For Immediate Release:
22 May 2014
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Cricketer Wants Zoos to Stop Sentencing Animals to Life Behind Bars
Mumbai – Indian Premier League (IPL) fever continues, yet ace cricket bowler Pragyan Ojha, known for his left-arm spin style, took time out of his busy schedule to speak up for animals who suffer every day of their lives locked up in zoos. In Ojha’s brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, he is locked in a glass zoo enclosure with parts of his face and arms painted with tiger stripes. The caption reads, “Save the Tiger: Say No to Zoos”, and the ad goes on to proclaim, “Save Animals by Protecting Their Natural Habitats, Not by Imprisoning Them in Zoos”. The stunning ad was shot by ace photographer YSN Murthy, Ojha’s hair and make-up were done by Mask Raju and bodypaint by Sravankumar.
Ojha also sat down with PETA for an exclusive video interview, which is available upon request.
“Animals are like prisoners in the zoo. They have limited place to move around. They are not comfortable. They are just cramped up, which is not natural”, Ojha says. “I feel animals belong to natural habitat. They don’t belong to a closed environment. If we stop going to zoos and stop encouraging people for going to the zoo, it will help in that cause.”
Denied everything that is natural and important to them, animals in zoos often express their frustration and loneliness through obsessive, repetitive and even self-destructive behaviour, such as pacing, head-bobbing and self-mutilation. Lions and other big cats have 18,000 times less space in zoos than in the wild, and that figure rises to 1 million times less space for captive polar bears. PETA’s extensive undercover investigations into zoos across India have found appalling neglect, decrepit facilities and animal suffering on a massive scale.
Ojha plays for the India national cricket team as well as the Hyderabad cricket team in domestic cricket and the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
He joins a growing list of athletes and other celebrities – including cricketer Wayne Parnell, badminton champion Jwala Gutta, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and actor Rahul Khanna – who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against the cruelty of zoos.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.