The mistreatment of animals in Jordan

Imad Hammo boxes a tiger The Jordan Times should be commended for Monday’s investigative report into the mistreatment of animals in Jordanian zoos. Here is an excerpt:

The inhumane treatment of animals in the country’s zoos is cause for concern, according to visitors’ complaints sent to the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Humane Center for Animal Welfare (HCAW). The complaints, seen by The Jordan Times, expressed anger about what one visitor referred to as "horrendous sights" at local zoos.

Among the complaints listed were poor feeding, physical abuse and a lack of proper medical supervision. "The animals in these zoos are in a miserable state," stated Walid Bakri. "Most are starving, some are severely wounded and everywhere we turned not one zookeeper showed the slightest bit of care," his letter continued.

I believe the mistreatment of animals in Jordan generally is a major problem that needs highlighting and immediate attention. I have witnessed many disturbing scenes of violence to animals on the streets of Amman. I recall seeing children torture stray cats that for some reason still fill the streets of the Jordanian capital [you’d think they’d know to hide by now]. I’ve seen children kick cats, pull their tails and throw soda cans at them.

A trained hyena Humane behavior towards animals should be instilled in children from an early age. The situation must not be allowed to continue as it is now. Organizations like Humane Center for Animal Welfare (HCAW) should be really given credit for their efforts to spread awareness amongst Jordanians about the humane treatment of animals. I attended a number of their workshops while working for The Jordan Times, as I was assigned to cover their activities back then. Their primary goal is to spread awareness. Kudos for their efforts.

One of the more horrible stories related to me by an HCAW official was that they saw kids trying to blow up a cat with a tire pump simply for the fun of it! Horrific! According to The Jordan Times, Jordanian zoos are in dire straits. That was news to me, although it is not that surprising. The pictures here were taken by the husband during his visit to one zoo in Amman as part of his work as an editor at The Star. The first picture was taken inside a lion’s cage. The man boxing the tiger in the picture is Imad Hammo, the head of the zoo mentioned in The Jordan Times report. The second image is of a tamed hyena, which Hammo claimed to be the only one in the world.

8 thoughts on “The mistreatment of animals in Jordan”

  1. Although I believe that animal rights activists go sometimes too far in theri demands, but in Jordan I think something needs to be done to protect animals. It’s unbelievable how cruel people are to animals. I remember tens of stories where animals were tortured to death by kids in our nieghborhood.
    Just one story, the kids lit up a big stick with fire and pushed it into the behind of a donkey and the donkey started jumping in agony until it fell dead. When it comes to cats and birds the stories never end.

  2. Often forgotten, but frequently recalled too late is that “what goes around comes around.” It’s a cliche, but seems to hold true.
    Somebody needs to get through to some people in Jordan — and a few other places, too.

  3. Jareer I agree that humans are way much important than huamns, that’s why i am so much against some activist who want to ban using animals for appropriate medical research.
    However, giving animals some rights, i’m talking about their right not to be tortured every single day by people right and left, would in no way hinder the progress to give humans their rights. There are many reasons why Arabs are not given their rights , have nothing to do with animals

  4. Hearing these stories about torture towards animals has made me ill. I adore animals and consider them a great gift on this Earth.
    Of course, I feel that human beings deserve rights front and foremost; however, all living creatures should have the basic right to not be tortured — especially for pleasure! Unfortunately, humans and animals alike are tortured not just in the Middle East, but all over the world. I pray daily that such behavior will come to an end.

  5. You want to know why….. because people here don’t give a flying @#%. I would say a good majority of people don’t here don’t need kids and shouldn’t be teachers. If people can’t care for people, they can’t be expected to care for animals.
    Just a few days ago, I witnessed a lady being BEAT by a man, by Top and Top grocery store. I alerted the security guard to the matter and he just stood there. Actually a group of men stood with their thumbs up their ass watching. Turns out this man wasn’t her husband. He got in his car and left, and then she left in her car. In all the places I’ve lived and visited, I’ve never seen anything like I’ve seen here. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Jordan. But, I’d say about 1/2 the population doesn’t need drivers license or kids.

  6. I think cats and dogs in Jordan are some of the most spoiled in the world. We don’t go around catching them and throwing them in cages to be eventually put to “sleep” like they do in the U.S. of A.
    We also have a lot of garbage lying around all the time which provides a constant supply to food for these animals 🙂
    Come on people, it’s nice to worry about animals, but I wouldn’t write an investigative report on that in a country where corruption is stealing food from the mouths of the poor people.
    A better use of time and resources would be to write a report on the sad condition of roads in the capital Amman. Those roads cost people millions in auto repairs which they can do withot if the government does its job, not to mention the cost in human life and suffering from road accidents.

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