This was a petition written in collaboration with the “Hyena handlers of Nigeria”, by a AVAAZ – The world’s largest and most effective online campaigning community for change. According the petition which was posted in June 24, 2014, the writer expresses his compassion for these wild animals and pinpointed with great disdain, the abuse they suffered at the hands of their captors.
The Petition Reads:
“SAVE AND PROTECT THE WILD ANIMALS ABUSED AND EXPLOITED IN THE STREETS OF NIGERIA”
“This petition is in connection with the “Hyena handlers of Nigeria”. This is in my personal and professional opinion animal cruelty at its worst. This is in my personal and professional opinion animal cruelty at its worst.
“They are a nomadic group of people who travel as a small circus with indigenous spotted hyena, snakes and baboons. I watched a clip aired on a investigative news program called Carte Blanch in South Africa and I cried looking at the body language of the hyenas. Clips on Youtube can also be viewed as further evidence of this exploitation. They were hunched on their knees wailing and terrified. When they “smile” this is called a fear grimace which shows their traumatized state of mind. I cringed at the desperate calls of these magnificent animals being tortured. They are thrown around like rag dolls and even ridden. The one handler said the hyena he has is wicked and had to be beaten more often.they explained how the hyenas are trained and they day that there are basically beaten and broken into submission.
“The handlers claim to have “special powers” and to have taken “medicine” so that they can work with these wild animals and not be harmed. They also say they give the animals medicine. They say this is a tradition when in actual fact it’s blatant exploitation because all African cultures revere and respect animals specifically the spotted hyena.
“The spotted hyena are permanently on chains, with muzzles and are beaten repeatedly when they “misbehave”. We wouldn’t let this happen to dogs but I find it disturbing how the video clips and images of the evidence of this abuse is all over the internet and social media.
“The snakes are put in the men’s mouth and man-handled and squashed forcefully onto their pants. Its as if the more brutal they are the more of a reaction and money they get from crowds. They also force their children to handle these animal which in my opinion is putting their lives in danger. The children are younger then five years of age and obviously scared.
“It is atrocious and unacceptable to allow this to go on in front of our eyes and do nothing about it. There is no regard for the life of these animals. They are merely used and abused daily and then chained up till this cycle is repeated.
I have experience and a deep understanding of spotted hyenas from raising two cubs that were abandoned. They now live in a sanctuary in massive enclosure were they are allowed to live as they were meant to. They have a highly devolved frontal cortex to their brain and have been compared to dolphins and chimpanzees in terms of intellect.
“Something needs to be be done and I am prepared to invest all of my time and money until these animals are saved. Your support will be greatly appreciated.”
Petition acknowledged, do you agree? But my questions are: Are hyneas found in Nigeria or in Kenya? Are those men Nigerians?