Kids imbibe a lot from the media and their young impressionable minds are easily influenced by advertisements. I am sure there must be many parents who face the daily challenge of denying their kids’ demands and making them understand that why are they not buying the super cool thing shown on tv. I think nowadays around 90% of ads have kids in them and when a kid watches such a commercial, he/she wants the same thing as the kid on tv. Now what if an advertisement is about a small thing such as an Alpenliebe toffee but knowingly or unknowingly shows an act; which if the kids don’t understand to be wrong, they might imitate even when they are adults. I am talking about the act of feeding animals in zoo by visitors.
In the commercial, Kajol feeds the toffee to a crocodile in zoo and the croc finds it so tasty that it keeps following her around. Here is the commercial –
Every zoo has a sign board about rules for visitors among which one prominent rule is not to tease or feed the animals. But during my last trip to the zoo, I had witnessed many people violating these rules. Not that I saw it for the first time. Of course I know there are lots of Indians who don’t even bother to read the rules and think animals have no rights at all. Then there are those who know the rules but don’t care about them. These are the few accidents that have happened over the years due to such inhuman visitors :-
# Few years ago, a hippopotamus had died after swallowing a shoe thrown at him at the Alipore Zoo.
# On an inspection of the Byculla Zoo by the Plant & Animals Welfare Society, the society found that visitors were openly feeding the ducks, monkeys & even crocodiles and were banging the glass cases of the snake enclosures & literally teasing snakes. For the full report click here
# Late in the 1990s, a tiger, Shiva, mauled a drunken visitor who crossed the ditch separating the enclosure from the deck and tried to garland the tiger. The tiger, at first frightened, struck the young man with a blow at which he fell unconscious. Shiva then bit the man who later died in hospital.
# At the Alipore Zoo in Calcutta some years ago, three endangered giant Al Debra tortoises were killed after visitors repeatedly pelted them with stones to see if they were alive. The stones cut through the shells, leaving open wounds that turned septic and finally lead to death.
# Recently a chimpanzee at the Alipore Zoo hurled a stone on the visitors after being irritated by them and injured a woman.
One must understand that a zoo is not a natural habitat for the animals. And Indian zoos are in much more pitiable conditions than their foreign counterparts. Vijay Jung Thapa rightly says in his article on Indian zoos that
The cardinal principle of any modern zoo is to serve the needs of the creatures it exhibits. But zoos in India do just the opposite; they serve the needs of the visitors. The Indian zoos suffer from congenital problems that they’ve found hard to shake off. They are run by unqualified and ignorant staff. They run on tight budgets, leading to food-shortage for animals. They are poorly designed, with no understanding of animal behaviour.
Insensitive visitors just add to the misery of the animals. Among all these existing deplorable conditions, the least we require is our future generation to grow up to be so heartless and uncaring for the mute living beings. One may argue that its just an advertisement but I tell you kids observe, learn,remember and mimic a lot more things than we adults realize. The admakers need to scrutinize their commercials carefully and prevent delivering any such wrong message to the the children and in fact the adults too. I don’t want kids to think that they can entice a deer or a monkey or a bear to be their pet by feeding them Alpenliebe.
Advertisement Mistakes by Nita