It seems that more and more these days, people are liking or sharing animal-related videos that may be marketed as “cute,” but are in fact made by coercing an animal to perform certain “tricks,” or react to a stimulus in a way that uninformed viewers might consider to be “funny.” While there is no denying the “cuteness” of some of these videos at face-value, when you look behind the scenes of what made that video possible, suddenly there is nothing cute about the situation at all.
For example, when the infamous YouTube clip “Tickling Slow Loris” went viral, many were quick to laud how sweet and funny the video was. However, International Animal Rescue (IAR) launched a campaign to draw attention to the hidden cruelty behind this video through their Tickling is Torture Pledge, and suddenly, we all learned that there was nothing cute about the situation.
However, the listless and apathetic behavior of the gorilla in this one-and-a-half-minute clip has to be seen to be believed. It so clearly demonstrates exactly why wild animals do not belong in captivity, being touted as a source of entertainment for tourists and sightseers who do not realize the truth.
This video features the Western Lowland gorilla, Jelani – a resident of the Louisville Zoo, Ky. – watching as a guy shows him pictures of other gorillas on his phone. It has been picked up by a number of different sites which have described Jelani’s bored reaction as “funny.” However, for anyone who knows about the continual frustration and lack of space that captive animals must endure, this could be possibly the saddest video ever.
You can help Jelani, and other captive animals like him, by spreading the truth of how they really feel about their lives in captivity. There is nothing truly funny or cute about holding a wild animal captive for the purpose of our own entertainment.
Lead image source: Duncan McKinnon/Flickr