Unbearable conditions

  • 2007-10-03
  • Laura Tamm, Toronto
I was horrified to read your story about the polar bear being tranquilized to death at Tallinn Zoo (TBT #573, Sept. 13-19).
I visited this zoo a few months ago during a visit to the Baltics. I was appalled by the conditions the animals are kept in.

They are housed in brick boxes with jail-style bars. I disagree with keeping animals in zoos at all, but at least in modern zoos in other countries they attempt to recreate part of the animals' natural habitat.
I knew an accident was bound to happen there sooner or later, but I thought it would come from a visitor (most likely a child) attempting to pet the animals. It's so easy to stick your hand through the bars.

I heard that the zoo is trying to upgrade their facilities, but this is not enough. If Tallinn cannot afford to house these precious and amazing creatures in decent conditions, then it should give the animals to better funded facilities in other countries and close down this prison.
 

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