PETA’s Caged ‘Tigers’ Will Roar Against Imprisonment Outside Delhi Zoo Before International Tiger Day

For Immediate Release:
25 July 2013

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Bhuvaneshwari Gupta; [email protected]

Group Calls for Government Focus to Shift Towards Protecting Tigers in Their Natural Homes

Delhi – Wearing bodysuits resembling tigers while locked in a cage and holding a sign that reads, “Save the Tiger – Say No to Zoos”, two members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will lead a protest outside the National Zoological Park (formerly Delhi Zoo) on Friday. The action, which comes in the wake of the deaths of eight tigers at the zoo in a six-month period, will be held just in time for International Tiger Day, 29 July. The zoo has reacted to the deaths of several adult, newborn and stillborn cubs by announcing an aggressive breeding programme, which will lead to more misery for the tigers from a lifetime of imprisonment and likely more premature deaths. One of the cats, Khushi, was only 8 years old when she died from an infection caused by a cub stuck in her womb. The cub died within hours of delivery.

When: Friday, 26 July, 12 noon
Where: Outside the main gate of the National Zoological Park (formerly Delhi Zoo), near the Old Fort of Delhi, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 003

“Majestic tigers who are kings of our jungles are reduced to living sad, empty lives in zoos, staring out of the bars of their cages with vacant eyes”, says PETA India Campaign Adviser Bhuvaneshwari Gupta. “Tiger-protection efforts must ensure both the physical and mental well-being of the animals, and zoos often fail on both counts. No matter whether the species is endangered or plentiful, nobody wants to be caged. We urge the government to shifts its focus to protecting tigers and other animals in their natural homes instead of pouring crores of rupees into keeping a few miserable animals jailed in zoos.”

Even in the so-called “best” conditions that a zoo can offer, zoos can never come close to meeting the needs of tigers. A study of zoos worldwide found that big cats have 18,000 times less space in zoos than in nature.

Denied everything that is natural and important to them, tigers and other animals in zoos often express their frustration and loneliness through obsessive, repetitive and even self-destructive behaviour such as constant pacing, circling, swaying, head-bobbing and even self-mutilation – abnormal behaviour not found among animals in nature. PETA’s extensive undercover investigations into zoos across India have found appalling neglect, decrepit facilities and animal suffering on a massive scale.

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