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Activist Charged With Stealing Animals

AManitoba animal activist is scheduled to appear in Selkirk provincial court April 15 charged with stealing animals from a rural petting zoo.

Bonnie Riddell faces 15 charges of livestock theft after allegedly removing three donkeys, two llamas, four horses and six pigs from a petting zoo near Teulon in December.

Riddell, who runs Papa’s Ranch Equine Rescue Inc., claimed the animals were in poor condition and the owner of the petting zoo, Marilyn Atkey, voluntarily surrendered them.

Atkey alleges Riddell pressured her into removing the animals and refused to return them, even after RCMP investigated and advised her to do so.

Riddell was arrested Feb. 3 and charged with the 15 counts of theft and one count of obstructing justice.

Riddell said she later received a call from Atkey’s son, who lives in Portage la Prairie, who demanded she give the horses back and allegedly made threats.

RCMP said a 38-year-old man has been charged with uttering threats. He has a court date pending.

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