Tourists are often duped into supporting animal cruelty while traveling, notably at zoos, marine parks, and wild animal petting and selfie attractions. Unbeknownst to most of these visiting tourists, animals used in the tourism industry are typically acquired via the corrupt illegal wildlife trade, which is rife with both animal and human rights violations. Once caught for use in the industry, these captive wild animals are bred to boost profits, with baby animals used to draw in lines of tourists to bottle feed and take pictures with them, and others sold to private owners or other corrupt roadside zoos.
There is a tourist attraction in Thailand that went even further and was caught keeping tiger skins and teeth, evidence pointing to their ties to the illegal wildlife trade. The attraction, called Tiger Temple Co. Ltd., was forced to shut down after it was discovered they abuse and kill tigers, but they are now set to re-open under another name, Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd., where tourists will be able to take selfies with tigers.
A petition on Care2 states that a spokesperson from the World Animal Protection told Newsweek the Tiger Temple was “infamous for the way animals there suffered when it was open as a major tourist attraction and its alleged links to illegal wildlife trade. Tiger cubs were found dead in fridges, some in jars, when the Thai authorities raided it and closed it down. They also found tiger skins and tiger teeth trinkets and evidence of illegal breeding and trafficking of tiger parts.” The living tigers were kept in tiny cages and exhibited signs of zoochosis, like compulsive tail biting and pacing.
WWF UK’s chief advisor on wildlife, Heather Sohl, stated, “We have seen the number of tiger farms increase at an astounding rate across Asia over recent years. These undermine efforts to halt the illegal trade and protect wild tigers by [the tiger farms] complicating enforcement efforts and boosting the demand for products and parts. It is vital tiger farms are closed.”
Please take a moment to sign the petition to stop this horrific business from re-opening!
As a general rule of thumb, tourist attractions that exploit animals for a profit should be avoided at all costs. For more information on how to avoid supporting animal cruelty while traveling, check this out.
And remember to share this with your network as a reminder to never support tourist attractions that use animals!
Image Source: Pixabay