PETA Calls For Zoo Closure Following Scores Of Deaths At Alipore Zoo

For Immediate Release:

18 June 2012


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Bhuvaneshwari Gupta; [email protected]

Group Will Ask Prospective Visitors to ‘Try to Relate to an Animal’s Fate’

Kolkata, West Bengal – Accompanied by activists locked in different cages with placards that read, “Try to Relate to an Animal’s Fate. Boycott Zoos”, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will protest outside the Alipore Zoological Garden on Friday. Their point? That during the eight-month period from August 2011 to March 2012, an astounding 67 animals – including tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos, marmosets, birds and snakes – died at the zoo, many from disease outbreaks and a lack of veterinary care. Although PETA India calls for a boycott of all zoos that steal animals’ freedom and force them to live in oppressive and cruel conditions, the situation at Alipore Zoo is particularly critical, and the group has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling for the zoo’s closure. The zoo has gone through nine directors in the same turbulent eight-month period. In an unprecedented response to the shocking number of wildlife deaths, West Bengal formed the State Zoo Authority, but PETA India wants the government’s primary focus to shift from collections of animals in captivity to habitat preservation:

When: Tuesday, 19 June, 12 noon sharp

Where: Outside the main gate of Alipore Zoo, 2 No Alipore Road, Kolkata 700 027

“Animals value their freedom just as humans do”, says PETA India campaign coordinator Bhuvaneshwari Gupta. “Instead of sinking more money into cruel and decrepit zoos, funds must be used to protect the last vestiges of wilderness where these animals can live as nature intended.”

Besides suffering from the cramped cages and lack of veterinary care, the animals confined to Alipore Zoo are also being assaulted from the outside. In a scathing article on the zoo in the Hindustan Times, former forest department chief and wildlife expert Pranabesh Sanyal said that the animals are constantly subjected to the dust and noise pollution that accompany the zoo’s urban setting.

Hundreds of thousands of animals languish in cages in zoos around the world. PETA’s undercover investigations into zoos across India have found appalling neglect, decrepit facilities and animal suffering on a massive scale.

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