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Monday, May 4, 2015

rescued animals and their plight ~wild animals on sale at Mexico

Some acts of humans are barbaric and cruel ! – one is keeping pet animals and birds in small cages – sad that some are genetically modified to look good inside the cage for the satisfaction of humans ! ~more sad, that they cannot survive in the wild or in the outside environment, simply not used to the same.  Thus the caged parrot or lovebird might get killed in a jiffy, when released, though a pigeon could survive !

To some, even Zoological parks are not the right environ for the animals – in Western World, Zoos are research centres and have ample space, right type of environment created around and animals left in their natural surroundings – yet they are not as natural, as they should have been !!

Remember that about a decade or so ago, Circus were banned from showcasing animals.  Many lions were rescued from some famous circus houses and some from illegal mobile circus too.  In a single seizure near Nagercoil, 17 animals including 3 lion cubs; 3 adult lions were seized and brought to the new Rescue and Rehabilitation centre at Vandalur.  Besides lions, there were porcupine, two palm civet cats, rhesus and bonnet macaques, a jackal, an Indian rock python, a barn owl and a Malabar giant squirrel !!  - earlier 11 lions had been brought and kept in quarantine area.  

The animals were provided with good amount of food and were kept in far bigger enclosure than they had been confined all along – there were plans to release them into Lion safari too.  In between came the reports that some died of in-fighting and most had forgotten their natural traits of hunting their prey, perhaps a pale shadow of the King of Jungle tag !! Contrary to what happened here, it is reported that Mexican circuses are  forced to sell tigers for £5,000 each to wealthy drug lords after animal ban.
The report in MailOnline states that a  Mexico City circus is offering seven Siberian tigers and other big cats to the highest bidder, saying they would even sell their animals to a drug cartel boss if the price were right. Cedeño Bros circus - which expects to be put out of business by new legislation that bans performing animals - has already received offers from 'private clients' and 'middle-men' for their tigers.

'We have raised these animals from birth and aren't allowed to keep them, but there's no problem for a wanted criminal', owner Armando Cedeño told the MailOnline, 'This law is ridiculous, and so we're selling to whoever gives us the best price.' There are also fears that thousands of non-working animals will have to be killed because they have nowhere to go - if no owners are found to cover their expensive food and care bills.

The law which came into place in December 2014 toughened up the existing General Wildlife Act by banning all circus animals nationwide. Mexico's Congress said 'the use of animals in circuses provides no educational value to viewer,' and animals exhibited in circuses only perform 'because they fear what may happen if they do not'. The government assured circus owners that space would be found for the animals when it passed the controversial law.

But no restrictions were put on owners selling to private clients. 'They are for sale to the highest bidder', proclaims Armando. 'And if that means selling to someone who is involved in illegal activities, then so be it'. Mexican drug lords are famed for their accumulation of rare and exotic items, among which lions and tigers are highly prized.  As the 1983 gangster film Scarface portrayed, private zoos have long been considered a status symbol for drug kingpins who are eager to flaunt their wealth.

Police discovered more than 200 animals including lions, peacocks and ostriches on the ranch of Mexican drug lord Jesus 'The King' Zambada after his arrest in 2008. The former leader of the infamous Sinaloa cartel developed a love for exotic species. That obsession transferred to his son Serafin who posted images of himself sitting on his pet lion on his Facebook account. Other pictures would show the beast calmly eating out of a beautiful woman's hand. The raid on the mansion last year of another Sinaloa boss, El Chapo Guzman, revealed a collection of two black panthers, eight lions and other big cats which included an extremely rare white tiger.

The animals are to be removed from the circuses on July 8 and less than three months from zero hour, Armando says he has already had a number of private offers for his total of seven tigers, a puma and a jaguar.  He did not mention any bids for his lamas and camels who - along with thousands of other circus animals - may have to be killed when they have nowhere to go and no new owners can be found.

A Mexican activist claims circus animals like this performing jaguar 'are tortured through horrific training methods' but one of its lion tamers insists they are treated with 'great care'.  A local circus-goers disagrees with the law and and told MailOnline that animals such as this jaguar 'aren't being hurt and lots of people are losing their work as a result'. 'There are around 40 lion tamers in Mexico and we have ganged together to see what we can do', he told the MailOnline, 'I will probably end up working as a street-sweeper.'

'Mexicans don't need to have fun through the suffering of another living being', said Mexican congresswoman Karla Gomez after the law was passed last June. The new legislation will not affect either cockfighting or bullfighting which are also popular in Mexico.  Some  circuses have embraced the modernisation, with the 'Cyber Circus' in Guadalajara promoting a robotic elephant known as 'Big Yorgi'.

So different views !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Apr 2015.

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