Appalling Animal Attractions, Part 1: Macau’s Flora Park
At first glance, it’s hard to see anything wrong with Macau’s Flora Park, the picturesque European-style garden at the base of Guia Hill. But if you look beyond the greenery, tram rides, and cobblestone, the desolate lives of the few animals imprisoned there are hard to ignore.
In addition to dozens of birds and turtles, the park holds captive several monkeys, including several rhesus macaques and a Francois’ leaf monkey. The monkeys are all confined to dirty, barren, concrete enclosures. While the cages provide “enrichment,” I imagine that the stagnant objects in their cages are no longer of any interest to them, likely never having been modified or moved in years. The Francois’ leaf monkey has several platforms as well as a solitary chain draped along the top of her cage. It’s a far cry from the forests she would roam in the wild with a group of other monkeys.
Most depressing of all is the sight of the Asian black bear, Sunny. During my visit, he was being taunted by a group of schoolchildren. His entire life consists of a patch of ground that measures approximately 25 square meters and contains only a few logs and a tire on a chain. Sunny didn’t move the entire time I watched him—he just sat on the floor of his concrete cage with his head in his paw.
Do your part to help Sunny and the other animals at Macau’s Flora Park by pledging never to patronize zoos or other “entertainment” attractions. If you visit a squalid animal attraction while traveling, be sure to voice your opposition to your tour guide and to the embassy of the country you visited when you return.
Posted by Ashley Fruno