Plight of the spider monkey


Sir, – Further to “Spider monkey dies following escape from Belfast Zoo” (News, June 10th), monkeys, like all living beings – humans included – want to be free. When animals who have been imprisoned see an opportunity to escape their dreary lives, they often take it. Sadly, these acts of liberation are often their last, as most once-captive animals who attempt to follow their natural instincts are killed by authorities or, as in this case, in tragic accidents.

The blame for this monkey’s death falls not on the driver of the car but on Belfast Zoo, where nine monkeys have escaped from their enclosures over the past five years.

Zoos are in the business of misery and death – from taking wild animals from their homelands and disrupting their familial bonds to subjecting them to totally unnatural living conditions. Holding them captive is one tragedy that often leads to another – and the days of facilities that charge people to see depressed and deprived animals behind bars are numbered.

Those who care about animals should give their money not to zoos but to charities that protect animals in their natural habitats. – Yours, etc,


People for the Ethical

Treatment of Animals,