All of the shots are extremely somber, like their daily lives. That's is what the charity associationBorn Free Foundationwere showing inside the European Parliament in Brussels, a series of photos testifying to the miserable living conditions of zoo animals across Europe.Chimpanzees, lions, rhinos, bears and many others were photographed in their enclosures by two internationally renowned photographers, Britta Jaschinski and Jo-Anne McArthur. The two traveled through a large part of Europe to capture the distress of the animals held in captivity.Keith Taylor, the vice president ofEuropean Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroupand member of the European Parliament, explains that the images show the urgent need to act and improve their quality of life.Even though the European Union has had several legal advancements to protect the rights of animals in recent years (notable theEuropean Directive of 2005 concerning the well-being of animals), the associationBorn Freeregrets that unfortunately "many zoos still keep their animals in conditions far below the standards fixed by the EU, and don't respect their legal requirements."Virginia McKenna OBE, the cofounder of the British NGO, confirms in regard to the 14 photos at the Brussels exposition - each one more poignant than the other:
These tragic pictures left me speechless. Please look into the eyes of the macaque, the bear – well, look at all the animals. They tell their own story more poignantly than any words of mine. And the message they give is simple. Help us. End this.
If you wish to contribute to the fight for the improvement of the living conditions in European zoos, you can make a donation toBorn Free, here.If you are not yet convinced of the necessity, these images might change your mind.