There’s trouble in paradise
Across the world, and throughout Asia, wild animals are being taken from the wild, torn away from their family groups, or bred in captivity, to be used in the tourism entertainment industry.
Forced to endure painful and intensive training to make them perform, and to interact with people, they live their entire lives in captive conditions that cannot meet their needs. A life in tourist entertainment is no life for a wild animal. It is inherently cruel and abusive.
Our latest wildlife investigation documents the scale of wildlife used (and therefore abused) for entertainment by the tourism industry on Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.
Our investigators observed more than 1,500 captive wild animals across 26 venues including elephants, turtles, dolphins, orangutans, civets and a variety of other species for entertainment activities with visitors. All with little or no regard for the welfare of the animals.
Our Wildlife abusement parks report documents saddled elephant rides and shows, selfie opportunities with orangutans and opportunities to swim with dolphins were commonly offered activities.
A snapshot of wild animal suffering
Among the key welfare issues observed as part of the investigation we found:
- extreme restraint through chains or cages;
- limited opportunity to naturally socialise with other animals;
- participation in stressful and potentially harmful activities, including interaction with people and performing in shows;
- non-existent or insufficient veterinary care;
- and inadequate nutrition and diet for some captive wild animals.
Whether it’s posing for a photograph with an animal, visiting live animal shows or riding wild animals, increasing demand from people on holiday means these animals will continue to suffer for our entertainment. At 30% of dolphin entertainment venues, dolphins have had their teeth filed down or removed entirely, to ensure that they are unable to inflict serious bites on swimmers.
And all of the elephant venues surveyed offered elephant rides, which requires painful training to gain control over the elephants, exposes them to stressful situations, and restricts them from expessing their natural behaviour.
There’s no excuse. It’s abuse
Keeping wild animals in the wild
Wild animals belong in the wild. We’re calling for an end to the abuse of wild animals used in tourism entertainment. To achieve this, World Animal Protection is working alongside governments, tourist venues, communities and local communities to develop sustainable and economically viable solutions.
Make ethical tourism choices and be part of the solution. Avoid wildlife abusement parks and boycott the travel companies that promote and/or sell tickets to them.
Ending the abuse, together
Travel companies must play a role in reducing demand for cruel wildlife entertainment venues. Nearly 200 travel companies, including local companies YOU Travel and House of Travel have already committed to end sales to elephant rides and shows and develop an animal welfare policy.
Yet World Animal Protection research has found that some big-name travel companies and airlines used by New Zealand tourists promote and/or sell tickets to cruel wildlife attractions.
Now is the time for these companies to change their ways and adopt an animal welfare policy that rules out promoting and/or selling cruel wildlife venues in Bali or any other country. If industry leaders such as House of Travel and YOU Travel can acknowledge this cruelty and refuse to sell and/or promote it, this cruelty can no longer be hidden by others. No travel operator in New Zealand should continue to profit from animal cruelty.
We want travel companies and airlines, operating in New Zealand, to come forward and develop an animal welfare policy that proves to you, that they will not promote and/or sell cruel wildlife venues, such as these found in Bali, that use wild animals for tourist entertainment.
You can be part of the solution by becoming an animal-friendly traveller and booking with travel companies that are willing to adopt an animal welfare policy.