On World Lion Day, remember this.

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Sunday, August 9, 2020. New York City – Tomorrow, Monday, August 10, 2020 will be World Lion Day. Every year on August 10, people around the world use the day to bring awareness about lions. The lion population has been declining. We must do everything we can to protect lions in their natural habitat.

Lions are beautiful animals. Lions deserve their freedom. Lions suffer in cages. Lions suffer in zoos. Zoos are prisons for lions and other animals. Read below what you can do.

According to nationaldaycalendar.com, this is the history of World Lion Day: “In 2013, co-founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert of Big Cat Initiative and National Geographic began a partnership to form World Lion Day. Also known as the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, the partnership aims to protect these wild cats in their natural habitat. Furthermore, the initiative also works on safety measures with communities that live near wild cats.”

“World Lion Day supports and promotes charities and foundations that instill awareness of the great need for conservation efforts and sustainable solutions for addressing the global dwindling wild lion population in fulfilling our mission to protect and save the lions.”_worldlionday.com

Due to COVID-19, millions of people have to stay home for many days. People have to wear a mask. Some govertments have used police officers to force people to stay home, respect social distancing and / or wear a mask.

If you do not want to stay home for a few months, why do you think lions and other animals should be in cages for all of their lives? We must boycott zoos, aquariums, circuses with animals and other places that have lions and other animals in cages.

Would you go to a detention center, jail or prison just to view people behind bars? Would you pay to enter a detention center, jail or prison just to view inmates behind bars? Why would you force lions and other species into cages just so that you can enjoy looking at them behind bars?

Zoos are Prisons for Animals. Boycott zoos.

Ashley Chilton wrote “Zoos are Prisons for Animals” on medium.com. It says in part, “There are many reasons why animals shouldn’t be placed in zoos, according to the article 5 Reasons You Should Boycott the Zoo by Abigail Geer, makes great points on why people should help boycott zoos. The first reason is that zoos cannot provide enough space for each animal. In the wild, these animals have a tremendous amount of space that is never ending. In zoos they are placed on an acre or two per animal. That isn’t enough for a wild animal to live on. Second, animals suffer from abnormal behaviors. People come to zoos hoping to experience the whole package of what it feels like being in a different country as if watching these animals in their natural habitat. In reality, most of the animals you see behind the fences are depressed because they are kept in captivity. Zoos do provide the animals with anti-depressants, but is this what people think is right?”

Born Free Trailer

Virginia McKenna said in 2003, “The film changed our lives and helped change the world’s attitude to wildlife. We realised then that wild animals belonged in the wild, not imprisoned in zoos. Freedom is a precious concept, and wild animals suffer physically and mentally from the lack of freedom captivity imposes. I believe that by working together we can change animals’ lives for good.”

Virginia was talking about the film “Born Free” from 1996.

“In 1966, Virginia McKenna OBE and Bill Travers MBE starred in the classic wildlife film Born Free. The film told the true story of conservationists Joy and George Adamson who rescued a lioness cub called Elsa and successfully returned her to the wild.

In 1984, Virginia, Bill and their eldest son Will launched Zoo Check – the charity that has evolved into Born Free.”_Born Free Foundation

“There are millions of wild animals in captivity worldwide – in zoos, theme parks, dolphinaria, circuses and elephant camps. Watch our new film by Aardman Animations and see how we have used people’s experience of lockdown to highlight the lives of wild animals forced to live under lock and key.”_Born Free Foundation

“Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown” Video by Born Free Foundation.

Should We Boycott Zoos?

The article “Should We Boycott Zoos?” on oxfordstudent.com says in part, “Zoos are no modern issue. The origin of zoos can be traced to animals captured by the ancient Mesopotamian Sumerians, or perhaps the animals caged for entertaining guests of Roman senators. While zoos have changed drastically since then – more space, fewer bars – the harm done to animal welfare remains. While many I speak to about this issue conclude that there are ‘good zoos’ and ‘bad zoos,’ are any zoos truly benefiting animals? Or are zoos simply cruel by nature?

Poor animal welfare persists, even in so-called ‘good zoos.’ In 2012, three workers at Twycross Zoo, in the UK, were arrested for beating elephants. Research by the Animal Behaviour Research Group at the University of Oxford found that 33 of 35 popular carnivorous zoo species were stressed by zoo conditions, showing signs of poor health, repetitive stereotypy behaviour, reduced longevity, breeding difficulties, and higher infant mortality due to reduced maternal care. The researchers concluded that the “keeping of naturally wide-ranging carnivores should be either fundamentally improved or phased out.”

The negative aspects of zoos, especially poor animal welfare practices, cannot be overlooked in favor of the small successes in conservation. While the conservation of endangered species is always a positive thing, do we ultimately need zoos to do this? If people claim to truly care about conservation, why not donate or volunteer instead of demanding that animals be locked up for gawping at?”

“Zoos are like prisons”

Asociación Defensa Derechos Animal says on addaong.org, “Zoos are captivity and entertainment centers where collections of wild animals are exhibited in solitary, often in solitary confinement, with the main aim of satisfying the curiosity of visitors.

Animals exhibited in these facilities are subject to complete control and live in very different conditions from those in which they live in the wild. Captivity suppresses the natural instincts of wild animals. Animals suffer permanent frustration because they have no freedom of choice and cannot behave as they would do in their natural environment. This leads to a tendency toward genetic, physical and behavioural degeneration.”

What you can do.

“Never patronize zoos. The money spent on ticket purchases pays for animals to be imprisoned and traded, not rescued and rehabilitated.

If your local zoo solicits money from corporate donors and/or charitable organizations and foundations, write to the zoo’s sponsors and encourage them to put their money toward protecting animals in the wild instead.

Zoos are covered by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which sets minimal housing and maintenance standards for captive animals. The AWA requires that all animal displays be licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which must inspect zoos once a year. However, some zoos that have passed USDA inspections with flying colors have later been found by humane groups to have numerous violations. Read Beyond the Bars, edited by Virginia McKenna, Will Travers, and Jonathan Wray, for more information.

Encourage your local zoo to stop breeding animals, to pledge never to accept any animals captured from the wild, and to make space available for rescued exotic animals in need of a permanent home. Report poor conditions to the USDA, leaflet at the zoo, write letters to the editor, and pressure local officials to stop subsidizing zoos with taxpayer money.”_PETA.org

Support organizations that are helping in the conservation of lions in their natural habitat. worldlionday.com has a list of organizations here: https://www.worldlionday.com/lion-charities/

Instead of giving your money to prisons for lions and other animals, donate to organizations that are working every day to protect lions in their natural habitat. One of those organizations is Born Free: https://www.bornfree.org.uk/

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World Lion Day is on Monday, August 10, 2020.  This lion is in captivity in a zoo. Zoos are prisons for animals. Boycott zoos.   Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com
World Lion Day is on Monday, August 10, 2020. This lion is in captivity in a zoo. Zoos are prisons for animals. Boycott zoos. Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com

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