“What is the purpose of the zoo, as there is no form of education or conservation that comes from it? These animals are just kept here to entertain human beings, and suffer in the small enclosures they are kept in.”
Those were the words of Ban Animal Trading (BAT) director Smaragda Louw on Saturday at the East London Zoo during the commemoration of a video that was posted by animal rights activist Daron Mann, highlighting the bad conditions of the zoo.
BAT South Africa is an animal rights organisation that tries to bring about positive change for animals in different ways such as challenging legislation, education for children and focusing on the use of animals for different industriesreasons like entertainment, clothing and hunting.
“Theses are the issues where animals are oppressed – that is where we step in to fight for them,” she said.
The GO reported (“BAT to meet at EL zoo” January 24) that the NPO and Mann would hold a peaceful gathering at the East London Zoo on Saturday.
“The purpose was to mark a year of broken promises, lies and unspeakable suffering. It was promised that the jaguar would be moving to a much bigger enclosure – it’s one year later and nothing has happened. The jaguar is just one of the animals that has to call this horrid zoo his home.
“What would be best is for these animals that are in East London Zoo to be sent to a sanctuary because I have yet to see any results of conservation or education that comes from the East London Zoo.
“That means the animals here are kept for enclosure and entertain- ment. They serve no other purpose but to be entertainment. There is no reason for them to suffer,” Smargada said.
Mann said the main purpose of the peaceful gathering was to show the rest of the world the state for zoo and the animals in it.
“We want to get as much attention as we can, hopefully beyond our country. That why I have urged people to bring their cellphones to capture everything, and show every- one the conditions the animals have to live under,” he said.
Both Mann and Ban Animal Trading South Africa were joined by locals who are activists who believe animals should not be heldcaptured in small enclosures.