator has been fined $8,000 and ordered to forfeit wildlife to the Crown.
Karel Fortyn, the operator of the Seaway Serpentarium Reptile Zoo, was convicted of four charges related to illegally possessing specially protected and game wildlife under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
The court heard that on June 9, 2006, conservation officers executed a search warrant at the residence of Fortyn and the Seaway Serpentarium Reptile Zoo in Welland. Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes, a milksnake, a Midland painted turtle, and a snapping turtle were found to be in his possession. Fortyn had no authorization for these animals.
Justice of the Peace Mary Shelley gave her decision in the Ontario Court of Justice, Welland, on December 7, 2009.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits keeping specially protected wildlife in captivity except under the authority of a licence. As of June 2007, species at risk, including the Massasauga rattlesnake, milksnake and snapping turtle, have additional protection under the Endangered Species Act.
To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Article via Wawa News | 14 December 2009 |