Animal rights activists have been insisting that the London Zoo cancels its "Zoo Lates" events, which allows people to enter the zoo on Friday nights. These demands have been made after a few horrible incidents occurred during the events.
One of them involved a partygoer who tipped beer over a tiger. Another was the incident of a man who stripped out of his clothes and tried to enter the penguin pool. It seems that many of the guests who attend the Zoo Lates are drunk - more problematic than the fact that entertainment such as comedy performances and the opportunity for people to view the animals after hours is that alcohol IS sold at these events. PETA got involved, penning an open letter to the Zoological director, David Field. The letter stated that these events are having a 'detrimental impact' on the animals and PETA urged the zoo to maintain their typical opening hours.
PETA pointed out that there have also been other inappropriate incidents, such as people crushing butterflies or knocking into birds that are in the aviary.
The problem is that people are gaining access to the zoo after hours, which is proving to be a disturbance to the animals who are trying to rest. Of course, this becomes more of an issue when visitors are rowdy. Besides for PETA, other organizations that have backed the petition to end the events include the RSPCA as well as charities such as Animal Aid, OneKind, Born Free Foundation, Viva!, and the Captive Animals’ Protection Society.
Lots of money is raised annually for the London Zoo due to these Zoo Lates events, but it is imperative that the protection of animals should be a greater priority for the Zoo than how much money they are making!
The petition that gained 75,000 signatures to end Zoo Lates events has sadly closed.
Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.