Seal Kept Behind Bars as Allegedly Abusive Zookeeper Walks Free

Posted by on August 8, 2013 | Permalink

CC Fur SealA senior zookeeper at Bristol Zoo has allegedly lashed out violently and punched a fur seal, simply because the animal put a flipper on a set of scales. It’s an upsetting headline, but it shouldn’t really come as a surprise when you consider that, to zoos, animals are simply commodities, to be imprisoned and exhibited for money.

Seals, sea lions and countless other intelligent, sensitive animals kept in zoos endure routine abuse. Locked in cages and forced to perform, they are denied not only their freedom but also the opportunity to fulfil even the most basic instincts and desires or enjoy any semblance of a natural habitat. Zoos began as menageries for the rich to see the exotic living spoils of wars in foreign lands – now they are simply prisons, where beautiful animals are driven mad by the frustration of captivity.

The UK should be following the lead of Costa Rica, which is about to take an unprecedented leap forward in protecting animals by closing all public zoos in the country. Recently, one of Britain’s most famous zookeepers, Damian Aspinall, also joined the call for the abolition of zoos, pointing out that 80 per cent of animals in UK zoos are not in any sense endangered. “We’re supposed to be the intelligent species: surely we’re above having animals entertain our children”, he comments.

Animals don’t belong behind bars – but people who abuse them do. Please don’t give your support or money to these exploitative institutions: stay away from Bristol Zoo and all similar companies that imprison animals for profit.

Image: Ross Elliott / CC BY 2.0