Wildlife, invasive insects grab headlines in Ontario

Wildlife, invasive insects grab headlines in Ontario

A few strange and somewhat troublesome stories have popped up in the Ontario news throughout the past few days. Wildlife and invasive insects are causing some Ontarians stress, while authorities are looking for the assailants who broke into the Elmvale Zoo and stole several beloved animals. 

Let's break down the stranger side of the news impacting Ontario today. 

Grand theft animal
CBC recently reported that zookeepers at Ontario's Elmvale Jungle Zoo are reeling after discovering the loss of three animals: a tortoise, gibbon and lemur. Despite the fact that the zoo opened for the first time since last fall this May, it is already working from behind the scenes and trying to locate the stolen animals. 

According to the news provider, authorities believe that the thieves broke into the zoo after dark and took the three animals. While the authorities are actively investigating, they have few leads thus far. However, the thieves did leave a clear path of carnage, including holes cut into the chain link fence, footprints through the flamingo pond and more, CBC added.

However, at the moment, authorities are relying on the public to speak up if they saw anything strange around the area and told CBC that the fence was cut in clear view of the main road. Finally, the zoo asked the news provider to urge whomever stole the animals to return them safely rather than trying to release them into the wild.

Menacing beetles
Officials in Ontario and Quebec are hoping to imbue authorities in Canada's eastern provinces with some knowledge regarding an extremely problematic outbreak of tree-destroying beetles, the New Westminster Record reported this week. According to the publication, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has identified the invasive emerald ash borer in New Brunswick and is looking to the west for guidance deterring the issue. 

Hailing from Asia, this beetle has laid waste to forests and other areas across the U.S. over the past decade and has even prompted a major push among several governmental agencies to refine relevant regulations. In Ontario, five of the nation's ash species are now considered to be severely at risk of extinction, the New Westminster Record added. 

Considering the importance of Canada's trees to its economy, this is an issue that has garnered the attention of politicians at the top. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency noted that the beetles are most commonly transported to another region through the trafficking of firewood, meaning that residents should use only local supplies for the time being, especially in areas that have not yet been infested. 

As a result of the problem's spread, restrictions have tightened and fines are rising for violation. Ontarians should consider looking into the best practices of identifying and reporting the emerald ash borer, as only a major public push can curtail the issue and protect the nation's beloved and critical ash trees. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the beetles, a lemur, a tortoise and a gibbon, and stay safe out there Ontario!