Tag Archives: neglect

Please! No more Polar Bears for Worcester!

June 20, 2011

To the editor:

Kenda [The EcoTarium’s polar bear]’s death is a heartbreaking reminder of the profound injustice in keeping these complex, free-ranging animals in captivity. This polar bear never stepped foot outside of a concrete icebox from the day she was born until the day she died.

Polar bears thrive in enormous Arctic expanses and open water — which no zoo/science center can provide.

Try to imagine living in the same cramped place for the rest of your life. Polar bears, who are genetically designed to roam and swim over vast distances, are no more able to adjust to lifelong captivity than we could.

A study conducted by Oxford University researchers concluded that large, roving predators show stereotypic symptoms of stress when kept in captivity, because they are unable to satisfy their instinct to roam. The researchers cite polar bears as an example of a species that does especially poorly in captive situations, and the report found that a polar bear’s typical enclosure size is about one-millionth of its minimum home-range size. Children learn nothing about who polar bears really are by seeing them in a cramped, artificial environment. Continue reading Please! No more Polar Bears for Worcester!

Next time you go to PETCO or PetSmart, think of this …

For more than seven months, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), a major player in the pet trade. USGE buys and sells hundreds of thousands of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from all around the world, many of whom are eventually sold to large pet store chains PETCO and PetSmart—stores that we have campaigned against and even won major concessions from over the years.

The extent of the cruelty and neglect that our investigator documented in this massive and filthy animal warehouse was mind-boggling. Tens of thousands of animals— including ring-tailed lemurs, wallabies, sloths, hedgehogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, squirrels, ferrets, snakes, turtles, and tortoises—were dumped into severely crowded and filthy boxes, bins, troughs, and even soda bottles and left there, often without food and water, basic care, or minimal veterinary attention for their life-threatening injuries. The following are a handful of examples that we documented of the daily, systemic mistreatment of animals:

Scared hamsters were crammed by the thousands into litter pans, unable to move for fear of being attacked by other distressed hamsters. These cruel conditions resulted in rampant cannibalism, horrific wounds and infections, and a daily death toll. Faulty watering-system nozzles routinely flooded bins, drowning the animals trapped inside. Continue reading Next time you go to PETCO or PetSmart, think of this …