Bertha, a hippo held in captivity at the Manila Zoo, was found dead in her small enclosure last week.
Bertha’s life at the Manila Zoo was full of frustration, misery, and deprivation. Animals imprisoned at zoos are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, and every aspect of their lives is manipulated and controlled. They have no say in when they can eat, what they can eat, when they can sleep, and whom they can mate with. Their enclosures, including the one Bertha was confined to, are tiny fractions of the size of their natural habitats, and their specific needs are neglected.
It’s a tragedy that Bertha realized freedom only through death, and other animals held in captivity at the Manila Zoo, including Mali the elephant, continue to suffer.
In a barren pen, Mali spends her days pacing the same concrete area over and over again. Transferred from Sri Lanka to the Manila Zoo when she was just a baby, she has lived a life of deprivation since 1977. In the wild, she would spend her days in the company of her herd—which she’d never leave—foraging, bathing and playing in rivers, and roaming vast territories. Now she has the chance to live the life that she deserves, and you can help her by taking action!
Bertha’s suffering has now ended, but animals all over the world suffer every day at zoos. This cruelty will end only when they’re no longer held as living exhibits, and that won’t happen until people refuse to patronize zoos. Please talk to family members, friends, and coworkers—especially those with small children—who may be inclined to go to one, and explain to them that every ticket sale directly contributes to animals’ misery. Ask them to pledge to boycott zoos: