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Fun Weekend Photography Project: Week #36

Day/date: Sunday, 20th March 2011.

Place: Jatinegara Bird Market, East Jakarta

Beauty in Captivity

Again I organized a photo hunt with some friends. Initially there had been many who showed interest to joint the hunt of the week. but it turned out only some of them coming. Well the main reason is the late night outing the day before.

I’d never been to Jatinegara bird market before. I’d thought it was like the one in Malang. I was wrong. This market is “wilder” and “nastier” in the sense of broader variety of wild animals being traded there. I saw there were turtle hatchlings, owls, eagles, snakes, baby wild cats, black-capped lories, parrots, leeches, scorpions, slow loris, crows, bats, and many more. I guess you can just find almost everything there.

My heart always goes low to see animal in poor captivity. Animals also deserve to live well. If you decide to keep animals as pets it means you’re willing to take responsibility for their well-being. To measure animal welfare, you can use the five principles called “Five Freedoms”:

1. Provision of food;

This is obvious that nobody wants to be hungry or underfed. Animals also need ready access to fresh water and have suitable diet to maintain their health.

2. Provision of suitable environment;

Just like us, animals do not want to feel the cold or to be baked under the sun. They certainly want a place to retreat to, to rest in comfort. We are as the carer should provide them an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Provision of animal healthcare;

Nobody wants to be sick or to be injured or feel pain. We have to ensure that animals under our care are not exposed to injury, disease or pain.

4. Provision of an opportunity to express their most normal behaviour;

A bird needs to fly. At least it needs to spread its wings. A gibbon needs to brachiate. Animals are like us human, they have the need to express their natural behaviours. A convenient enclosure or cage to meet animals comfort zone is as  important as companionship of animals of the same species for their welfare.

5. Provision of protection from fear and distress.

Enclosures also have to allow animals to get away and hide if they like. They don’t want the distress of disturbance whilst mating, sleeping or delivering, rearing or nursing young.

If you have a pet back home, do take care of them well. Also please do not keep wild animals at home. They are much more useful and beautiful in the wild.