Another demonstration of the damage that life in captivity can cause animals.
The association Born Free Foundation, which fights against zoos, released several photos of Siberian tigers held in the Yuqiong Zhou in Harbin, China. The animals appear to be obese and apathetic. A number of media outlets reported on the tigers in a positive light calling them "adorable," the reality is anything but.
China: Obese captive Siberian tigers are no joke
Contrary to the tone of a photostory currently going viral on Chinese…
Chris Draper, member of the Born Free Foundation, explained to The Dodo:
I've never seen tigers overfed to that degree. While that might not create an immediate problem for them, it would restrict their movement, give them problems with their joints and their limbs, feet and their ability to walk. They'd also have problems interacting with each other. There'd be stress and strain on their physiology, just as being obese does in humans.
CHINA | ANIMAIS DEMASIADO OBESOS NO JARDIM ZOOLÓGICO DE HARBIN ESTÃO A PREOCUPAR ASSOCIAÇÕES LOCAIS
A existência de…
The caretakers are not the only ones at fault for the dangerous state of the large felines. Zoo visitors have an active part in this, regularly feeding the animals with the approval of the establishment. Worse: they feed them live chickens – certain Chinese zoos offer the ability to purchase the tiger's "meal" onsite. Draper continued:
If this facility is allowing live feeding, where people can buy a chicken and throw it them, it's incredibly cruel and very unethical. I don't know if it happens in this facility, but it certainly happens in some facilities in China. It's a visitor attraction. Sometimes it's not just chickens — it's goats and cattle.
Another problem raised by the photos: the living conditions of the tigers. The felines are solitary animals, and living in "packs" goes against their instincts. Forcing them to live in groups causes a huge amount of stress.
The confined space also reduces the possibility for exercise, which contributes to the weight gain they're experiencing. Draper specified that while the tigers in this Chinese zoo are particularly obese, the problem isn't limited to China, and can be found in American and European zoos as well. Critics have been more and more severe against this type of establishment however, and the Chinese park was quickly called out.
They need to put an end to this, and get some proper advice on nutrition, feeding and behavior, and how to keep their animals better, and potential visitors to parks in China and the rest of the world need to just stop and think — what is the entertainment value in seeing these fairly grotesque tigers? It should provoke nothing but pity.
The story of obese tigers at Siberian Tiger Park in China, where tourists pay to feed the animals for their…
While some zoos may be educational and informative, animals were not put on this earth to be trapped in small enclosures for humans to look at and take selfies with.
They deserve to be in the wild, enjoying their freedom and not suffering cramped and terrible living conditions for the sake of visitors.
To find out more about what you can do, visit PETA's campaign to shut down zoos.
H/t: The Dodo
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