For Immediate Release:

5 May 2011


Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Internationally Acclaimed Artist and New Mom Believes Wildlife Belongs in the Wild

Mumbai – Peering soulfully through iron bars next to the words “Exotic Animals Belong in the Wild, Not in Zoos”, world-renowned sitarist Anoushka Shankar, who gave birth to her first child on 22 February, appears in a brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. A long time friend to PETA, Shankar wants her fans at home and abroad to know that animals who are locked up in zoos suffer and that their true natures can’t possibly be appreciated when they are kept in captivity. In the ad, which was shot by ace photographer Dabboo Ratnani, Anoushka wears an outfit created by international fashion designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

“I choose to entertain people for a living, but animals in zoos are locked in barren enclosures and put on display against their will,” says Anoushka. “They can’t choose, but we can: please, boycott zoos.” A broadcast quality link to a video featuring Anoushka Shankar’s interview and behind the scenes shots from the shoot can be found at

Hundreds of thousands of animals languish in zoos around the world. Because these animals are denied everything that is natural and important to them, they express their frustration and loneliness through obsessive, repetitive and even self-destructive behaviour, such as pacing, head-bobbing and self-mutilation. An Oxford University study based on four decades of observing animals in captivity and in the wild found that animals such as polar bears, lions, tigers and cheetahs “show the most evidence of stress and/or psychological dysfunction in captivity” and concluded that “the keeping of naturally wide-ranging carnivores should be either fundamentally improved or phased out”.

PETA has conducted many investigations in zoos across India revealing horrific conditions, including deficiencies in food, drinking water, housing, veterinary care, environmental enrichment, safety and security.

This is not the first time Shankar has helped PETA take a stand against the suffering of animals. She also appeared in a 30-second public service announcement with her iconic father Pt Ravi Shankar to encourage the government to increase the currently weak penalty for cruelty to animals, and she performed at the Hyatt Regency in Mumbai exclusively for PETA to raise awareness of the plight of animals in zoos.

For more information, please visit