Home / Nature / Wildlife / Opal’s Tragedy – This South African Circus Orangutan Needs Your Help
Opal The Orangutan - Opal's Tragedy
Pic: Kloof and Highway SPCA/Facebook

Opal’s Tragedy – This South African Circus Orangutan Needs Your Help

The Kloof and Highway SPCA released a media statement yesterday urging support for the rescue of a 36-year-old circus orangutan that is living under very depressing conditions at, this is Opal's Tragedy.

Opal The Orangutan

Pic: Kloof and Highway SPCA/Facebook

This story will get you right in the feels, it gives a very touching account of the current situation of a 36-year-old female orangutan currently residing at the Natal Zoo near Pietermaritzburg... a lifeline has been thrown but take a look at what's blocking it from happening... this is where simply sharing the story of this poor orangutan will help drum up monstrous support for this animal...the bigger this story gets the more pressure amounts for a decision, so please, share it! This is one thing on social media where sharing and liking will actually make a huge difference.

Opal's Tragedy

“Mr Boswell of Boswell circus owns the Natal Zoo, just outside Pietermaritzburg. There the public, for a fee, can see a variety of caged animals.
As an Inspector at the Kloof and Highway SPCA, I have been involved in assessing the well-being of the caged animals in this zoo. This task never fails to wrench my emotions, leaving me desperate to find some refuge for them, which would allow far better quality of life. At the very least, a semblance of nature. Opal is the most heart-wrenching of all. She is a 36-year-old orangutan. As a species, they rank among the most intelligent of all primates. Adapted to an incredible variety of stimulating, challenging & changing elements in their treetop jungle homes. As mothers they are utterly devoted parents, the young staying with them for about ten years, learning the joys & dangers of their maze of branches, leaves & fruits. What to eat, what to avoid. How to build a nest each night, how to make a leaf umbrella for the almost daily rain. Above all, they have the gentle, constant companionship of a mother, friend, teacher & playmate. All of this - until they are old, & experienced enough to go off into the world for an adult life of equal variety. For Opal, nothing of this natural life exists. Each day she is released from her sleeping cage into her daytime cell. There on a meagre patch of grass with a makeshift "Jungle Gym" of poles, she spends every day of her life. Alone. Alone but for the people who come to stare. Her response to this heartlessly barren confinement, when she can take no more & has no hope of privacy or escape, she flings her own dung at the people watching her degradation.
Opal The Orangutan

Pic: Kloof and Highway SPCA/Facebook

My personal reactions to my visits to see Opal & the other caged animals in this establishment are frustration, outrage, heartache & anger. From what we have been told, Opal did have a mate, & a baby boy which died of Tuberculosis. She has known the companionship of her own kind. She has loved & nurtured a baby. Now her empty eyes see only humans who stare, laugh & point fingers at her. They mean no harm; they do not understand her suffering. She is alone with crowds staring. A caged tragedy.I have pleaded with Mr Boswell to release her to a dedicated primate sanctuary. I have appealed to sanctuaries worldwide, and there is a place for Opal- they wait for her with open arms. She will be cared for by teams of experts in the field of socialising apes which have lived lives of isolated misery, but Mr Boswell refuses to let her go. He argues matters of climate and inability to accept others of her kind.
Opal The Orangutan

Pic: Kloof and Highway SPCA/Facebook

I appeal to the caring public far & wide to respond with outrage over Opal's tragedy, help her, help us to put an end to this life of misery. Teachers and parents be mindful not to teach children that this way of life is by any means normal for any creature. This is not education but the lining of a pocket at the expense of the voiceless – it should not be supported or condoned.”For more Information please contact:

 Cheri Cooke on +27 31 764 1212 or email: [email protected]

A petition has been set up which is fast gaining support so don't forget to also sign it after spreading the word with your friends on Facebook.

The petition was started by Francois Du Preez (nice work Francois)


The original Facebook post: (please LIKE their page for updates on this issue)

www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153763080261648.1073742435.403464226647&type=3">MEDIA STATEMENTISSUED ON MONDAY 25 JANUARY 2016CONTACT PERSON: CHERI COOKE on 031 764 1212 or email [email protected] by Kloof and Highway SPCA on Monday, 25 January 2016

About Marky Warren

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