The iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris announced on Tuesday that it has permanently ended its long-standing snake act due to growing pressure from animal rights campaigners.
The famous cabaret had already pledged to terminate the act in March, which involved submerging non-aquatic snakes in a transparent tank alongside a woman for an acrobatic performance.
The management of Moulin Rouge has now agreed to the demands of both Paris officials and animal rights campaigners who argued that it was inhumane to submerge land snakes. Animal rights advocates reported witnessing the snakes attempting to keep their heads above water during the performance.
The two species used in the act, Southeast Asian reticulated and Indian pythons, are protected and terrestrial in the wild, a fact that officials from the Paris mayor’s office communicated to the cabaret.
The decision to stop the snake act comes after a long animal rights campaign involving petitions and demonstrations. Amandine Sanvisens of the Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ) advocacy group hailed the move as a “historic” step towards ending animal captivity in France.
In a previous statement to Le Parisien newspaper, the cabaret insisted: “We have never mistreated and will never mistreat animals.”