For some, a trip to the zoo sounds like an enjoyable activity with friends and family. But any true animal lover knows the reality behind zoos. Zoos are anything but fun for animals. Many of the animals that end up in these facilities were born in the wild and captured at a young age, while others were born in zoos. In either case, these animals maintain their natural instincts and behaviors, both of which are stunted by life in a cage. As a result of being deprived of these natural behaviors, it is common for captive animals to display unnatural stereotypic behaviors. It’s believed that these seemingly mindless and repetitive actions are how animals express mental or physical frustration.
When Taiwanese photographer Sheng Wen Lo began taking photos of polar bears in zoos in 2011, he was struck by the unnatural environment the bears lived in. He quickly questioned if the polar bears – animals who exist in a vast, Arctic wild – can thrive in a small pool environment. And what he deduced based on the animals’ troubling behavior was no.
Since then, he has spent months at zoos in Europe and in China documenting how barbaric captive life is for these animals. Lo’s work has formed the above video titled, “The March of the Great White Bear,” a compilation of polar bears in captivity pacing back and forth. And while the video may seem like it is looped, it’s not. The bears are displaying stereotypic behavior and constantly pace back and forth in their enclosure all day long. No animal deserves to live like this.
With the news of Ringling Brother’s Circus is closing their doors for good and the powerful splash the documentary “Blackfish” has made, it’s clear that people no longer want to see animals held captive. Please share this post with your friends and family to help raise awareness about the truth behind zoos.