World’s Cruelest Animal Attractions | Besides Trophy Hunting, what is the second most cruel thing in Wildlife Tourism?
Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer made big headlines in 2016, when killing a famous male lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Trophy Hunting is by far the cruelest thing a tourist can do to an animal. But do you guess what’s the runner-up? Nowadays tourists travel great distances for a chance to see and interact with animals. And 80% are not even aware of the consequences for those animals involved. The other 20% ignore them. A snapshot with a meter-long lizard on your shoulder, an elephant ride, a lion cub selfie, a dolphin show, holding a turtle … the list of cruelties to animals is endless. Interaction with so-called ‘wild’ animals became a big factor in the tourism industry. And it comes at a cost – not just for the tourist’s wallet, but for the animals.
Worldanimalprotection.org recently pointed out that at least 550,000 wild animals are suffering at the hands of irresponsible owners, using them as tourist attractions. About 110 million wildlife tourists did visit animal attractions in 2015, unaware of the animal abuse involved. Most popular: Elephant rides.
Taming an elephant for tourist rides, how does that actually work? To make an elephant submit to giving rides, you have to take it away from its mother at a very young age and force it through a training process known as ‘the crush’. The young elephant undergoes a so-called ‘training’ that involves restraining it in small cages, tying it in chains or ropes, to make him only move on command. Severe pain is inflicted with pointed metal ‘bull hooks’ and wooden battens to quickly establish dominance. Such kind of training lasts several weeks, depending on how fast the elephant’s will breaks. After the young elephant’s spirit is broken, they will accept people riding on their backs. From then on the broken elephants live in chains and get regular ‘treatment’ with bull hooks to keep them under control.
Just imagine this is done to you. A trauma will stay with you throughout your life. Same is true for those elephants. The global tourist hotspot for elephant rides is Thailand, followed by South Africa. It’s pure business, like selling fridge magnets. On your next trip to these destinations it will be up to you to check out of such animal cruelty.
WAP – World Animal Protection also revealed a Top-10-list of the world’s cruelest animal attractions.
Top-10-list of the world’s cruelest animal attractions
Elephant rides | The elephants are broken creatures, serving the humans because of pain. The owners use bull hooks to maintain control of them. This causes serious injuries including infected sores and cuts. The earlier you separate a baby elephant from its mother the easier you can break its spirit. Forerunner in elephant torture: Thailand.
Selfies with tigers | Tiger cubs need to be separated from their mothers at an early age to make to tame them as photo props for hours and hours. They are hugged by tourists during those selfie sessions, but kept chained in small cages once these sessions are over. In Thailand 10 such venues keep 600+ tigers for that purpose. Australia, Mexico and Argentina are runner-ups. And nobody asks what happens to the tiger once it became too large and heavy to be held by the tourists.
Walking with lions | South Africa leads in this category. What speaks for the owners, is the fact that the level of cruelty is not hitting 10 out of 10. Those lions involved might be unable to survive in the wild, but their living conditions in captivity seem to be ok.
Holding sea turtles | In the Cayman Islands wildlife tourists can hold and even eat sea turtles. The turtles suffer stress and disease. Tourists also accidentally drop them every once in a while, causing significant injuries. Well, it’s just a turtle, right? How cares? We do!
Watching whale and dolphin performances | just watch the 40-minute documentary ‘Blackfish’ about killer whales at SeaWorld in San Diego to better understand -> YouTube Video. By the way: SeaWorld is listed on the stock exchange as SEAS (NYSE). Yesterdays numbers for a share: $20.14 +0.29 (+1.46%). No further comment necessary.
Selfies with lizards and snakes | Guess what! Those animals are drugged to keep the at bay. Top country to allow such cruelty: Thailand.
Monkeys as street entertainment | Primates are often exploited for shows in Thailand. World Animal Protections uncovered 290 macaques housed in venues offering such street entertainment in Thailand. The monkeys are trained to walk and behave more human from an early age. When they are not performing, they are often chained with no food. A nice side income is made by training some of them to steal mobile phones in broad daylight. The fast and skilled monkey snatch the mobile devices from tourists. No chance to get it back.
Touring Cat-Coffee plantations | In Indonesia civets cats are held in captivity to shit out coffee beans which than make a very aromatic coffee – at least according to producers information. This coffee is called Kopi Luwak, and a mug full of this liquid sometimes sells for up to $100. Our advise: Don’t take a tour on these plantations, and don’t buy this coffee. The dubious method of coffee production has raised serious ethical concerns about the treatment of civets due to “horrific conditions” including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate. To learn more about this nonsense, you might watch this BBC documentary.
Kopi Luwak is made from beans within the cherries that the civets excrete in pellets. While no cruelty is involved when pellets are collected in the wild, in an effort to produce more coffee, farmers have started catching the civets and feeding them berries, the report said. The force feeding often results in injuries, disease and poor nutrition. Tourists can visit plantations, see the animals and taste the coffee.
Visiting crocodile farms | Because of the high value of their skin, crocodiles are held in captivity. Large numbers of crocodiles are kept on farms, intensively breeding to supply the fashion industry with their skins and also for meat. The greed of their owners sometimes does not stop there. Instead of keeping their business undercover, some of them open up the farm for tourist tours.
Bullfighting in Spain | This physical contest involves humans attempting to publicly subdue, immobilise, and kill a bull. The Yey-sayers point to certain sets of rules, guidelines and cultural expectations to keep this madness going. Ney-sayers consider this is a cruel, barbaric blood sport in which a bull suffers severe stress, and ultimately ends in a slow, torturous death. It’s time to end this “tradition”. In 2004 a Hunting Act did legally forbid any further Fox Hunts in Great Britain. Hello Spain! We are waiting for something similar in your country regarding bullfighting.
Worlds Cruelest Animal Attractions. By Chili & Chirp | Hugging Horizons since 2004 | Visit our Travel Alphabet.