Saint John zoo recovering from fallout of social media firestorm
Published Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:34PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:44PM AST
SAINT JOHN -- Saint John's Cherry Brook Zoo is starting to bounce back from the fallout of a social media firestorm earlier this year.
"After we had been exonerated, after there was no wrongdoing on multiple investigations we were open to, then we started seeing support come back, businesses come back," said Martha McDevitt, the executive director of the zoo.
It all started with allegations of animal cruelty after the deaths of guinea pigs at the zoo.
The New Brunswick SPCA recommended charges, but the Crown decided not to lay any, which prompted protests.
In May, Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) announced that it had completed its investigation into the guinea pig incident and cleared the Cherry Brook Zoo of wrongdoing.
But the damage had been done, and McDevitt says the zoo took a major financial hit.
Now, the zoo has taken to Facebook to address yet another of what they describe as a false and defamatory allegation.
Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary is cautioning against believing everything you see online -- especially in the age of social media.
"When people are saying things about the Cherry Brook Zoo, you really have to, I guess, just call it, realize it's been said, but if you really wanna know for sure, you gotta go and check it out," said McAlary.
McDevitt realizes the zoo can't control what people are saying.
"We can control our narrative -- we can control what we're doing, so that's how we're moving forward," McDevitt said.