When exploring unknown territory, travelers often seek guidance from established travel advice companies like Lonely Planet and Fodor’s. To help themselves navigate foreign land, people often follow the advice from these handbooks without question, making these travel advice companies highly influential in the international tourism industry.

What many travelers do not realize is that tourist attractions that feature animals are almost always guilty of shocking and disturbing acts of animal cruelty. Fooled by claims from businesses that animals enjoy being sources of spectacle and “entertainment,” tourists are all too often drawn to attractions like wild cat petting zoos and elephant trekking rides, failing to realize where these animals come from and how they were trained to be around humans.

But we have some good news in this domain – a petition was recently made to urge Lonely Planet to stop promoting elephant tourism, and after over 150,000 signatures from concerned individuals, Lonely Planet announced they would stop their promotion of elephant trekking! They stated they do not condone elephant rides, have removed all elephant trekking posts from their website and will continue to make sure the cruel industry is not promoted in any future publications.

What most people don’t understand about elephant trekking is that these animals are not meant to be ridden or used as vehicles. In order to control elephants and make them submit to unnatural demands like carrying heavy loads of people on their backs, handlers take baby elephants from their mothers and keep them in barbaric restraints and chains while torturing them with bull hooks. The breaking in process is so violent that many young calves do not survive, and those that do are taught to fear humans from a very young age, which often results in tragedy for elephants and humans alike.

Although this is fantastic news, the leading English language travel guide company, Fodor’s, is still promoting elephant tourism. As the results with Lonely Planet show, there is great power in public opinion, so please take a moment to sign this petition to urge Fodor’s to follow the lead of Lonely Planet and others and stop their promotion of animal cruelty.

And please remember to share this with your network to further spread awareness about the truth behind tourist attractions that exploit animals!

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