Life in the zoo is no life at all for a wild animal. While most zoos claim they are focused on conservation and have the best interests of their animals in mind, they can never replicate a natural environment that would fulfill all the animals needs. Sadly, this means that the majority of animals held captive in zoos suffer from mental and physical distress. This is especially the case for primates.
Orangutans and chimpanzees share around 90 percent of the same DNA as humans and have advanced emotions and social abilities. Keeping these complex creatures locked in cages takes a serious toll on their well-being. Studies show that around three-quarters of primates die within the first 20 months of living in zoos.
While conditions in zoos vary, one thing remains the same — they all resemble prisons. This is enough to make even the most energetic animal start to lose hope.
The orangutan in this video from Pheonix Zoo in Japan, however, is able to remain incredibly kind and selfless despite his current suffering. Tossing the chimpanzees in the adjacent enclosure a bunch of carrots, this orangutan shows an amazing amount of empathy for his primate cousins. They’re all stuck in here together, might as well enjoy the little things when they can.
While there is no justification for keeping wild animals captive, after seeing this, it is readily evident that these creatures have no business being held for our entertainment.