Media Centre

Swansea Man Exposes Shocking Abuse Of Animals In Chinese Zoos

For Immediate Release:

14 May 2013

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

Swansea – A Welsh holiday-maker's photographs reveal the grim reality of everyday life for animals who are beaten and forced to perform in Chinese zoos. Twenty-four-year-old Nick Hopkins from Swansea took the photos at Shijiazhuang Zoo and was so outraged that he donated the fee that he had received for the snaps from a national newspaper to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

"I can only describe the way the animals were treated as horrific", says Hopkins. "There were monkeys made to walk on stilts and riding bikes. Bears were dragged to the ring via a chain through their nose and also rode bikes. There were tigers and lions forcefully made to perform tricks, with one poor tiger forced to walk on a large ball. They were even poked in the eye with a large stick until they performed the desired trick. And one lion had to lean on the side of another to support its head."

Animals in zoos and circuses are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. As undercover investigations have documented, animals are routinely mistreated behind the scenes. They are shackled and isolated, experience terrible loneliness and are often forced to perform degrading and confusing stunts. Last month, the UK government published plans to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses throughout the country starting in 2015. But tens of thousands of animals still languish in zoos in the UK, and unlike the paying public, they can never go home.

Hopkins' photos are available below.

Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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