For the past twenty years, I have worked extensively to document the devastating lives of animals in captivity around the world, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw in China.
In July 2010, the Chinese State Forestry Administration banned performances involving wild animals, but at many zoos and wildlife parks across the country they still go on.
Three times a day, the orangutan steps from its cage into the limelight, accompanied by a clown. Locked into obedience by their trainer’s gaze, big cats go through the motions. They are drugged, and their teeth and claws are pulled out. They are controlled on stage with the help of spiked poles.