Friday, April 19, 2013

Close down the zoos!

This Sumatran tiger is a 15-year-old female named Melanie housed at the Surabaya Zoo in Surabaya, Indonesia. The zoo is a notorious hell hole with over 4,000 animals held captive in cramped cement cages, fed only on peanuts thrown at them by spectators, suffering from untreated diseases & injuries, disabilities, & lack of exercise, & dying at the rate of 15 to 25 animals a month. Zoo officials say Melanie has suffered from a digestive disorder for five years, is in critical condition, & may have to be euthanized. More likely she’s starving to death & has lost her will to live.

There isn’t one stinking thing anyone can say in defense of zoos & this kind of treatment of animals. The same barbaric conditions can be seen in zoos all over the US & elsewhere. In the Como Zoo in St. Paul, MN, zebras, gorillas, bears are housed indoors in the winter in cages this same size, with no natural lighting or foliage, are fed swill, & are often without companionship. People bring their children to the zoo for amusement but they often offend the sensibilities of children--or they teach them to accept cruelty & view other species as non-sensate.

Animal welfare activists have been protesting conditions at the Surabaya Zoo & have petitioned the president of Indonesia to shut it down. In response, an interim team was sent in to improve conditions, at least until the activists go away. That’s not likely since animal welfare activists in Indonesia have been particularly vocal not just against the zoo but in defending orangutans against extinction.

(Photo by Associated Press)

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