ZSL London Zoo
London Zoo has put a crocodile handbag in one of its displays as a warning against the illegal wildlife trade, and Twitter can’t get enough of it.
Although the zoo, which is part of the Zoological Society of London, told HuffPost UK that the display has been in place for several years, it has found online fame overnight after one account tweeted about it.
The Twitter account (which goes by the name Moonbeam Hillgoth) tweeted an image of the display with the caption: “London zoo not pissing around.”
London zoo not pissing around pic.twitter.com/C9cxoDCba2
— Moonbeam Hillgoth (@sleepy_homo) August 1, 2022
The zoo has attached a sign beneath the real crocodile skin item which reads: “This bag used to be found swimming in slow-moving rivers and streams across Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
“Over the last 75 years more than 80% of Siamese crocodiles have disappeared.
“Many, like this one, were hunted for their skins as part of the illegal wildlife trade.”
In less than 24 hours, the tweet accrued more than 177,000 likes as Twitter users delighted in the subtle activism:
London Zoo woke up and chose violence. https://t.co/QrLDMJMFZT
— General William T. Sherman (@GenWmTSherman) August 2, 2022
No chill https://t.co/Q89mXFbvUApic.twitter.com/3ZIbQgvaLf
— alex (@alxslcsn) August 2, 2022
This is art. We need more unexpected activism from "normal" places like this. Even though usually the zoo has some sort of conservation connection, this level of "shock" is 👩🍳🤌
— Ren Elizabeth | Eco-conscious artist (@HerbalLandline) August 1, 2022
Naaaahhh not the bag as a display 🥲 https://t.co/3TrzzEQ4JJpic.twitter.com/EwqDCfVQBa
— _m a y e n🇳🇬🇮🇪 (@MY_IN_95) August 2, 2022
Ben Tapley, curator of reptiles and amphibians at ZSL London Zoo also hold HuffPost UK how the handbag ended up making such a statement.
He said: “The handbag, made from the skin of a Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile, was confiscated at a UK airport, and given to ZSL London Zoo to use for educational purposes.
“We made this exhibit, within ZSL London Zoo’s Reptile House, to draw visitors’ attention to the devastating impact the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) is having on species around the world.
“At ZSL we are working globally with governments and local communities to protect wildlife, support law enforcement that targets trafficking networks, empower local communities affected by IWT and reduce demand for threatened wildlife.”
Related…Temperatures In 2021 Were ‘Unremarkable’ – But That’s Not A Good ThingDavid Attenborough Has 560-Million-Year-Old Fossil Named After HimWill There Be A Drought In The UK This August? Here’s What You Need To Know