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Bali, often thought of as a dream destination for tourists, hides a dark secret that shatters the picturesque image it projects. A recent investigation by World Animal Protection, titled “Paradise Lost,” has unveiled a harsh reality – every wildlife venue in Bali is a nightmare for the animals it claims to showcase.

Source: World Animal Protection Australia/YouTube

The comprehensive report, conducted by World Animal Protection, exposes the exploitation of over 1,300 wild animals, including elephants, orangutans, and dolphins, for tourist entertainment in subpar conditions across Bali and Lombok. Shockingly, the majority of these venues fail to meet even the most basic needs of the captive animals, perpetuating a cycle of suffering.

Despite a growing demand for responsible tourism, the investigation highlights that major global tourism operators continue to promote and sell these cruel wildlife venues in Bali, profiting from the blatant abuse of animals.

The assessment of 34 venues aimed to provide a current snapshot of wildlife in the tourism and entertainment industry in Bali and Lombok, comparing it to World Animal Protection’s last assessment in 2017. Unfortunately, the 2023 Paradise Lost report reveals that there has been no significant improvement in the six years since the last evaluation.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. Wild animals continue to endure inadequate conditions across all investigated venues.
  2. Cruel wildlife attractions such as elephant riding and bathing, close encounters, wildlife selfies, swimming with dolphins in artificial pools, and touching turtles in small pens are rampant.
  3. Elephants at Mason Elephant Park and Tasta Zoo were observed chained without shade during the day.
  4. Major travel giants, including GetYourGuide, Traveloka, and Trip.com, persist in selling these exploitative wildlife entertainment attractions in Bali and Lombok for profit.
  5. Despite minor changes, no venue met the criteria for a ‘best possible’ scenario for any of the focal species.

Liz Cabrera Holtz, Senior Programs Manager at World Animal Protection, issued a stark warning to U.S. tourists: “Bali might be a paradise for tourists, but wild animals are living in misery in venues across Bali.” She emphasized the absence of an ethical way to view wild animals at tourist venues in Bali and Lombok, urging travelers to boycott such attractions and Support accredited sanctuaries and Wildlife Heritage Areas instead.

In response to the alarming findings, World Animal Protection and World Cetacean Alliance have launched a global program in collaboration with responsible travel businesses and wildlife charities. Wildlife Heritage Areas, established in various countries, provide a clear solution to eliminate the exploitation of animals by the modern tourism sector.

Support World Animal Protection here.

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