Video of zebras being abused on a trip to the Iranian zoo sparks outrage


People in Iran are shocked and shocked by a video that appeared on social media on May 4, 2021, showing zebras being abused during their transfer from a zoo in Bulgaria to a zoo in Tehran, Iran.

One of the animals was beaten while another died. According to an animal rights activist, this video highlights the unscrupulous practices of Iranian zoos and the failure of Iranian officials to ensure animal welfare.

The video was filmed on April 24, 2021 in the Bazargan customs area, located on the Iran-Turkey border, but was not posted online until 11 days later.

The images show several men trying to transfer the zebras from the container in which they traveled to a container belonging to the Iranian Ministry of Environment, a government organization, so that they could then be transported to a zoo in Tehran.

The footage shows one of the zebras, a female, falling into a gutter and breaking a hoof as the men around her beat her to force her back into a container.

zabra iran © Observers

This video shows how a zebra is mistreated. It circulated on Telegram on May 4, 2021.

These animals were on their way to Safadasht Zoo, which had acquired two female zebras and a male zebra. The idea was to breed them, which increased the number of zebras in the country. But the project collapsed when the only male zebra died a day after arriving at the zoo. He had spent the previous seven days at Bazargan customs.

When the video of the abused female zebra appeared online, it caused immediate outrage. Many people criticized the men they said were not qualified to handle this transfer, as well as the Safadasht Zoo itself. Others complained that Iranian authorities generally have little empathy for animals.

سه تا گورخر اوردن يكيشو كشتن اين دوتا هم كتك ميزنن and و ميخندن.اينا انسانن اخه؟ 😔

– ماري !! (@marjjO_o) May 9, 2021

“They brought three zebras to Iran, beat two and killed the last. That makes them laugh, are they human? “this Twitter user commented.

گورخر آفریقایی یه هفته ای تو ایران تلف شد بعد من ۲۸ ساله دارم مقاومت میکنم

– Sepehr (@sepihamz) May 6, 2021

“An African zebra died here after a week. I’ve survived it [en Iran, NDLR] 28 years here “.

Debt game between the zoo and Iranian customs

Neither Safadasht Zoo officials nor Iranian customs officials have taken responsibility for the death of one zebra and the mistreatment of another.

After the video went online, the zoo’s official Instagram account began posting insults targeting those who were critical of the images. Shortly after, they pulled out claiming their account had been made illegal. However, users took screen grabs from the original posts.

“A bunch of stupid people are tearing themselves apart for paying for these animals. I bought them for you, you lousy people. Your whole life is worth less than what I paid for those animals,” reads this Persian post. the Safadasht Zoo Instagram account. ©.

On May 5, Alireza Sharafi, the zoo’s director, gave an interview to Iranian state television, claiming that “homeless people” and “agitators” were to blame for beating the zebras. Iranian police regularly use the word “agitator” to refer to political opposition. He added that the long wait at Iranian customs had killed the male zebra. He also claimed the zebra was dead before he arrived at the zoo.

Unfortunately for the zoo’s director, another video appeared online on May 7 showing him abusing the zebras.

برخلاف حرف‌های مالک باغ‌وحش صفادشت ، او خودش هم در کتک‌زدن گورخرهای آفریقایی ، نقش جدی داشته.


به نظر شما چرا دروغگویی در سطوح مختلف جامعه رواج یافته؟

– Tavaana (@Tavaana) May 9, 2021

Alireza Sharifi, the director of Safadasht Zoo, is shown here beating a zebra. Sharifi is wearing a black shirt. This video was published on Telegram on May 7th.

The Safadasht Zoo has not published any response since the new video came out.

Iranian customs officials, for their part, claimed that the zoo staff had not made an official request for the zebra to be transferred and had not filled out the correct paperwork. The zoo denied this.

Iran’s environmental customs department has announced that they are investigating the video and the cause of the zebra’s death.

“All zoos in Iran should be closed”

Alireza Shahrdari is an animal rights activist from Tehran:

“There are special protocols that you have to follow when you transport animals. In this case, those protocols were clearly not respected. If the correct procedure had been followed, these animals would not have been left at customs for so long and you would not have seen the behavior in the video.

People need specialized training to know how to handle animals. These men were clearly not well trained. They surrounded the animals, scared them and then beat them.

But the problem goes much deeper than that. Safadasht Zoo doesn’t even meet the most basic of standards. They do not have qualified personnel. They don’t have enough space to house the animals… and despite all this, the Ministry of the Environment gave them a permit not only to run the zoo but also to import animals. This department must also supervise the transport of these animals, which it has not done, at least not properly. ”

“The solution would be to ban zoos from buying new animals, especially breeding animals”

“These zoos have the money to buy animals and that’s why the Ministry of Environment turns a blind eye. All the more shocking because this zoo has killed other animals in recent years: a giraffe in April 2019 and a tiger in January 2020.

But frankly, there is no zoo in Iran that respects basic standards. The situation is bad enough in Tehran and the surrounding areas, but it is literally dire in the zoos outside the capital.

However, closing these zoos is not really an option. If the government shuts them down, the animals should be transferred to a suitable space, which does not currently exist. So I think the solution would be to ban zoos from buying new animals, especially breeding animals, and let the animals that already live in the zoos kill their lives. If zoos can’t get new animals, they will slowly close their doors.