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From the "Zoo Check" series:

The truth about the "Travelling Zoo"

By Fusako Nogami

The "Travelling Zoo" located in Moriyama-shi (Shiga-ken) has gained a certain notoriety in recent months. Its owner, Mr. Horii, boasts that he looks after a thousand animals all by himself. The reality however is somewhat different: far from being the animal refuge described in certain parts of the media, the zoo is a two storey building in the vicinity of the station where animals, some of them domestic, some of them wild, are kept in a 500 sq ft space in squalid, dark cages. Once inside, an animal does not leave until it dies.

What you can do!

Get in touch with the organisers of the matsuris, and the committees of the schools and kindergardens Mr. Horii's zoo frequents. Tell them that far from being a positive educational experience, the display of such pitiful animals may actually be harmful to the kids.