09/21/21 Emotional campaign about life imprisonment
Animal Friends throughout Croatia informs about the suffering of animals in zoos
On billboards, emotional messages about animals that have been sentenced to prison
From this week, the messages of the zoo campaign will be visible on billboards in Zagreb, Osijek, Karlovac, Slavonski Brod, Poreč, Omišalj, Split, Šibenik and other cities throughout Croatia. Created in collaboration with the Spellcaster Agency, the visuals with portraits of a monkey and a lion behind bars leave no one indifferent. They connect the emotional torture of being deprived of freedom, which we all felt during the lockdown, with the fate of animals in zoos.
Animal Friends Croatia emphasises: “Our lockdown had a beginning and an end, whereas there is no hope for animals, no vaccines, no possibility of lifting the measures. For them, everything remains the same.” As the posters say: “First we take away their natural habitat, then we enclose them in small cages and enclosures that we call zoos - places where they will spend most of their lives alone, behind fences and bars. We believe that everyone knows in their heart of hearts it is wrong to keep sentient beings in captivity, just for entertainment and on a whim."
The monkey and lion from the billboards are common animals in zoos around the world, as well as in Croatia. Research confirms that monkeys in zoos (ca. 4,000 worldwide) show higher levels of stress when they are aware they are being observed than when they are not aware, which is why they express aggressive behavior that entertains visitors even more. On the other hand, lionesses in zoos most often give birth to stillborn cubs and their young are often born with skeletal deformities that cause neurological complications, and they often show behavioral abnormalities. Food and water are not enough for animals in zoos to have a good quality of life. What they also need is mental stimulation and physical activity that no artificial space created for profit can provide.
Animal Friends point out that animals become mentally ill due to being held in captivity: “We often see their futile, aimless walking around the enclosure, madness from boredom and zoochosis that forces them to move repeatedly back and forth, to self-harm, swing from one side to the other, excessively groom, vomit and behave in ways which indicate how much their psyche has suffered. Each of us needs to know about the dark side of zoos and all the pain and suffering of exploited animals that become their pale shadows in captivity."
Animal Friends also indicate that zoos are aware of the negative public perception, so by enriching and arranging the space they try to cover up the fact that they keep collections of tortured animals which they deliberately breed and expose to lifelong suffering. "The very idea of keeping animals in zoos is primitive, outdated, voyeuristic, weird and meaningless, and it entails more suffering - hyperproduction, culling, resale and further torture of new generations of innocent prisoners. Zoos are not sanctuaries nor reserves, they do not save animals, and they certainly do not adequately educate the public about their needs and their way of life,” Animal Friends added.
Animal Friends conclude that one’s decision not to visit zoos is the only solution that could end the agony of millions of animals whose entire lives are limited to a few square feet. They invite everyone to support the "Skip The Zoo" campaign by donating or sharing visuals on social media.
You can find out more about the campaign HERE.