Cafés which host animals are very popular in Japan and, besides cats and rabbits, nowadays in some bars clients have the possibility to interact with owls and exotic snakes.
In the case of owls, the majority of those animals live permanently inside those establishments where, though raised in captivity, it is clear they cannot develop their natural behavior nor fly.
Although clients must comply with some rules when interacting with the animals (such as, avoid using flash and touch them to prevent injuries) and not all of them can be used for contact with the public, several experts express their concerns over this new form of exploitation.
January Bill, a member of National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and co-director of Humboldt Wildlife Care Center of California, said she is “horrified” for the use of wild fauna in those establishments and stated that in those conditions the owls cannot live a decent life.
Dr. Ros Clubb, a wild fauna expert scientist from RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has also expressed his concerns about the welfare of those animals, reminding that owls are wild animals having very specific needs and, when in captivity, taking proper care of them properly is extremely complex. He also adds that they are extremely shy and introverted animals, which belong – in several cases - to nocturnal species.
Despite the fact that those places keep their curtains drawn, it is clear that contacts with people could cause great stress to animals and being almost constantly tied does not allow them to act normally.
Owls also have very sharpened claws and can hurt people.
Likewise, cafes are not the proper habitat for exotic snakes. Those establishments where these animals are shown as advertising slogan could encourage that species trafficking and favor the belief that pitons and other snakes could be converted to domesticated animals.
Many of those reptiles are extremely dangerous and it is suspected that, in order to make them interact with people, they suffer some kind of mutilation, such as having their mouth shut or their canines pulled out.
Establishments of that kind can be also found in Vietnam, where recently, in Hanói opened the “Pet Cafe”, a place where clients can interact with mice, snakes, lizards, tarantulas and hedgehogs, among others. Difficulties in offering adequate condition to each of those species for those places are obvious, and so are potential dangers to people.
It is recommended that tourists who do not wish to encourage wild animals in captivity do not go to those places.
Foto: Daily Mail