Sasha the meerkat

A victim of the mobile zoo industry

Sasha was kept locked inside a small, dark cage. Hardly any light filtered into her prison. Forced to sit in her own faeces, she was surrounded by the bodies of the dead chicks which were thrown to her to eat by her captors. Her cramped home was just one of many cages and crates stacked on top and around her. All of them held animals captive - some sick and injured - in a dark, cold room.

This was her life at the mobile zoo, 'Tropical Inc.' This company exploited Sasha and her companions in the name of entertainment. Travelling around the country she would be taken to events to see children and adults, who would handle her, take photos with her and who had no idea of the horror she faced back in her cage.

Thanks to a whistleblower, we were able to take action and the premises of this company were raided by the RSPCA and the police. The animals were taken to safety and the owner was eventually convicted of 34 offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

Meerkats come from Africa. In the wild they live in large social groups in extensive burrow systems and share the responsibility of being look-out for predators, caring for the young and foraging for food. Sasha was denied this life and instead was forced to endure a life of deprivation.

We were told she was not the only Sasha. As each meerkat died, the next meerkat brought in to replace them would also be called Sasha. So tragic to think there could have been many meerkats like her, now dead and forgotten.

We shine a light on Sasha.

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