The Chaos of the “Indoor Zoos” Should Be Fixed! A Large Number of Animals Died in an Indoor Zoo in Changsha. Who Will Protect Public Health Safety?
2020/3/31 15:43:00 本站

According to media reports, a large number of animals have been found dead in an indoor zoo in Changsha City, Hunan Province: some of them are suspected to be starved as the bodies are not in integrity.


The indoor zoo is called “Animal Party” and has two branches which are located in two shopping malls (Wuyue Plaza and Greenland Being Fun) in the Yuhua District and the Yuelu District. According to the video posted online, the incident is reported to occur in the branch store situated in Yuhua District. A report of Pear Video indicates that many animals, including wild rabbits, snakes and quails die off due to close-down and the deficit. A working staff says that some animals die of starvation and were eaten by others.


A poster published on December 29th last year shows that the theme entertainment park “Animal Party” covers an area of over 1,600 square meters and is divided into five regions. The indoor zoo is claimed to hold over 200 animals of 80 marine, terrestrial and bird species. “Have a zero-distance contact with lovely animals”, the advertisement says.


A volunteer of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) sent a message to us on March 28th and expressed his concern, “I have been keeping attention to the industry of indoor zoos since the last year. It is gaining traction as only a few investments can bring huge profits. To be the truth, there is no animal welfare. Once animals are arranged in indoor zoos, they will not enjoy the sunshine anymore. The COVID19 pandemic is advancing the disaster for these creatures.”


Besides animal welfare, some are concerned that the indoor zoo could drive the illegal poaching and trade of wildlife if they are from an illegal source.


Do you remember the illegal poaching of 100 spotted seal babies in Dalian last February, which drew international attention, and the police offered a high reward for seizing criminals? Why these little spotted seals were stolen from their mothers by poachers? The answer lies in the demand for animal exhibition and performance. At the end of February 2019, CBCGDF held a seminar and invited professionals, media, conservationists, and fishermen to probe into the reason behind illegal poaching. A reporter noted, “We should be keenly aware of the booming indoor zoos as it increases the need for illegal poaching.”


Are animals in the zoo from the wild or domestication? Is the source illegal? Does the zoo obtain approval and finish quarantine as the local forestry department requests?


The close interaction with wild animals greatly increases the exposure of human beings to all kinds of the virus—it is estimated that 70 percent of contagions are from wildlife. Over 100 infectious diseases emerging at the animal-human interface have been recorded, including rabies, aftosa, tuberculosis, and avian influenza. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites carried by wild animals may spread in the hunting, slaughter, and meat processing.


What worries us most is the reality that the majority of the customers are parents and kids. Therefore, how could such indoor zoos secure biological safety and public health security when the visitors are susceptible groups to disease?


An expert in the IUCN Green Criminology Specialist Group (GCSG) showed his concerns, “A lot of animals are the natural host of bacteria and viruses. There is a great possibility that many animals in the indoor zoo were caught from the wild, even though the operator claims the source is legal, just as the Huanan wet market. Relevant departments and market watchdogs should take an instant action to stop the indoor zoos and should no longer grant approvals.”

(Photo source: Internet)

Original Chinese article:

By / Yanqing Modified / Maggie