The shocking image was posted on Twitter and then widely shared by Internet users. It shows a handbag made of crocodile skin, displayed in place of the animal, which is in critical danger of extinction. Goal of London Zoo? Raise awareness.
” This sac was once found swimming in slow-flowing rivers and streams in Southeast Asia and Indonesia “: visitors to London Zoo were surprised to say the least when they came across this sign. Because, instead of a Siamese crocodile, they faced a handbag, made from the skin of this species.
The photo showing the sign and the bag has gone viral on Twitter after being published on August 1, 2022, accompanied by the message: “ London Zoo doesn’t mess around “. It is true that the exhibition may seem sensational, but the objective is to warn about the criminal exploitation of animals for commercial purposes.
This crocodile is critically endangered
It is a fact, this species of crocodile is in critical danger of extinction. “ Over the past 75 years, more than 80% of Siamese crocodiles have disappeared. Many, like this one, have been hunted for their skins as part of the illegal wildlife trade says the second part of the sign.
Today, about 5,000 individuals are in captivity. There would not be much more than 200 left in the wild, which means that the species is close to extinction in the wild. In addition to the illegal hunting mentioned by the London Zoo, we must add the destruction of its habitats, in particular for rice crops.
The bag shown in the photo is actually made from crocodile skin. But, of course, it was not bought by the establishment. In an interview for the Huffington Post British, the exhibition curator for reptiles, Ben Tapley, specifies that the bag comes from a confiscation that took place in an English airport.
” We created this exhibition, within the Reptile House at London Zoo, to draw visitors’ attention to the devastating impact of the illegal wildlife trade on species around the world. “, he explains to the media. At the zoo, ” we work globally with governments and local communities to protect wildlife, support law enforcement that targets trafficking networks, empower local communities affected by the [trafic illégal d’espèces sauvages] and reduce demand for endangered wildlife “.