- World Animal Protection has compiled top 10 list of cruellest entertainment
- Included is riding elephants, taking tiger selfies and walking with lions
- 110 million people visit cruel wildlife tourist attractions each year
Three out of four wildlife tourist attractions involve some form of animal abuse or conservation concerns, a worrying study has revealed.
World Animal Protection believes at least 550,000 wild animals are suffering at the hands of irresponsible tourist attractions around the world.
These statistics come from the first ever global research into the scale of welfare and conservation of wildlife tourism by the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and was commissioned by World Animal Protection.
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World Animal Protection has so far secured commitment from 87 travel companies to stop selling elephant rides and shows
Using the WildCRU research ratings and World Animal Protection’s own investigations in Asia and Africa, a list of the ten cruellest wildlife entertainment activities across the world has been released.
Included in this list is riding elephants, taking tiger selfies and walking with lions.
As tourism continues to grow, the organisation estimate that approximately 110 million people visit cruel wildlife tourist attractions each year, unaware of the animal abuse involved.
Worryingly scenes such as this are still found around the world, where bears and monkeys are tied up and made to dance
TEN CRUELLEST WILDLIFE ENTERTAINMENT ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE WORLD
1. Riding elephants
2. Taking tiger selfies
3. Walking with lions
4. Visiting bear parks
5. Holding sea turtles
6. Performing dolphins
7. Dancing monkeys
8. Touring civet cat coffee plantations
9. Charming snakes and kissing cobras
10. Farming crocodiles
These welfare abuses include very young animals being taken from their mothers, beaten and harmed during training to ensure they are passive enough to give rides, perform tricks or pose for holiday ‘selfies’ with tourists, with the worst venues including bear, elephant and tiger parks and a turtle farm.
WildCRU’s academic review includes analysis of TripAdvisor, the largest online tourist review site, to better understand the awareness levels of tourists visiting these wildlife venues.
Of the 50,000 reviews, it revealed that 80 per cent of people left positive reviews for venues with poor animal welfare.
Kate Nustedt, Director of Wildlife at World Animal Protection said: ‘It’s clear that thousands of tourists are visiting wildlife attractions, unaware of the abuse wild animals’ face behind the scenes.
‘As well as the cruelty to animals, there is also the very real danger to tourists, as we saw earlier this week with the very sad death of British tourist, Gareth Crowe in Thailand.
‘We need to stop the demand for elephant rides and shows, hugs and selfies with tigers and lions by exposing the hidden suffering behind wildlife attractions.
‘If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, then you can be sure it is cruel. Vote with your feet and don’t go.’
Dolphin shows may well provide entertainment for all the family, but they are still on the cruelty list
With no global regulation regarding how wild animals are used in tourism, the big challenge is to transform the tourism industry so it is part of the solution to end cruelty to wildlife, suggests World Animal Protection.
World Animal Protection has so far secured commitment from 87 travel companies to stop selling elephant rides and shows. While TripAdvisor are proposing ways they can inform tourists about the cruelty at most wildlife venues.
Last week MailOnline reported on a shocking video showing the moment a tiger is punched in the face by a worker at a popular animal sanctuary in Thailand.
More than 100 tigers are housed at the Luangtamahabua Buddhist temple, and only last year Wildlife protection officers carried out a three-hour inspection, after allegations of mistreatment.
No evidence was discovered at that time at the site just outside Bangkok.
However footage that has been shared on Facebook shows a male keeper dragging and then delivering a right-hand punch into the face of the big cat.
Interestingly, the person who runs the Facebook account for the temple replied back to the video posting, saying: ‘I will be taking this to the management as we discussed on the day and hopefully this sort of behaviour will be stopped completely.
TRAPPED IN HER CONCRETE PRISON FOR 66 YEARS: THE HEARTBREAKING TALE OF HANAKO THE ELEPHANT WHO HAS SPENT A LIFETIME ALONE IN A JAPANESE ZOO
Devoid of any greenery and confined to a concrete enclosure all alone for 66 years of her life, this is the sad tale of Hanako, the oldest elephant in Japan.
She may have turned 68, but Hanako won’t have felt like celebrating, more than likely wishing she could indeed forget.
For the animal has spent more than half a century living a solitary existence inside four concrete walls at Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo, Japan.
This video shows the depressing nature of the animal’s living quarters. The elephant trudges from one concrete wall to the next, along with some loose rope tied around it.
A petition has been set up in the hope that enough money to move Hanako to an elephant sanctuary where it can ‘live out her last days in the comfort she deserves.’
On her blog, one visitor to the zoo, Ulara Nakagawa, described it as ‘one of the cruellest, most archaic zoos in the modern world.’
Hanako was transported in 1949 from Thailand to Japan when she was just two-years-old, to what the petition has said ‘would become her life-long prison.’
It is believed the elephant needs to be given medical assistance, with the Japan Times reporting that she lost all but one of her four teeth around 30 years ago and as a result ‘she suffers digestive difficulties and is troubled by constipation.’
The organisers of the petition hope to provide a new, enriched enclosure where she can interact with other elephants.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online