After a concerned citizen alerted PETA to a squalid roadside menagerie that housed primates, moon bears, and snakes at the entrance to Vietnam’s Cu Chi Tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City, PETA investigated and found animals living in horrific conditions. None of the animals had food or water, and trash and feces littered every cage.
All the animals at the zoo lived in very small cages—some completely alone and with no enrichment—for three to four years. The animals were given water only in the early morning and suffered through the rest of each day under the hot Vietnamese sun without water. Animals at the zoo were not provided with regular vet care, and several suffered from injuries, including a moon bear who—constantly clutching and pawing at his right jaw—was visibly suffering from a toothache and a macaque who was missing most of his fur.
PETA immediately alerted its supporters around the world, and the government received a flood of angry messages. We are happy to report that the exhibit has since been shut down!
We learned that the Vietnamese Forest Protection Department seized the animals in response to complaints from “foreigners”—that is, all of you who wrote and called. According to a representative of Education for Nature-Vietnam, who spoke to the authorities, “The rangers implanted microchips into the bears and then released all confiscated animals into a semi-wild habitat in the historical forest of the Cu Chi Tunnels.”
Thank you to everyone who wrote to or called Vietnamese officials and tourist companies! Your efforts saved these animals from a lifetime of confinement. Speaking up really can make a difference!