When you think of zoos, most people would think of a happy day out: a warm summer day with crowds of cheerful people enjoying the sight of exotic animals. You’d think of the many species being cared for and looked after and you’d imagine that they’d be used for the purposes of scientific and zoological research as well as just providing tourists with a notable attraction.
But then there’s the dark underbelly of zoos, the side of these institutions that you’ll never see in a pamphlet or on a website – places that look more grey and hopeless than prisons, where animals are kept starved and degraded in a state of bondage for profit and crass amusement.
It’s scenes like this one which would shock and infuriate any animal lover: an emaciated bear literally begging for scraps from jeering onlookers. These gaunt sun bears are a star attraction in a now-infamous Indonesian zoo, and a shocking video has emerged of them on social media, which animal rights activists and stunned viewers have seized upon in an effort to close the zoo and end the abuse and neglect of the bears.
To watch the disturbing video in full, head over to page two, but be warned: the following footage is graphic and contains scenes of animal cruelty which some may find distressing.