|Wild World of Animals at Murrysville Community Day! Please Call and Email!|
Some community members have recently contacted VFA with concern regarding a traveling wildlife show called Wild World of Animals, which made an appearance at the Murrysville Community Park on Saturday, August 14th, for the municipality of Murrysville’s Community Day celebration: http://www.murrysville.com/index.php?CODE=57
According to the Wild World of Animals website, they are a Southwestern Pennsylvania (Eighty Four, PA) based “wildlife company and edu/tainment show” which tours the country for special events, parties, festivals, amusement parks, and media work in TV show, movies, and advertisements, with 85 different animals-reptiles, birds, and mammals. Some of the animals include an American alligator, alligator snapping turtle, an albino monocle cobra, a reticulated python, a European eagle owl, a blue and gold macaw, an opossum, a binturong, a spot-nose guenon (monkey), an African spotted leopard, and a hyena.
There is a lot wrong with traveling animal shows such as this. First and foremost, wild animals do not belong in captivity. Wild animals have complex physical and psychological needs and interests which are difficult if not impossible to replicate and meet in captive conditions. Captive animals suffer from loneliness, boredom, stress, and frustration from being unable to interact and bond with others of their species and from being prevented from exercising, roaming, socializing, foraging, and playing in their natural home environments. In fact, many animals literally go insane in captivity, commonly exhibiting stereotypic behaviors such as swaying back and forth, head-bobbing, pacing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation, all common signs of mental distress and are behaviors not seen in nature-a condition known as “zoochosis.”
Second, animals who are forced to travel around from one city to another have particularly sad and miserable lives. Most of the time, and especially when on the road, the animals are kept in tiny cages, some so small the animals barely have room to move or turn around. They are also subjected to extremes in weather conditions while traveling-no air conditioning in the heat and no heat when it’s cold.
Third, anytime wild animals are put in contact with the public, both the public and the animals are put at risk of safety. Wild animals are unpredictable and will resort to their natural, instinctual behaviors if they feel at threat, and the news is full of stories where wild animals have fought back and retaliated against their captors. One only needs to take a look at incidents like the Roy Horn tiger attack, Tilkum, the killer whale who killed his trainer at Sea World, and the elephant who recently killed her trainer at the Shrine Circus performance earlier this year in Wilkes-Barre, PA, to know this is true. Despite any precautions taken, children and families watching these wildlife shows are sometimes hurt and injured by the animals in the show-there is no safety guarantee. For a record of some captive animal attacks, see these links:
Last but not least, Wild World of Animals and other captive animal shows like them, bill themselves as educational, but what it is really teaching is lessons in domination and exploitation, disrespect for animals’ lives, and sends the message to children that it is ok and acceptable to use sentient beings for human amusement.
The Murrysville community leaders and organizers have stated that they are “proud” that Wild World of Animals is participating in the Murrysville Community Day event. Clearly, the organizers need some education and awareness in this subject. Please contact the Murrysville Administration Building and express your disappointment over Wild World of Animals’ appearance at Murrysville Community Day, and ask that they do not invite them or any other captive animal show back in the future:
Administration Building: 724 325 5737
Rob Hunter, Jr., Director of Recreation: