As if orangutans didn’t have enough human foolishness to contend with already, we are sorry to report that yet another abusive practice has sprung up to damage their wellbeing, under the ludicrous excuse of “entertainment.” Orangutan boxing has become part of the program of events at Safari World, Bangkok. This horrendous “sport” involves dressing the animals in boxing gear and sending them out into a ring to throw pretend punches and kicks at each other.

How can anyone in their right mind think that this is okay?

Female orangutans are sent out as “ring girls,” dressed in ridiculous outfits.



Animal lovers are up in arms over the existence of the cruel “sport,” and are urging tourists not to attend any orangutan boxing shows. Philip Mansbridge, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said, “It’s shocking that such cruel and exploitative treatment of animals continues for the so-called ‘entertainment’ of tourists. Orangutans are highly intelligent and sensitive animals that share 97 percent of their DNA with humans and they do not belong in a ring where they are dressed up and made to fight.”

Debbie Leahy, director of captive animals with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) added, “It’s sad that people would find this entertaining. When you see these animals performing what are completely unnatural tricks, they’re not doing it because they want to, they’re doing it because they’re afraid not to.”

Could anything be more depressing than the sight of this heartbreaking picture?


Luckily, animal rights activist Christopher Baranowksi has set up a petition on, calling for an end to this cruel form of “entertainment.” He said:


Since 2005, over 22,000 apes have been sold, killed while being hunted or died in captivity as a part of the illegal trade of primates that still continues to this day. Huge profits are being made selling illegally captured primates to zoos and other attractions around the world at the cost of biodiversity in places like Africa and Southeast Asia. … Safari World drew harsh criticism as early as 2004 when evidence of orangutan boxing matches set up for tourists began to circulate among animal welfare groups. That year, the government seized 48 orangutans and returned them to their native country of Indonesia. But in 2010, images of kickboxing orangutans one gain began to surface and animal rights activists renewed their charge against Safari World.

According to reports, the orangutans at the theme park are dressed in traditional boxing gear and ‘pretend’ to knock each other out, though animal activists insist the chances of the heavy animals knocking each other out is very real. Winners are awarded food and other rewards, but ultimately both primates return to the dark cells where they are illegally kept.

Sign his petition today and let the government of Thailand know that animal lovers all over the world will not allow them to turn a blind eye to the continued existence of orangutan boxing displays. You can also support these ten organizations which seek to protect these amazing animals from abuse and allow them to live free.

All image source: Metro UK