National badminton champion and Hyderabad native Jwala Gutta stopped on her way to the Olympics to join PETA India to call attention to the miserable lives of animals in captivity. Gutta held a poster that read, “Be a Champion: Boycott Zoos”, and also showed video footage of how animals in India’s zoos suffer.
“One of the easiest ways you can be a champion for animals is by boycotting the zoo”, says Jwala. “In zoos, animals are incarcerated, often chained and are denied most of their natural behaviours. PETA and I want to remind parents that if their kids love animals, then the last place that they should take them is to watch animals be miserable in zoos.”
Despite the 2009 Central Zoo Authority directive banning the keeping of elephants in zoos and requiring zoos to gradually move elephants to forested areas, the Hyderabad Zoo still exhibits elephants. Captive elephants are separated from their families as babies and are sentenced to lifetimes of boredom, loneliness and even abuse. They are often forced to stand on hard concrete and spend hours on end in chains.
Gutta joins a growing list of athletes and other celebrities – including cricketer Wayne Parnell, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and actor Rahul Khanna – who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against the cruelty of zoos.
Join the campaign now by taking the pledge to boycott zoos.