05/20/22 We are all paying for the suffering of innocent prisoners!
Animal Friends Croatia emphasise that cities spend millions on animal exploitation in zoos
- Using emotional messages, the latest billboards inform the public about high-cost lifelong animal torture
The public is becoming increasingly aware of the suffering of zoo animals because no enclosure, however spacious, can be compared with the freedom of the wild. Manifesting suffering, boredom, stress and depression, animals display zoonotic behaviour, and the entire concept of captivity entails more suffering – hyperproduction, killing, exchange or resale of animals.
Last year Animal Friends Croatia called on the public to skip zoos through their billboard posters. „You are paying for their suffering. Cities spend millions on zoo maintenance. It's time for transformation“, state their latest billboards that are about to be put up in Zagreb, Osijek, Varaždin, Rijeka, Split, Pula and other cities. The message informs the public that they are paying for the suffering of innocent prisoners even if they do not visit zoos, a fact of which most of the public is completely unaware!
Namely, Animal Friends Croatia indicate that huge city budget funds are used to maintain zoos. This cannot be justified by education, animal protection or legal obligation as zoos are outdated attractions maintained at public cost. For example, this year, the City of Osijek has allocated almost 4 million HRK for their zoo, whereas the City of Zagreb has allocated over 15 million HRK for the same purpose.
„The mere fact that zoos cannot meet the natural needs of various animal species shows that the concept of zoos is outdated. We should remember that humans themselves have been displayed in zoos in the past due to their „exotic“ character, which is seen today as a cultural atrocity and a serious violation of human dignity. It is time to stand up for animals in the same way“, states Animal Friends Croatia.
They continue by explaining that zoos do not educate. Children are wrongly taught that it is acceptable to keep someone in captivity for fun and, in addition, it is clear that we cannot learn about wild animals by watching them in captivity as they display their natural behaviour only in nature.
Zoos divert attention from the real need for society to focus on activities aimed at the conservation of animals and their habitats in the wild. For example, according to data from 2019, out of 378 animal species in the Zagreb zoo, only 25 are under special protection as endangered species. The other 353 species are not endangered and, as such, there is no justification for keeping them in captivity thousands of miles away from their natural habitats! Nor do the 25 endangered species have any chance of returning to nature as they are incapable of survival after their release into the wild. Their captivity will not help their species in any way, and we can save them only by conserving their habitats and them within those habitats.
Believing that substantial public funds should not be used for animal exploitation in zoos and that costly animal torture by lifelong captivity should be replaced by modern attractions not involving animals, Animal Friends Croatia call for a transformation of zoos: „This is the future of zoos where animal suffering will be abolished and their cages replaced by modern attractions. They are educational and interesting because modern technology offers incredible possibilities such as virtual presentation of natural animal habitats, free of feeding, cleaning or building costs. Moreover, a great many interactive museums, research centres, areas dedicated to environmental education, wildlife recovery centres, etc. already exist worldwide.“
There are numerous positive examples of zoo transformation all over the world. Guangzhou Zoo from China has announced that they would completely replace animals with virtual reality and related technology. In South America, over 800 zoo animals have been placed in different sanctuaries, and the animal group „Colectivo Alza tu Voz“ is working on the transformation of the Santiago city zoo.
It is also considering opening a virtual experience facility where species can be observed in their habitats, as well as a sanctuary or a recovery centre for endemic species.
The enormous public funds that cities unnecessarily spend on zoo maintenance can be used instead to help and protect animals, implement the Animal Protection Act, truly educate children for their own benefit, or they can simply be saved. All we need to do is start changing the outdated and ruthless attitude towards animals. „It's time for transformation“urges Animal Friends Croatia.
For more on the campaign for zoo transformation and the latest billboard visuals please visit www.zaobidi.net.