What if you had to spend your entire life in a cage? Spend half an hour with a tiger at Lahore Zoo and you might get an idea of life in captivity.
Earlier this year, we filmed a tiger displaying classic signs of zoochosis, such as this repetitive behaviour of pacing back and forth. This small tiled cage does not allow for the tiger to exhibit any of its natural behaviours. The Lahore Zoo is not only depriving the tiger of any dignity to be a wild animal, but also subjecting him to constant exposure to zoo visitors.
In the half an hour we spent here, we did not see any zoo staff who could have perhaps refrained visitors from teasing the tiger. The design of the exhibit allows for easy access for visitors to jump in close and touch or throw things at the animal. A sign claimed the exhibit to be that of an African lion. It did not look like a lion to us, so besides this labelling, we do not see how this cruel spectacle contributes to the education of Pakistanis, habitat protection or the conservation of tigers in the wild.
If you feel anything for this creature, please speak up in any way that you can. It’s time to have conversations about the ethics of zoos, and to question the real reason behind the archaic concept of caging wild animals.