Written by Jeff Mackey
This time, the sad news comes from Japan: Pan-kun, a
well-known chimpanzee from the Aso Cuddly Dominion Zoo who is forced to dress
in costumes and perform for gawking audiences, erupted in frustration after a
show and violently
attacked a student trainee. Pan-kun remains at the zoo but has been "retired"
from performing. The young woman has been hospitalized.
Because chimpanzees, monkeys, and other nonhuman primates remind us of ourselves, we're fascinated to observe them—but incarcerating exotic animals far from
their natural environment and society can result in unpredictable and dangerous behavior.
We hardly needed yet another example of how the growing frustration of wild animals who are held captive and made to
do stupid tricks for our amusement under the threat of physical punishment turns
them into ticking time bombs.
But here it is. And there'll be more so long as we keep compelling smart,
sensitive, and complex animals to entertain us against their will.
You can help. Sign PETA's pledge never to support film and television productions that
exploit great ape "actors."
Written by PETA
Zanesville, Ohio, sheriff's deputies armed with assault rifles opened fire on dozens of "mature,
very big, aggressive" lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, and bears who
had escaped from a private menagerie in Ohio after the farm's owner, Terry
Thompson, was found dead and the animals' cage doors were left open and fences
unsecured. Primates were found locked in cages inside the
house. 48 animals were killed.
Thompson had a long history
of brushes with the law and had just completed a one-year sentence on two
federal counts of possessing illegal
firearms. In November 2005, Thompson was convicted of,
among other things, cruelty
and was subsequently sentenced to six months of house arrest and fined $2,870.
PETA had filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding Thompson's
illegal activities, including exhibiting animals without a license and declawing
tiger cubs in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
Ohio has no
regulations governing the ownership
of exotic and dangerous animals. Exotic animals all over the state languish
without adequate food, water, and veterinary care. They eat rotten scraps,
drink algae-laden water, and spend their days pacing on feces- and
urine-encrusted dirt. Just last April, Ohio Gov. John Kasich refused to extend
an emergency ban on exotic animals in the state, which was put in place by his predecessor.
PETA has campaigned for an outright ban for many years.
join PETA in asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to exercise its authority to declare
emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic animals and also seize the animals over whom the agency has jurisdiction and see
that they are placed in reputable sanctuaries.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
It's a miracle that no one was injured when a chimpanzee named Suekko escaped from a private menagerie and wreaked havoc in Kansas City recently. Other incidents involving exotic "pets" have had very different outcomes.
Across the U.S., privately owned tigers, primates, bears, and reptiles have maimed or killed countless people. The victims have included a Connecticut woman who lost her face and hands after her friend's pet chimpanzee snapped, a Florida toddler who was strangled to death in her crib by her family's pet python, an Ohio man who was mauled to death by a bear, and a 9-year-old Texas girl who was killed by her stepfather's tigers. The list goes on and on. Most animals who hurt someone are killed.
Yet there is still no federal law that prohibits private individuals from keeping exotic animals, and we're working hard to stop the madness. Please contact our Action Team to request materials to start a campaign to ban exotic pets in your area.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.