According to World Animal Protection, at least 550,000 wild animals die each year at the hands of dangerous tourist attractions which attract an estimated 110 million visitors each year. By exposing the underlying pain behind wildlife attractions, we can put an end to the need for elephant rides and shows, hugs, and selfies with tigers and lions.
World Animal Protection compiled a list of the 10 cruelest animal entertainment attractions or activities throughout the world using WildCRU ratings and its own research.
10. Tiger selfies
Tourists “touch or embrace” tiger cubs after they are separated from their moms at a young age. World Animal Protection discovered ten sites in Thailand that house 614 tigers and similar attractions can also be found in Asia, Australia, Mexico, and Argentina.
9. Bear parks
Bears are housed in sterile ‘pits,’ which are frequently overcrowded . Bears are compelled to dress up as clowns or perform circus tricks in some places. The stress associated with these settings can make caged bears more susceptible to bacterial illnesses.
8. Crocodile farming
Crocodiles have been farmed for many years to provide their skins to the fashion business and their flesh to the restaurant sector, but today tourists may visit these facilities and then sit down for a meal. Fights between the crocodiles are regular in the restricted space offered, leading to significant injuries and death.
7. Holding sea turtles
When sea turtles are handled, they become agitated and flap their flippers frantically. Tourists have been known to drop struggling turtles, resulting in serious injuries such as cracked shells that will almost certainly kill them.
6. Touring civet coffee plantations
Civet coffee, which is manufactured from the coffee ‘cherries’ (fruits) that civets eat and subsequently excrete in pellets, has become a high-value product around the world. Civet coffee farmers have begun keeping civets in captivity in order to increase production, however, this has resulted in sickness, inadequate nourishment, and some animals exhibiting signs of stress and self-mutilation.
5. Performing dolphins
Dolphins in captivity live in places barely larger than swimming pools, in water that is frequently treated with chlorine, which can irritate their skin and eyes. Sunburn, stress-related disorders, heart attacks, and gastrointestinal ulcers are all possibilities.
4. Dancing monkeys
In Thailand, macaques are educated to act and appear more human. They are made to dance and perform stunts for humans, and when they are not performing in front of an audience, they are kept in small cages or on short chains outside.
3. Snake charming
‘Kissing cobras’ is the most recent ‘twist’ on the age-old street entertainment pastime of snake-charming. Cobras are frequently captured in the wild and have their fangs removed, as well as their venom ducts blocked or removed, resulting in illnesses that can be fatal.
2. Walking with lions
Captive lion cubs are exploited for the relatively new ‘walking with lions’ experience once they have grown too large for tourists to pick them up and pose for photos with them. South Africa is the home of this type of attraction.
1. Riding elephant
When elephants are young, they are taken from their mothers and subjected to a training process that includes causing extreme pain with pointed metal ‘bull hooks’ or wooden battens, holding them in small cages, and restricting their movement with ropes or chains.