The stress on wild animals having to perform has considerable impact on them and can be seen in unpredictable behaviours such as attacks on people. These performances do not educate the public or teach them how to respect animals. There is no justification in continuing to subject animals to unnatural practices for entertainment purposes.
Although the government implemented a ban on wild animals performing in travelling circuses in 2002, this does not extend to wild animals performing in local attractions. We wrote to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) to request for the ban to be extended to wild animal performances locally, but without success. The AVA stated that as long as public safety and animal welfare are not compromised, a ban is not necessary. In April 2005, a serval attacked a member of the public during a performance at the Night Safari’s Creatures of the Night show. However, the AVA said that this was an isolated incident.
In September 2006, we also expressed our concerns to the Zoo Management in regard to the serval having to perform by jumping a considerable height to obtain a piece of meat during the Night Safari's Creatures of the Night show. Though servals do scale heights in their natural environment, they should not be forced or conditioned to perform repeatedly in front of an audience. Landing on the wrong footing could result in a fracture. As of our Inspector’s last visit in October 2011, the serval act was regrettably still a part of the show.