Scientists believe crocodiles could hold the key to curing hearing loss
Video

The London Zoo has taken animal rights activism to new levels after putting a crocodile handbag in one of its displays to warn against the illegal wildlife trade.

Now, the internet can't get enough of the zoo's efforts for change.

The zoo, which is part of the Zoological Society of London, informed HuffPost UK that the crocodile display has been in place for numerous years. It got viral fame overnight when an account posted about it on Twitter.

On Monday (2 August), the Twitter account that goes by Moonbeam Hillgoth shared an image of the Siamese crocodile bag with the caption::

"London zoo not pissing around."

The zoo also has attached a sign beneath the genuine crocodile skin item noting the origins.

"This bag used to be found swimming in slow-moving rivers and streams across South East Asia and Indonesia," the sign read.

It continued: "Over the last 75 years, more than 80 per cent of Siamese crocodiles have disappeared. Many, like this one, were hunted for their skin as part of the illegal wildlife trade."

Not even a whole day later, the tweet garnered nearly 240,000 likes at the time of writing, and prompted people to applaud the zoo.

One wrote: "That's the kind of zoo I can get behind! No live caged animals, just the consequences of humans."

"Why is there even a demand for these f*** ugly bags in the first place[?]" another added.

A third wrote: "That's a powerful statement. Sad, but I like what they did there."

Someone else who believes the zoo's activism is "excellent" added: "Seeing animal rights activism in a 'normal' place like a zoo is an excellent way to show how dire things are atm."

"I really hope this gets some visitors thinking."

In a conversation with HuffPost UK, Ben Tapley, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at ZSL London Zoo, explained that the handbag made an impact.

He noted that the handbag was made out of a "critically endangered Siamese crocodile" taken at a UK airport and given to the zoo for educational purposes.

"We made this exhibit, within ZSL London Zoo's Reptile House, to draw visitors' attention to the devastating impact the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) is having on species around the world," Tapley said, in part.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)