To the Editor;
I am writing regarding a television programme which was shown last week, called, "Holidays in Places that Don't Exist - Somaliland ".
I am always interested to read about other countries and their peoples, with the view that, perhaps, one day I would be lucky enough to visit them.
However this programme ended up being the most distressing I have ever seen.
Scenes from a zoo somewhere in Somaliland were shown.
Three days after watching it, I am still having nightmares and panic attacks from what I saw - a mere glimpse was more than enough!
One of the lion cubs was manacled to heavy chains on both front legs. It obviously was unable to move from its position and I have no idea how long it had been like that. I don't know how it managed to eat or perform bodily functions. The cruelty towards this animal shocked and appalled me.
I feel I cannot leave the plight of this animal to its fate, (and any others who also might be in the same situation), without at least trying to get someone to investigate this dreadful state of affairs.
Is there anything that can be done to help these poor creatures?
I read some articles in previous issues of your newspaper, telling about a lion which killed a woman. So in a way, I suppose it could be argued that some people believe that the way to punish a lion would be to imprison another lion. But this is totally incorrect.
Why are your wild animals treated in this way?
A zoo is a place for people to come and see and appreciate the beauty of nature, not to display such unnecessary and evil cruelty.
If lions are feared then surely people should find ways to protect themselves and their domestic livestock from the natural instincts and behavior of these wonderful creatures.
It would be far better to construct a fence to keep wild animals out, rather than to lock the poor animals to a metal chain.
Is there anyone in Somaliland who is responsible for the comfort and happiness of animals, who would be willing to change this?
The level of civilization of a nation is judged not by its material wealth, but by the way it treats its senior citizens and its animals.
I look forward to a positive response to my letter of great concern.
Ms V Watson