Wild animals do not belong in captivity. The mental and physical health of all captive animals deteriorates because they cannot live their lives naturally or follow their instincts. Zoos exploit wild animals and confine them to unnatural lives. Not long ago, Dartmoor Zoo in the United Kingdom came up with yet another way to exploit their big cats.

The zoo charges 15 euros per person who wants to play tug of war with a big cat. A rope is tied to the lion or other big cat’s food (a chunk of meat) and eight people or more, equipped with gloves, pull from outside the cage as the lion tries to hold onto his food. In the wild, a human would never even attempt to fight lions for their food with their bare hands or dangle a lion’s food in front of him and tease him with it.

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It’s another way of miseducating people about wild animals and distorting people’s perception of the natural world. This leads to dangerous situations such as people crossing barriers at zoos and laughing at a lion pouncing or gnawing at children. Such contact between humans and predatory animals should never occur.

Dartmoor Zoo claims that the exploitative game is meant to help the animals get exercise. However, the truth is that lions wouldn’t need to be stimulated with an unnatural game if they weren’t held captive. The big cats at this zoo include Amur tiger, Dragan and African lion, Jasiri. To speak up for them, sign this petition demanding Dartmoor Zoo stop this game!

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