MANILA, Philippines - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) senior campaigner Ashley Fruno expressed her organization's dismay at keeping "Lolong," the giant crocodile of Agusan del Sur province, as a tourist attraction.
Despite the imminent danger that the crocodile may pose to humans living around its natural habitat, PETA underscored the importance of animals' rights, especially their freedom.
"It will be unacceptable for Lolong (dahil) wala siyang freedom, walang choice of food, kaibigan and habitat," said Ashley Fruno, senior campaigner of PETA Asia-Pacific.
With PETA's advocacy against keeping animals from being tucked away in zoos, especially poorly-managed ones, Fruno also wishes the same fate for Lolong.
"Animals in zoos exhibit a condition called zoochosis, where they will be frequently banging their heads, pace aroud and repeatedly (show other abnormal animal behavior)." said Fruno. "The result of zoochosis might be dangerous. He poses a risk of escaping. No matter where he is, he can still be dangerous to humans. It depends on how we're going to deal with it."
Instead of keeping Lolong in a zoo, PETA suggests keeping him in an area with very few people, citing that it is better for him to live his long life comfortably and at peace.
Fruno is urging the government to give Lolong the life that he truly deserves, and not forcing him to live according to what a tourism park demands.
"Please have pity for Lolong, he deserves to have freedom. He is denied of what is natural and important to him, think of his health and welfare," she added.
PETA also said in a press release that "the promoters of this park are thinking only of their bank balance, without so much as an afterthought as for the animal's well-being."
Fruno did not disclose what PETA will be doing in their protest against Lolong's captivity. However, she added the government should "be worried because PETA will always speak up for animals."