'Crouched in a cage wearing a leopard-print bodysuit and holding a placard that reads, 'Wild Animals belong in the wild. Boycott Zoos,' Bollywood beauty Jiah Khanstars in a brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. Shot in London by ace photographer Karl Grant, the ad aims to spread the word that animals who are locked up in zoos suffer and that their true natures can't possibly be appreciated when they are kept in captivity.
Actors choose to entertain, but animals locked away in zoos are given no choice,' says Jiah. 'All beings treasure their freedom above all else, and that applies to tigers, elephants, bears, monkeys and other animals too.'
Hundreds of thousands of animals languish in zoos around the world. Because these animals are denied everything that is natural and important to them, they express their frustration and loneliness through obsessive, repetitive and even self-destructive behavior, such as pacing, head-bobbing and self-mutilation. An Oxford University study based on four decades of observing animals in captivity and in the wild found that animals such as polar bears, lions, tigers and cheetahs 'show the most evidence of stress and/or psychological dysfunction in captivity'. PETA's investigations of zoos across India revealed horrific conditions, including deficiencies in food, drinking water, housing, veterinary care, environmental enrichment, safety and security.
This isn't the first time that Jiah has teamed up with PETA to help animals. In 2009, during 'Makar Sankranti', she posed as a wounded bird wrapped in string to make a plea to ban glass-coated manja thread used to fly kites. The ad carried the caption 'Cut the Glass-Coated Manja, Not Birds' Wings'.
Appearing opposite Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, British-born Khan debuted in the controversial 2007 film NISHABD, in which she was noted for her confidence and sex appeal. Her most recent release was the film HOUSEFULL.