Ankara mall authorities defend exhibiting wild animals in cages
Sedat Cenikli – ANKARA
The authorities of a mall in the Turkish capital Ankara have defended exhibiting wild animals inside the mall in a statement they released upon mass criticism.
The Serval cat, whose natural habitat is Africa, is being kept in a small space on the ground floor of the Nata Vega Outlet, prompting social media users and animal rights groups to urge mall authorities to free it, as well as other animals.
“We are receiving criticism as if we have exhibited them after separating them from nature, but that is not the case. All of these animals have been bred on farms,” mall authorities told daily Hürriyet, adding that their exhibition will continue despite the outcry.
Upon the surfacing of the incident, hundreds of people signed a petition with the title “Animals shouldn’t be exhibited in glass prisons.”
“These animals are being kept in small spaces without fresh air or sunshine. Even the rocks in the cage are fake. The necessary foundations and associations must end this now,” the petition read, calling on the mall’s visitors to avoid the animal section.
Various other animals are also on display in the mall, with a number of wild and potentially dangerous specimens—such as a Gila monster, a Mojave rattlesnake, a Goliath frog and a reticulated python—exhibited in a section called “Adrenaline World.”
Cem Seymen, a journalist from private broadcaster CNN Türk, decried the exhibits via Twitter, saying “such a scene doesn’t fit humanity.”
“This is a Serval cat and its homeland is Africa. It’s on display behind glass bars in a mall in Ankara. What kind of cruelty is this? What kind of crime against conscience is this? This scene doesn’t fit humanity,” Seymen wrote.
“@NataVegaOutlet end this please,” he added, urging the mall to free the animals.