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.