Just recently, I came across a post on Facebook (with troubling pictures and videos) of the Safari Eco Prison Park in Chaguaramas (another place besides the Emperor Valley Prison that exploits animals for profit). As an animal rights advocate, I am angered and appalled about what I have observed on those pictures and videos.
Let me start by stating the obvious: Animals are not mere ‘things’ that should be bought, sold, traded and then exploited for money and entertainment. It is unethical and dreadful to think that anyone would do that…and even more atrocious that people would support these ventures by paying an entrance fee and visiting these places. Are animal’s lives of such little value? That it doesn’t matter how they are taken care of as long as you are profiting from them or you feel they are entertaining your children? Enough is enough! This madness needs to STOP.
NO ELECTRICITY OR RUNNING WATER
Based on the pictures, videos and detailed descriptions posted online by someone who visited the Safari Eco Prison Park (what is “eco” about it? The zebra theme jeep?) and the many comments left in that post (with more than 600 shares up to the time of this article), there are many issues that need to be addressed urgently and many unanswered questions. The first one being: How in the world a business place can be in operation in T &T without electricity and running water? I’ll repeat again in case you missed it: How in the world a business place can be in operation in T&T without electricity and running water? That’s the definition of lunacy.
It is inconceivable that a place that has animals there day and night, every single day has no running water or electricity. Who in the world is allowing a place to operate legally knowing this and why?
It is also reported that the Safari Prison had 4 zebras but now they only have one. What happened with these animals? Where are they? If they are deceased, what was their cause of death?
According to a Newsday article of November 2019, a court has ordered the chief game warden to reconsider his decision not to grant the company that runs the Safari Prison a permit to import two female red kangaroos from Canada. Really? So basically, more animals are coming to this enclosure to die? Is this what is happening just like the Emperor Valley Prison? This is absolutely appalling.
The pictures and videos of the ponies posted by this person are heartbreaking to see. They have matted fur (they don’t have a groomer according to one of the videos shared. They need a special machine but due to the fact that they don’t have electricity, animals are surviving in these conditions).
In the pictures and videos, you can see the ponies look clearly unhealthy, they were covered in dirt and mud and like all the animals in this place, they were directly exposed to the elements, particular the hot Caribbean sun. The “shelter” they provide for these animals is a partial roof or tent that is clearly inadequate for their needs. It is absolutely shocking and shameful that animals are forced to live in these kinds of conditions and more shameful if there is staff academically qualified to realize this and they believe it is acceptable.
There are no trees or any other shade for these animals. In some of the footage, some of these innocent beings didn’t even have water to drink and there were horse flies all over them. How in the world (again) can a business operate in this manner in T&T? The “eco” word may sound “green” or “appealing” to some but this is just a business and one that does not seem to care about the welfare of the animals they bought to profit from.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
You might be wondering: Who is the entity responsible to oversee this place and ensure the animals are treated properly? Where are the inspectors? How can these animals be living in this manner? Even the birds (that are caged like if they are in prison) don’t have suitable roofing.
And you know why? Let me tell you why, because no one cares. Because when it is about money and profit, animal lives don’t matter. And this is the reason why places that exploit animals for profit and entertainment should ceased operations immediately. And they will have no choice but to do so if people who truly care about the welfare of animals would stop supporting them financially by not visiting these places. They shouldn’t exist because we have no right whatsoever to deprive animals of their right to complete freedom and as long as we do not fully understand this concept, places like the Safari and Emperor Valley prisons will continue their operations.
TIME FOR CHANGE
It is time to EVOLVE. Real change can take place ONLY if you are willing to be part of the change and I KNOW we all can do our part. You can start by NOT patronizing these kind of establishments that exploit animals for profit. You have a great opportunity to teach your children about compassion and animal welfare and why you are no longer going to support these places from now on. That’s the first step towards creating permanent winds of change.
Animals deserve freedom and you can help them achieve it. NO MORE ANIMAL PRISONS, NO MORE SAFARI PARKS. NO MORE ANIMAL EXPLOITATION.