a.k.a.The Hack, Animal Abuser, Tiger Torturer, Former Bowmanville Zoo Owner
Location:Bowmanville, Oshawa, Whitby, Ontario (Canada)
Snitch Biography: I'm not a fan of zoos, watching animals locked in cages makes me cringe. Id much rather appreciate seeing them running free outdoors but that's a whole other discussion for another day. The history behind this guy and his former establishment is quite extensive so bear with me.
Michael Hackenberger is the now former owner of what was once The Bowmanville Zoo of Clarington, Ontario. Founded in 1919, it was the oldest private zoo in North America, lasting for almost 100 years.
It was a large supplier of animals to the U.S. film industry.
Out of all the animals the most infamous of them is "Jonas", their Bengal tiger. Hackenberger purchased the Bowmanville Zoo in 1987 becoming a co-owner along with zoo founders James Morden and Alfred Schrubb who owned the land which was used to become the zoo as far back as 1928.
Michael is an animal wrangler and trainer for the zoo, hired by many film companies since the 1990s. The zoo participated in breeding programs for endangered species, accepts retired circus animals as well as abused animals.
It once had elephants, however due to climate differences the last elephant developed a tumor and had to be euthanized leaving the "African Lion Safari" of Hamilton as the last elephant keepers in Ontario.
His most recent blockbuster behind the scenes wrangling work included "Jonas" the Bengal tiger for the movie, "Life of Pi".
Footage of "Jonas" the Bengal tiger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAPf_hRoRtM
"Jonas" in "Life of Pi": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZEZ35Fhvuc
So how is he a snitch? Well in April, 2016, Michael Hackenberger was charged with 5 counts of animal abuse by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) due to a video obtained by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The controversy stems from back in December, 2015; PETA released a video taken secretly which showed Hackenberger cursing and cracking a whip numerous times at a young Siberian tiger named Uno.
This video was considered "recorded for training purposes".
Video of Hackenberger whipping the tiger (Warning: Animal Cruelty): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2ZWr-YF7TY
In the video, Hackenberger describes using a whip as a "disincentive," saying that punishment is the only way to force an animal to perform.
He goes on to boast about his power using the whip to "carve my initials in their side," and while brandishing a stick as a wolf cowers on the floor off camera—he says, "You smack 'em and they generally fold like a house of cards. … And that's the beauty of these things." In the background, a wolf in a cage can also be seen pacing, a sign of severe stress in caged animals.
A Bowmanville Zoo administrator later acknowledges Hackenberger's violent training methods, stating, "You throw them down on the ground so they know who's boss. That's basically Michael's way of working all animals."
When the video became public, people labelled him despicable and protests started to erupt online for the zoo's closure.
In general he snitched on himself (thankfully, because I cant respect an animal abuser) by recording the video for "training purposes". In response to PETA's allegations, Hackenberger released his own video statement.
In it, he asserts that although his “language is atrocious and I apologize for that,” "PETA, once again, is lying." He stated that only two of the 19 cracks of the whip shown in the video struck the tiger, with the remainder striking either the air or the ground immediately adjacent to the tiger.
However, none of that was taken serious by the courts and he was charged with animal cruelty in April, 2016.
A video going far back as early 2015 surfaced of Michael calling a baboon he was showing CP24's "Breakfast Television", a "f*cking c*cksucker".
Video of Baboon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LlReHS6dFw (basic slave-owner tendencies)
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it began investigating alleged abuse at the Bowmanville Zoo immediately after reviewing the footage that emerged in December.
The agency said the zoo's owner, Michael Hackenberger, was charged with four counts of causing an animal distress; causing an animal distress by striking the animal with a whip handle, causing an animal distress by repeatedly striking an animal with a whip, causing an animal to be in distress by striking the animal in the face with a whip, and causing an animal distress by pushing his thumb into the animals eye.
The last charge was one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal.
Three of the distress charges relate to the use of a whip, and one related to Hackenberger pushing his thumb into the tigers eye.
The OSPCA said it would continue to conduct inspections of the zoo and continue to closely monitor the animals there.
All in all the Bowmanville Zoo officially closed October 10th, 2016. Good riddance, because I visited the zoo as a child back in 2008 and it looked run down. The animals looked really depressing. Their closures weren't habitual looking. There were circus performances with animals which was the big thing going for Bowmanville but at this point it just looked depressing to watch. What was once 100,000 in attendance yearly in the 60s became just under 5000 a year in the 2000s. Time flies.
In January 2017, what was once a zoo has been reopen as a park.
The Clarington Family Outdoor Adventure Park opened its gates this weekend, still offering some favorites from the past on its 40-acres, including a few classic carnival rides, a splash pad and play park of the former Bowmanville Zoo.
Unfortunate the hands of life your dealt with.
Physical Description: Ethnicity/Race: European Canadian
Weight: 172 Lbs
Clothing Style: Zookeeper
Sexual Orientation: Peta