Born Free channels lockdown anguish to highlight animal captivity

Work explores the emotional impact of being confined.

Born Free, the animal welfare charity, has launched a campaign that reflects on the emotional toil of lockdown to highlight the plight of animals in captivity.

Created by Engine, "Creature discomforts: life in lockdown" follows animals as they discuss their experiences in captivity.

While a pair of tigers feel sorry for themselves, lemurs lament about the joys of everyday life before being permanently housebound.

Each animal in the spot is voiced by a real person who is discussing how they have felt during the UK’s lockdown.

"For us, lockdown was temporary", the ad declares before noting that some animals are forced to spend their entire lives in captivity.

It was created by Pete Ioulianou and Ollie Agius, and directed by Peter Peake though Aardman.

"Many of us will have suffered the restrictions and inconvenience of lockdown in recent months," Chris Draper, head of animal welfare and captivity for Born Free, said. 

"In many ways, this has given us just a brief insight into the frustrations and compromise that wild animals in captivity face for their entire lives.

"This short film encourages us to rethink captivity, and reconsider zoos, dolphinaria, circuses and the exotic pet trade from the animals’ perspective."

Viewers are encouraged to donate £3 via Born Free’s website to further conservation of wildlife across the globe, in light of a dip in donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Hawthorne, creative director at Engine Creative, said: "Lockdown provided us with a unique opportunity to talk to people about animal captivity in a way that they could really empathise with. 

"Collaborating with the incredibly talented folk at Aardman and Jungle, we were able to create an ad that hopefully gets people thinking and does justice to the legacy of Creature Comforts while giving it a fresh, topical and heart-wrenching twist."

Last year, Born Free launched a shocking animated campaign exposing the truth behind lion tourism.

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