When people go to a zoo, they expect to see animals in action. But a London zoo has done something remarkable to draw attention to the threat facing various animal species. At the enclosure for the Siamese Crocodile, zoo authorities have placed a handbag made of skin, in a stand against the use of animal fur and skin in fashion. The poignant photo has gone viral on Twitter since it was posted on August 2, receiving over 370,000 likes and over 60,000 retweets.
The photo was posted by Twitter user Tom, who visited the zoo, with the caption: “London Zoo isn’t pissing.”
London zoo doesn’t piss around pic.twitter.com/C9cxoDCba2
— T????M (@sleepy_homo) August 1, 2022
The message taped along with the crown-colored bag makes a serious point. “This bag used to be found swimming in slow-flowing rivers and streams in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. In the past 75 years, more than 80% of Siamese crocodiles have disappeared. Many, like this one, were hunted for their skins as part of the illegal wildlife trade,” it said.
According to the BBCThe bag was seized by UK border officials at a London airport in 2018 and handed over to the zoo to highlight the impact the illegal wildlife trade is having worldwide.
Twitter users were shocked when they saw the photo.
“It’s not even a cute bag… I get that animals are taking revenge now, because what do you mean you killed my family to make this ugly shit?” said one user. “It should be taken seriously,” said another.
Native to parts of Southeast Asia, Siamese crocodiles are critically endangered and nearly extinct in the wild. It is believed that only 500-1,000 of these crocodiles remain worldwide due to habitat loss and hunting.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization committed to ending animal cruelty, recently said more than 1 billion animals are being killed worldwide for their skin or skin.
Reptiles such as pythons, caimans, rat snakes, monitor lizards, tegu lizards, alligators and crocodiles are routinely hunted for their skins.
The 196-year-old zoo, in London’s Regent’s Park, is home to more than 3,000 animals seized by border police at the city’s airports.