The suffering of animals entertaining tourists on holiday

Following on from a previous article about zoos I thought it would be timely to look at animals we see when we go on our holidays abroad.

An elephant in Vietnam. C/o Pixabay.
An elephant in Vietnam. C/o Pixabay.

The trips tour operators sell to holidaymakers are lucrative but they aren’t always ethical.

Most of you will be aware of operators offering elephant or camel rides.

If we saw this happening in this country there would be an outcry, however, because we are on holiday we assume that the animals in these countries are ok.

But have you ever thought where the elephant comes from and how they are trained?

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Firstly, according to Animals Asia, a specialist animal rights group, there has been no elephant born in captivity in Vietnam for over 40 years.

So elephants being used in the tourist industry are being stolen from the wild.

They are intelligent, sociable but very powerful animals.

To make elephants compliant enough to carry humans for entertainment they have to fear humans.

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Young elephants are tied up and beaten by the captors until their spirit is broken and they will fear their captors all of their lives.

Elephants are worked for up to eight hours per day, and when they are not being used they are shackled around the ankles and unable to move properly or display normal behaviours.

All this happens because a tourist wants to experience riding an animal.

Some of you may have swimming with dolphins on your ‘bucket list’. How lovely it looks swimming next to these beautiful tame creatures or watching them perform in shows.

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But there is a lucrative and brutal trade in these amazing animals.

They are primarily taken from the wild, whole pods decimated, the less attractive dolphins are slaughtered for their flesh.

They are then put in chemically treated water in a concrete tank which severely restricts their ability to communicate by sonar.

They suffer stress related conditions like ulcers and depression.

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They die prematurely. Dolphins can cover between 50 – 100 miles in a day yet we restrict them to these barren artificial tanks or keep them captive in waters they can’t escape from so tourists can pay a fee to be alongside them.

Most animal organisations agree on the statistic that for every dolphin you see performing in a show or swimming at a tourist opportunity, 12 of their fellow dolphins will have been brutally killed as they did not make the grade.

A lot of tour operators are finally getting the message from the customer - this is pure and simple animal exploitation.

They are now stopping offering these rides or trips to shows.

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Unfortunately though there are still too many greedy operators who continue to abuse and exploit animals.

If you see animal trips on offer at your resort, please do not go on them, but more importantly tell your tour operator that you strongly oppose excursions like this.

If we stop paying for them, animals will stop being exploited.