GVZoo employee assaults protestor (VIDEO), GVZoo’s flimsy “apology”

GVZoo has a problem. In addition to fading relevance and increasing discomfort with keeping animals in captivity for entertainment in the view of the public, they treat those that legally oppose them like this:

The Zoo employee moves off the property line, and points an industrial gas blower upwards, blowing debris all over the protesters. Safety regulations state that a gas blower  should always be directed below the waist, toward the ground to avoid eye injuries. In this case, a single mother sustained a cut to her lips and gums.  Later, he was sent home and drove his car slowly, until speeding up suddenly toward the protest group in a threatening manner. See him restrained and negotiated with by Safari Sharon twice.

LGVZA co- Organizer David Isbister was angry and sent this correspondence to GVZoo GM Jody Henderson: 

Good day Ms. Henderson.

After your employee assaulted an activist with a leaf blower that caused her a bleeding lip and nose, and endangered many others by speeding recklessly toward them, nearly hitting a number of us, we are demanding action. We want this addressed, as a matter separate from our protest which will remain ongoing. Assault and attempted assault with a deadly weapon are brutal actions to take against a peaceful protest, and we want to be apologized to publicly and to know clearly in writing what action you will take. This is related to an employee conduct complaint, not the protest, so it is important to know that we expect this to be addressed.

We have multiple angles of both events on video, and have fully documented the wounds and statement of the activist who was injured, as well as his license plate number (620 PAM).  There were children there on both sides of the fence. How awful this was, and you were asked directly to condemn this violent behaviour and you wouldn’t.

How you address this will determine how we will proceed hereafter.
Thanks for your time in reading. We would like your response within 24 hours ideally. Public apology and how you will address the situation please. The video is circulating and as of right now, has been seen by 1500 people. Many express outrage that the legal action of protest is met with assault and threats.


And after almost a week, here is what Jody replied:

Response to protesters Nov 24 15

It is interesting that there is no true apology and they took a moment to blame “loud noise” for a human coming off the property line to assault peaceful protesters. The “loud noise” were chants  100 feet or more back from the gate outside the property line, and the use of a megaphone. The zoo has a loudspeaker system that can be heard from even farther back as it is in the centre of the zoo and is easily heard clearly from the street. Another example of GVZoo claiming that specifically protester noise stresses animals out, yet thousands of people marching through, tapping windows, kids shrieking , loudspeakers for their shows, and a train whistle are apparently exempt from this same scrutiny.

A recent review  from July 12 shows that the zoo doesn’t take as clear a stand when it comes to paying customers:  

“….I was a little disappointed, however, when a large group of kids (15-20) who seemed to be part of a day camp were allowed to stand and scream at the lions. I said something to them, but as a stranger they didn’t listen. Not a single zoo staff member did a thing. The male lion was obviously agitated by it (and he did spray on the group which gave me a bit of satisfaction). Perhaps The Greater Vancouver Zoo should ensure its staff does a bit more to protect the animals from harassment.”

OP: ‘Sarah Z’