Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Animal Deaths at Indonesian Zoo Trigger Calls for its Closure

March 5, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Over 100 of the 3,450 animals at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia have died due to negligence since last summer. Critics around the world are calling for the zoo’s closure. According to the NY Times, “the pelican enclosure had not become so cramped that the birds started destroying their own eggs,” and a tiger who couldn’t eat due to a tongue injury languished for months before dying from pneumonia.


Pelican show at Surabaya Zoo. NY Times photo

News & Opinion

While the NY Times reports on the debate about whether or not to close this particular zoo, it neglects to raise the larger ethical question about existence of zoos anywhere. What right do we have to strip wild animals of their freedom and lock them up in cages and enclosures for our entertainment? Here is a more comprehensive explanation about the inherent cruelty of zoos and the fallacy of the “conservation” arguments used to justify their existence.

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