Your Gift Today Will Help Stop Suffering
They stand like a row of battery cages, but each one houses a single unhappy lion. One lioness - clearly distressed - repeatedly paces back and forth. There is nowhere to escape from the public’s gaze. She should be with her pride, surviving on her wits in Africa’s vast sunlit savannah. But she is alone, surrounded by concrete.
Another zoo, another barren, concrete enclosure. A solitary elephant, all alone, neurotically circles round and around. In the wild this sensitive, complex creature would be living with her family in a lush, forested habitat. But this ‘zoo elephant’, isolated from nature, suffers unimaginable deprivation and copes the only way she can. Like countless other animals she is incarcerated for life, to satisfy the brief curiosity of zoo visitors. Her life is a nightmare.
Two miserable chimpanzees - perceptive, intelligent animals - hug themselves for comfort and one rocks side to side (see pic overleaf). A hopeless macaque monkey huddles on a broken fence; a desolate brown bear gazes bleakly through rusty wire; a polar bear - evolved to migrate hundreds of miles - lies prone on a bare floor. Inquisitive opportunistic animals, kept in a monotonous unchanging world.
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Are you wondering when these photographs were taken? They seem reminiscent of the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Victorian times. It seems unbelievable that they were taken just a month or two ago, right here, where we live. We have thousands of such images and many were taken in Europe’s most affluent countries - Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, and yes, here in the UK.