The American organization World Animal Protection, has published a study on the most cruel tourist attractions towards animals. Many of us, vacationers and globe-trotters will be confronted, without our knowledge, with these shameful activities, motivated solely by the lure of profit of the local populations.
We give you a list of the 10 cruellest activities of animal tourism.
1/ Elephant rides
How about an unusual ride on elephants in the jungles of Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka …)? This is the most appreciated attraction for tourists. A business more than flourishing for the locals, who do not hesitate to capture the elephant calves and train them by very violent techniques. Locked in cages, wounded and tortured, they become the slaves of our modern society. Conversely, some actions such as “helping the volunteers of the shelters for mistreated elephants”, (for a certain amount of money) this is solidarity tourism!
2/ The selfies with the baby tigers
No memorable vacation without souvenir photos! Its so-called “tiger refuges” in Asian countries, Australia, Mexico or Argentina, turn out to be infamous kidnappers, who take advantage of our gullibility to make a profit! The baby tigers are taken away from their mothers at a very young age, locked up in enclosures under suffocating heat. Sleeping to be docile, they can be carried from arm to arm like stuffed animals. Tamed, the little tigers will not be able to return to their wild nature!
3/ Walks among the lions
In South Africa, walks among the lions “bring millions”! What looks like a wild walk in the middle of nature, is only in reality, a deception! After a few months of happiness with their mothers, the cubs are taken to tourist reserves. When they grow old, but not adult enough to reveal their instinct for wild animals, we can go for a walk with them. But what future for these tamed lions? They are usually resold for closed hunts, or in circulation on Chinese markets in bags of bones.
4/ Bear parks
Enclosed in overcrowded pits, bears with a solitary character, are staged, on bikes, in disguise … To entertain the public. Stress, aggressiveness and multiple injuries become the daily life of these solitary and wild animals. Associations are mobilizing, as in Bulgaria, or the Brigitte Bardot Foundation has helped to free the “dancing bears”. Why not, for the same price, make a donation to these associations that save the lives of these animals in captivity on a daily basis?
5/ The release of sea turtles
Between invasions of visitors to natural nesting sites in Costa Rica or baby turtle release in Phuket, Thailand, the activities of this wildlife tourism, pay a lot! Generally pretexted by the safeguard of species in extinction, it is in reality weakened baby turtles, even before facing the power of the oceans. The intense stress causes a drop in the immune system of sea turtles, which can considerably increase the risk of diseases. Baby turtles may flap their flippers in an attempt to escape, and thus fall, fracturing a limb in the worst-case scenario.
6/ Marine parks
Marine mammals are very intelligent and sensitive. They live in communities and travel hundreds of kilometers daily. And how many hectares of freedom for this new home? Wading pools, with a monster noise of applause from visitors and all that? Far away from their peers. Recently, the Seaworld aquatic park in the USA announced the end of the captive breeding of killer whales, especially after the scandal of the documentary “Blackfish” broadcast in 2013. A telling example that illustrates the change in mentalities!
7/ Dancing monkeys
Disguised primates are performing in the streets of some Asian countries. They are forced by their masters to walk on two legs like humans to entertain the gallery. This daily posture causes malformations and eventually many injuries. At the end of the day, they return to their cage before the next performance. A show well rewarded with tips and laughter from the tourists.
8/ Civet farms
A growing market… The breeding and civet farms! Why is this? The civets feed on coffee cherries and their excrements are then sold for the manufacture of coffee, at the price of the truffle! Thus, farmers in Indonesia and the Philippines began to capture civets and lock them in overcrowded cages where their diet is reduced to cherries. The anxious civets can self-mutilate to stop this confinement. For more profitability, coffee tastings are offered to tourists, who unwillingly contribute to this juicy business.
9/ Cobra charmers
In India, cobra charmers, taming the world’s deadliest snakes, are anything but enchanters with mystical power. The cobras are toothless and their venom ducts blocked or cut! An “operation” without anesthesia, extremely painful for the animal, which endangers its life, to the benefit of a cruel charlatan!
10/ Crocodile farms
Intensive breeding for the fashion world… The deception on crocodile farms is unmasked! In overpopulation, crocodiles live in unhealthy conditions. They fight daily, to get food and drink and remain frozen under a blazing sun, knocked down by stress. Even though these cold-blooded reptiles may seem unsympathetic, crocodile farms overexploit them by selling admission tickets to the general public and crocodile skin to the fashion industry! Double winning profit for the farms!
From now on, dear readers, we are warned and aware of this animal tourism rhyming with cruel slavery! Our travel experiences and photos will be much cooler by respecting the life of these animals and boycotting this kind of activities! Thank you to our readers for their commitment!