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or years humanity has been locking up animals behind cages. This physical barrier is for the protection of humans, but at the same time from an ethical perspective, putting animals behind cages is not natural despite the abundance of food, care, and shelter they receive. What if we swapped roles just to see how it feels to be locked up and looked upon day in and day out.

Well, this is what a Zoo in China had done. Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo in Chongqing, China, lets their animals roam freely in a big rural zone whilst visitors are placed in cages and locked for the animals to come and see them. This is the first time such an idea had been implemented in a Zoo.

History of Animals in Zoos

One of the earliest Zoos seems to come from Ancient Egypt about 5000 years ago in a place called Heraconopolis. This is where wealthy people would gather exotic animals from around the world and keep them confined for others to see their collections. Evidence of this had been discovered when the corpses of people from ancient Egypt had been uncovered next to the corpses of baboons, antelopes, hippos, and other exotic animals.

Louis XIV’s royal menagerie (Wikimedia Commons)

The royal menagerie seems to have been popular in most of the world’s cultures. Rulers from ancient China, Greece, Babylon, Mexico, and Rome all collected exotic animals to display their wealth and entertain their guests. Royalties even exchanged animals from one collection to another as if they were toys.

Compared to modern Zoos, these animals were treated very badly and injured in the process of being captured. Animals have been used for the entertainment of humans for years, not only locked up in Zoos but also in Circus. Why is it that it has never been the other way around, are we really better than animals?

Changing Roles

Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo is trying to give the visitor a closer experience of the wildlife which justifies that they are placed in cages for their own protection. At the same time. a social change takes place when the visitors are seeing what the animals feel like. Being locked in a cage with little to no control is tough and scary.

Tigers jumping on the cages with Humans (Source: Daily Mail)

Terrifying photos show the tigers jumping onto the cages, centimeters away from clawing an unsuspecting tourist in a park attraction which has already been described online as ‘an accident waiting to happen. Zoo spokeswoman Chan Liang said that the intent of putting the visitors within the cages is to feel the fear of being stalked and attacked by big cats.

“We wanted to give our visitors the thrill of being stalked and attacked by the big cats but with, of course, none of the risks. The guests are warned to keep their fingers and hands inside the cage at all times because a hungry tiger wouldn’t know the difference between them and breakfast.” (Quote by Chan Liang)

Visitors feeding white tigers through small holes (Source: Daily Mail)

Within this free roam Zoo for animals, there is even a passage where cars and special buses can go around to see the animals from very close. The cars are provided by the Zoo as they are reinforced to avoid the risk of tigers breaking in. They even have small holes built through which the visitors can feed the animals.

Such experiences might be eye-opening to humanity in seeing wild animals are supposed to live in the wild, free to roam where ever they want but keeping to their habitat. Does anyone remember the time we got bored of animal Zoos and started human Zoos? Humanity will do anything for entertainment and place anyone in a cage.

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