Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy

CrocTalk owner pleads guilty to illegally keeping wild animals in Kelowna

CrocTalk owner Doug Illman pleaded guilty to four counts of illegally possessing wildlife in Kelowna court Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Image Credit: Facebook
August 05, 2016 - 1:34 PM

KELOWNA – The former operator of a controversial exotic animal exhibition in East Kelowna has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing wildlife.

John Douglas Illman, 64, was originally charged with eight counts relating to the improper housing of exotic animals, including alligators and caiman.

Plagued by financial issues, CrocTalk was forced to go to the public for help when they were unable to pay their bills. It eventually shut down entirely after the city refused to give Illman a business licence.

CrocTalk was unrecognized by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, the federal agency responsible for certifying a facility as a zoo.

Kelowna bylaw officer Greg Wise confirmed last year the City of Kelowna refused to issue Croc Talk a business licence and were investigating because the facility was on land not zoned for an animal attraction.

Conservation Officer Barb Leslie said Illman had been prohibited from showing any of his controlled species — crocodiles, caimans, African wild cats and tortoises — but continued hosting guided tours until January 2015.

In Kelowna court today, Aug. 5, Illman pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of live wildlife and three charges under the Wildlife act. The remaining four charges were stayed.

Charges were dropped against co-accused Brenda Mae Bruce.

Douglas Illman at CrocTalk before it was forced to shut down in 2015.
Douglas Illman at CrocTalk before it was forced to shut down in 2015.
Image Credit: Facebook

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile