People have become extremely careless toward animals at zoos and in the open, torturing them for selfies and using them as a form of “entertainment.” In the process, they’ve forgotten that these animals are living beings that also feel pain, belong to a certain environment and need to be cared for in order to thrive.
Lauren Strickland was visiting the Rockhampton Zoo in Queensland, Australia, with her son Darcy Barraclough when she saw a crocodile coughing up plastic bottles.
“I’d gone there with my son and noticed (the crocodile) had regurgitated some green muck. He was quite tense. He looked really uncomfortable. He bought up one of the bottles under the water and then bought up another bottle and kept it in his mouth,” she told The Morning Bulletin.
She immediately notified zoo keepers, one of who lured the animal out of the water and removed the bottle stuck in its mouth.
A video of the incident was shared on Facebook with the caption: “Plastic bottles are a hazard.”
The Rockhampton Regional Councillor Cherie Rutherford has announced that the reptile’s condition is under close watch by staff members and warning signs alerting people of the dangers of littering will be put up in the park.
Plastic waste can kill animals as they cause internal infections and ulcers and can cause the creature to choke on them.
Animals at zoos and in enclosures at shopping malls or other public spaces, kept for people’s entertainment, already go through a sheer ordeal, living away from their natural habitat and interacting with large numbers of visitors on a daily basis. The least we as humans can do is to be careful of how we treat them. It is important to firstly acknowledge that although these creatures are unable to speak and express, they feel just as much pain. Small acts like not throwing waste into their enclosures and being mindful of their space can help these animals live a better life.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Luc Gnago