NORTH BAY - A well known reptile camp in Bonfield is picking up the pieces as more than 70 animals perished in a garage fire on Friday.
“Friday September 21 2018 I will always remember it being one of the scariest, heartbreaking days of my life, you never imagine something like this will ever happen to you and the people you love till it does,” owner Steve Featherstone said in a post on Facebook.
“To all the animals we lost that night to you I am sorry that, that’s the way your life had to end I can only imagine how scared you all were and I’m praying you are in a better place. I’m sorry I honestly wish there was more I could have done.”
Some of the animals that died included reptiles that Featherstone had rescued in the area - 19 alone in his first year of operation.
The fire started in a wood stove which was used to heat the garage after the power went out during Friday’s storm.
However, a few of his larger reptiles in the garage survived the fire including an American alligator and an alligator snapping turtle.
The Bonfield Fire Department was able to contain the blaze just to the garage as Featherstone’s home was less than 30 metres from the garage.
In the fall of 2016, Featherstone uprooted his zoo business from Hamilton and moved it to the South shore of Lake Nosbonsing where he has started a new business simply called Reptile Adventure Camp.
He’s transformed his property into a reptile game farm with the animals all kept in comfortable and secure living areas in the large garage type facility.
A GoFundme Page has been set up to help offset the losses and rebuild the business.
See that Page HERE