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Scorpion Protests Exploitation of  Wild Animals for Entertainment (March 20, 2017)
Posted on 22:38 March 20th, 2017

The Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group today (Monday, 20th of March 2017) carried out a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry protesting the exploitation of wild animals for entertainment in Indonesia. Participants of the demonstration, which consisted of Scorpion staff and supporters, held various banners saying, amongst other things, “Stop Exploitation of Wild Animals,” “Wildlife, Not Entertainers,” “Animals Are Not Toys,” “Stop Animal Exploitation Now.”

The Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group urged the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry to cease all cruel wildlife shows at the Indonesian zoos and safari parks, including a travelling circus. The wildlife shows include circus tigers, elephants, dolphins, sun bears and the use of wild animals such as tigers and orangutans as photo props.

According to the monitoring of the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, some zoos and safari parks in Indonesia still carry out wildlife shows or use wild animals for photo props, including in Taman Safari Indonesia Cisarua Bogor, Safari Park Prigen Pasuruan; Gembiraloka Zoo Yogyakarta; Bali Zoo; and a travelling circus run by Oriental Circus Indonesia and  PT Wersut Seguni Indonesia.

"In addition to endangering the safety of humans, as happened in the incident of a little girl being attacked by a tiger cub recently in East Java, using wildlife in shows is a form of cruelty to animals," said Marison Guciano, Senior Investigator of the Scorpion Foundation.

According to Marison, wildlife sows are clearly a form of exploitation of animals. They have a negative impact by creating insensitivity within the public domain regarding the abuse of animals. Shows like this also teach children to regard animals as mere objects to be used and abused for entertainment. They have no educational or conservation value whatsoever.

“ In addition,” he said, “animal trainer and showmen frequently engage in negative treatment or punishment such as whipping, beating and striking the animals; forcing them to carry out tricks that are unnatural. These trainers believe that animals can only be "controlled" by pain, hunger and fear.

The use of wild tiger cubs for photo opportunities is a cruel practice because the cub is separated from its mother and subjected to unnatural and stressful situations. This could certainly have negative consequences, significantly to the psychological condition of the cubs and the cub’s mother.

“Indonesia is between 10 to 20 years behind many other countries which have already improved upon their treatments of wild animals. We need to change this and radically alter our approach to the treatment and welfare of captive animals,” said Programme Director of Scorpion Foundation, Gunung Gea.

“The Ministry of Environment and Forestry officers should be listening to all the NGOs that are calling for improvement of animal treatment in Indonesia. It is time for these institutions and government agencies to stand up and take notice. People from all over the world are outraged about the poor treatment of wild captive animals, and Indonesia needs to make a radical change to our approach to this issue,” Gunung Gea added.


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