Exotic animal facility shut down in Canby

Clackamas County shut down wild animal sanctuary for multiple violations

A Walk on the Wild Side in Canby, Ore. has been shut down after seven years in business. March 9, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A Walk on the Wild Side in Canby, Ore. has been shut down after seven years in business. March 9, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

CANBY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A local wild animal sanctuary has been in business for seven years, but county inspectors have stepped in and are telling its owners “no more”.

A Walk on the Wild Side on Knights Bridge Road in Canby houses a variety of exotic species and offers tours to the public.

“It’s amazing to me that most adults don’t know the difference between a lion and a tiger when they come out,” Olivia Robertson, an employee at the animal facility, told KOIN 6 News.

A bear at A Walk on the Wild Side in Canby, Ore. (KOIN 6 News)
A bear at A Walk on the Wild Side in Canby, Ore. (KOIN 6 News)

Robertson said she has a passion for educating the public about everything from skunks to grizzly bears, wild turkeys, lions and tigers — many of which can be seen at A Walk on the Wild Side.

But as of last week, the doors to the animal facility have been closed.

Clackamas County Inspectors told the nonprofit they were violating both zoning and building codes.

“No one on the property,” Robertson said. “They don’t care who you are or what your reason is, there’s no one allowed here.”

Owners said they have been given until the end of the month to remove tents used to cover animal enclosures. They are hoping they’ll be able to build permanent structures by then — but it’s not going to be easy.

“There’s no funding available,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to pay the bills to stay living here.”

The county has also requested the removal of a trailer the animal facility uses as a veterinary facility for newborn animals. But Robertson said the trailer is no different than others nearby. She said she wonders why, after seven years, it’s just now being referred to as a violation.

“That’s why I want answers,” Robertson said. “Why all of a sudden it’s no longer OK.”

Clackamas County officials confirmed the pending violations against A Walk on the Wild Side, but refused to go into detail.

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