Suffering in Captivity: Trapped Animals Displayed at Ukrainian Shopping Centre
Forced to live in tiny enclosures with hardly any space to move around, a monkey, meerkats, raccoons, a coati, and other animals are trapped at Ukraina Shopping Mall in south-eastern Ukraine – where they’re treated as a spectacle for the public to gawk at.
Animals aren’t entertainers, and they belong in their natural habitat, not in a shopping centre. Video footage captured by activists from The Save Movement shows that the animals in this mall are likely suffering from psychological distress as a result of the daily stress and lack of stimulation caused by their confinement.
A vervet monkey can be seen performing repetitive movements – a sign of a condition commonly known as “zoochosis”. Other animals display similar behaviour patterns, such as pacing back and forth in their cramped, prison-like cells. These types of behaviour are almost unheard of in the wild.
A meerkat appears to be housed alone, even though in their natural environment, meerkats have complex social dynamics, often living in groups of up to 50 individuals. These intelligent animals spend their time caring for their young, foraging for food, and guarding their territory. Being forced to live without companionship would be an extremely stressful experience for them.
No animal should ever have to endure a life in captivity for a cruel tourist trap such as this mall’s display.
What You Can Do
Please don’t visit any establishment that exploits animals – at home or abroad. If you want to learn about animals, watch a nature documentary that shows how animals behave in their natural habitat. Or just look around! Become an expert on the wildlife in your local area – from the hedgehogs in your garden to the birds flying overhead.