Recently, a zoo in Lebanon, called Animal City, posted a video of zoo visitors laughing and taking photos in front of a disturbed lion trying to paw at the glass. While they advertised this as a “memorable face-to-face encounter with the Lion,” animal activists are speaking out against the cruelty of big cat captivity. According to Esquire Middle East, many people took to social media to call the attraction “disgusting” and “bloody awful.”

Animals should be in the wild with their families, not in zoos where they are kept in small enclosures surrounded by loud people throughout the day. Unable to engage in the natural behaviors that they would in the wild, many animals experience “zoochosis,” which is characterized by repetitive behaviors that are harmful to others and themselves. Keeping animals in captivity doesn’t benefit anyone but those who own zoos and profit off the animals that are kept prisoner there.

Like many zoos, Animal City advertises itself as an animal park that focuses on education and conservation, writing that they “care about inspiring people to care, educating tomorrow’s wildlife warriors and giving families a great day out.” However, zoos are not and can never be beneficial for animals. Furthermore, Animal City’s Instagram also advertises close-up encounters and photo-ops with animals, including lion cubs, bear cubs, and monkeys, which cause even more psychological, and often physical, distress to wild animals than captivity already does. These attractions also usually mean that the facility is continually breeding more wild animals that will spend their lives in captivity so tourists can continue to take photos with cute baby animals.

Sign this petition to urge the Lebanese Government to assist in the removal and rehabilitation of this wild animal to a larger and more suitable space!

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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