Booking a vacation for the summer? Hoping to see some wildlife?
Don't get duped into supporting the hidden cruelties of these popular tourist activities
A new report by the University of Oxford's Wildlife Conservation and Research Unit (WildCRU), commissioned by World Animal Protection, has revealed the top ten worst wildlife attractions in terms of the suffering they can cause to animals.
Animal lovers looking for a once in a lifetime opportunity on their holidays are unwittingly funding an industry that depends on wild animals being beaten and terrified into submission in order to not pose a threat to tourists.
So if you're looking to see some wildlife on your travels this year, make sure you avoid these ten terrible tourist traps.
- Riding elephants - not only do these elephants have to be cruelly 'broken' to allow people to ride them, the stress they are put under can also make them dangerous to people, as has sadly been seen in recent days
- Taking tiger selfies - tiger cubs are taken away from their mothers and drugged to make them tame enough for these so-called 'cute' photos
- Walking with lions - these majestic wild animals face a lifetime of captivity, being manhandled by people every day and then 'trained' to walk alongside them, all for a photo
- Visiting bear parks - bears are often kept in barren, concrete enclosures with little or no stimulation - leading to heartbreaking mental and physical problems that can lead to infighting and injuries
- Holding sea turtles - atrocious living conditions, disease outbreaks, and the stress of being repeatedly handled all make attractions like the Cayman Turtle Centre a huge no-no for animal lovers
- Performing dolphins - these highly intelligent animals are kept in tiny pens rather than allowed to roam freely out in the oceans where they belong
- Dancing monkeys - bound by chains for their whole lives, macaques are exposed to cruel and aggressive training techniques to make them walk like humans
- Touring civet cat coffee plantations - despite claims that this luxury coffee comes from wild civet cats, there is strong evidence that they are in fact being farmed and living their lives in small barren cages
- Charming snakes and kissing cobras - these fiercesome creatures have to endure having their fangs removed with metal pliers and venom blocked using painful techniques, all for the sake of entertainment
- Farming crocodiles - these magnificent creatures are kept in filthy, overcrowded pits - leaving them exposed to disease and violent infighting that can often be fatal
Help end the cruelty - pledge to be an animal friendly tourist.