Holiday Horror Show: animals suffering for tourists’ entertainment

March 16 2016

From riding elephants to selfies with tigers, your support is helping us expose the world’s cruelest animal tourist attractions.

Our groundbreaking report ‘Checking out of Cruelty’ has revealed that 75% of surveyed animal tourist attractions around the world have a negative impact on wild animals. That’s more than 500,000 animals living in misery.

The report is based on a first-of-its-kind global study we commissioned from the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).

Alarmingly, many cruel attractions are receiving excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel review website. WildCRU investigated 50,000 reviews on TripAdvisor and found that 80% positively reflected attractions that involved some form of animal abuse or conservation concern.

It’s not that tourists don’t care about animal welfare, it’s most likely that they are unaware which tourist activities enable cruelty to occur. In order for an adult animal to be passive in a crowd of tourists taking selfies, the animal will likely have been stolen from their mother and beaten into submission at a young age. "If you can hug it, ride it or take a selfie with it in a close encounter, chances are that animal has been suffering and subjected to cruelty." 

Here are the top 10 cruelest major animal attractions, according to the report:

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

You can help

‘Checking out of Cruelty’ is part of our campaign, Wildlife. Not Entertainers. This campaign is dedicated to ending unnecessary suffering caused by the cruel wildlife entertainment industry. Already, with the help of supporters like you, we have persuaded more than 100 travel companies to stop selling and promoting elephant rides and shows. But we’ve got a long way to go. You can add your voice to the call for more tour operators around the world to join us and protect wildlife.

Remember, your support is what made ‘Checking out of Cruelty’ possible. You’ve already helped move the world to protect animals but – you can take another step toward a world where animals don’t need to suffer for a selfie – by joining the movement. Here’s how.

Tell the world:

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