Giraffe's Tragic Death From "Panic Attack" Reveals The True Absurdity Of Captive Life

Andrea A.

On August 11, a male giraffe named Hsiao Chiu died after an "anxiety attack" during a transferral from one zoo to another in Taiwan, reports The Daily Mail.

The 7-year-old giraffe had to be taken from the Taipei municipal zoo to a private zoo. During the drive in the lorry, Hsiao Chiu panicked, sending his vital functions into turmoil.


Source : @AFP/Getty Images

The animal was left slumped on the ground before he died a tragic death from respiratory and heart failure, according to the autopsy.

The death made the headlines in the local press and provoked outraged amongst animal rights activists.

The Taipei Zoo have stated they regret the "distressing accident", admitting they didn't do enough medical examinations to determine whether the giraffe could cope with the stress of such a transferral.


Source : @AFP/Getty Images

The absurdity and horror of captivity

Though of course we cannot attribute the blame to anyone, one thing is certain: this tragedy would not have occurred if wild animals weren’t sentenced to a life of misery, in captivity, for the enjoyment of visitors.Most zoo animals spend their lives imprisoned in artificial habitats which do not meet their basic needs.Though some zoos make more of an effort than others to make it astimulatingenvironment, there is one thing they all have in common: they imprisonanimals against their wishes, putting them on display for the amusement of the public.No matter how big the enclosure, all zoo animals are solitary prisoners, living a life of sadness and boredom.


Source : @Jo-Anne McArthur

The animal rights organisation PETA underlines:

Zoos teach the public that it is acceptable to keep animals in captivity, bored and unstimulated, confined and isolated, far from their natural habitat, and all thanks to humans.

Source : @Jo-Anne McArthur

In fact, the best way of protecting animals like Hsiao Chiu is simply by preserving their natural habitat. There is no need to put them in a cage.If you’d like to join the fight to end animal captivity, you can support the Born Free Foundationwhich strives to end animal suffering in captivity and phase out zoos.