After watching this heartbreaking video, you'll never want to visit a regular or roadside zoo.
The next time you see an advertisement for a roadside zoo, keep driving. In fact, unless you’d like to contribute to the suffering of animals in any form, it’d be best to skip visits to zoos, circuses and marine parks, such as SeaWorld. This is because the establishments that make money from keeping animals captive are rarely the wonderlands they appear to be. The following is evidence of this…
In the video below, a 14-week-old bear cub is lifted up by the inside of her mouth by a man named Tim Stark, the owner of Wildlife in Need, a roadside zoo in Charlestown, Indiana. Terrified to be dangled in front of a crowd and in such an inhumane fashion, she urinates and then bites Stark’s hand. He doesn’t seem to be phased as he grins and continues to talk.
Keeping exotic animals in small cages so visitors can pay to capture pictures with them or, in some cases, even interact with the animals, is Stark’s main gig. Though it appears to be innocent, it is anything but. Most of the animals kept at the roadside zoo, including lions, monkeys, otters and tigers, belong in the wild.
As The Dodo reports, Stark has a questionable history with animals. Jennie James, counsel for captive animal law enforcement at PETA Foundation, stated:
“Tim Stark has a long list of animal welfare violations, including allowing staff to hit tiger cubs with riding crops, and encouraging members of the public to hit tigers in the face during these encounters.”
Sometimes, visitors can pay to pet, hold and take photos with baby tigers or lion cubs. According to James, this sets them up for a lifetime of abuse.
“Roadside facilities that offer photo opportunities or hands-on experiences are big contributors to the explosion of tiger cubs in captivity, and once the cubs are too big to be profitable to be used in these encounters, we know them to be discarded to other roadside zoos or other cages, and they live out their lives in misery,” said the activist.
The video of Stark mishandling the bear has gone viral, resulting in Wildlife in Need coming under attack by animal rights activists. James, for instance, says the animal is young enough she should be with her mother, and not with a “notorious animal abuser.” Wildlife experts have also confirmed that the bear urinated out of “sheer terror.”
Though the USDA is presently investigating Stark for past animal welfare violations, activists including James think the legal proceedings will take too long for the animals to be helped.
“You can see in the video that Tim Stark was harassing the baby bear in front of the crowd, and as she screamed and struggled to escape, Stark dangled the bear by her mouth, and that risks serious damage to her teeth and to her back and neck muscles,” James explained.
“What the wildlife desperately needs at Wildlife In Need is to be relocated to a reputable sanctuary immediately,” said James. “This bear can’t wait for the year it would take for that lawsuit to play out … the USDA [needs to] to confiscate this bear cub immediately.”
Watch the video below:
Expressing what many activist might desire to, James stated that the bear cubs and lions do not exist for human entertainment. Rather, they – and all animals – belong in the wild, with their families, and away from the interference of mankind. “The use of baby animals for playtimes and photo ops is cruel and it’s an indefensible practice, and something that compassionate people want no part of once they know what’s involved,” said James.
The best thing you can do is to keep on driving when you see a sign for a roadside zoo and educate others on the misdeeds of keeping animals in captivity for human entertainment. If you agree, please share this article and comment your thoughts below!