Former owner of CrocTalk in Kelowna now faces formal charges of illegally keeping wildlife

Owner of CrocTalk Doug Illman.
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KELOWNA – The former owner of CrocTalk, a exotic animal and reptile exhibition that was forced to close last year, has been charged with three counts of unlawful possession of wildlife.

Doug Illman and Brenda Mae Bruce were to appear in Kelowna Provincial court today, Jan. 11 to face three counts each of illegally possessing wild animals.

Illman is also charged with five counts relating to the issuance of permits under section 108 of the Provincial Wildlife Act.

CrocTalk was operating in East Kelowna without a business licence and faced numerous city bylaw infractions. Several of his animals were given to the SPCA and others confiscated by conservation officers.

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 Illman was using it for.

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.

Illman and Bruce will be in court again Feb. 2.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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