Watch: A caged polar bear’s plight strengthens the case for abolishing zoos
Living in captivity is severe torture for animals.
Polar bears are strong enough to kill with one strike of their paws. When kept in captivity in poor conditions, a polar bear doesn’t fare too well. In the video above, apparently from the Belgrade zoo, a polar bear, discoloured and struggling to stand, is evidence of the sad plight of what can happen to animals in zoos and in circuses.
Another video released by animal advocacy group PETA last week shows the cruel conditions circus animals are trained in. Taken at Suzhou, China, the region is unofficially called the “circus capital of the world”, according to PETA.
The video below documents the conditions in ten training centres in the region, which is “home to more than 300 circuses”. The animals are kept in terrible conditions, and the training involves choking bear cubs so that they learn to stand on their hind legs, monkeys are dragged by their necks so they perform tricks, and so on.
Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra’s 1983 movie Zoo is a look at the space of a zoo and highlights the similarities between animals and humans. It demonstrates that an antagonistic interaction is more often initiated by humans.