Animals across Japan are making a bid for freedom (hopefully, captive animals everywhere are taking notes). First, a dolphin who was being forced to perform stupid tricks for loud, obnoxious audiences day in and day out at Japan’s Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium decided that he’d had enough. During a performance, he leaped over the side of his tiny tank. Unfortunately, he landed on the concrete instead of being transported back to his ocean home.
Then, earlier this week, 15 monkeys at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute (PRI) escaped from an enclosure (dubbed a “forest home” in news reports—yeah, right) by using tree branches to fling themselves over a 17-foot-high electric fence.
Sadly, freedom was short-lived for the monkeys as well. All the runaways were eventually recaptured. The head of PRI said that the monkeys didn’t stray too far, probably because they wanted to be near the monkeys who were left behind.
Someone should listen to the SOS signals that animals in captivity are sending. Instead of keeping dolphins in chemically treated tanks and forcing them to “dance” for fish or locking monkeys in enclosures so that vivisectors can drill holes into their skulls, attach electrodes to their brains, and fasten small wire coils directly to their eyes to study eye movement (which is what some experimenters at PRI do), we should be leaving animals in the wild.
Written by Shawna Flavell