Don't treat animals like toys

I recently read about some wildlife attractions in Thailand being accused of animal cruelty ("Wildlife attractions in Thailand under scrutiny"; July 4) and am saddened that the poor animals have been suffering needlessly for visitors' sake.

These zoos often charge a large amount of money for visitors to feed and take pictures with the animals for a few seconds.

Such facilities want only to earn money without any concern for the animals' welfare.

For instance, it was reported that owls, despite being nocturnal creatures, have been put on display in a brightly lit shopping mall. They are tied to a stand and exposed to flash photography. Hence, the owls are "forced" to be awake in the daytime.

Animals are supposed to be exhibited in zoos with proper enclosures, and not in shopping malls.

Animals, like humans, are living things. We should do our part to take good care of them.

I hope operators of these wildlife attractions will stop treating the animals as though they are toys.

Charmaine Wong Yu Xin, 10, Primary 5 pupil

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'Don't treat animals like toys'. Print Edition | Subscribe