Zoos and aquariums are nothing more than prisons for wild animals, who value their freedom just as you do. However, the American Humane Association (AHA)—the organization known for its “No Animals Were Harmed” statement at the end of movies—doesn’t seem to realize this. In an effort to promote its new “humane” standards for zoos and aquariums, the organization decided to showcase a lemur, spider monkey, and kinkajou on television.
An AHA handler dumped an endangered lemur onto a news anchor’s lap and walked away. The newscasters were clearly unsure of how to handle the lemur, who kept attempting to escape. And the apparently terrified spider monkey began to scream and struggle as AHA’s president and CEO explained the new “humane” standards.
Wild animals don’t belong at news stations—or inside cages or other enclosures for humans to gawk at. It isn’t fair to lock animals up forever just to feed an hour’s worth of your curiosity. Respecting animals means not kidnapping them from the homes nature intended them to have.
Locking animals in cages and pens will not protect them from extinction. We’ll only be able to save endangered species if we save their habitats and stop animals from being hunted and killed. Instead of supporting zoos, people who want to help animals should only visit sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
Animals also don’t belong in films or television shows. AHA is funded, in part, by the Screen Actors Guild, and its “No Animals Were Harmed” assurance at the end of movies is based only on the short time that animals are on set. AHA doesn’t monitor training sessions or the conditions in which animals are kept.