People love Bali. But, despite being an idyllic paradise for people, World Animal Protection’s Wildlife ‘Abusement Parks’ report reveals it’s a living hell for animals held captive in the wildlife entertainment industry.
Elephant rides, dolphin swims, orangutan selfies and other attractions, such as circus-style shows, are increasingly popular tourist activities for many travellers to the island.
We investigated 26 wildlife tourism venues that house 1,500 wild animals. Not a single venue in Bali, Lombok or Gili Trawangan with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats meets even the basic needs of wild animals.
Some of our most disturbing findings reveal that:
- Dolphins at one venue had their teeth filed down or removed entirely
- All dolphins were kept in severely inadequate conditions—one small pool, around three metres deep, housed four bottlenose dolphins
- Every elephant venue offered rides. Elephants suffer a cruel and intensive training process that involves severe and traumatising restraint and pain
- All venues with orangutans offered selfie experiences. Forced to entertain queues of tourists, many of these animals lacked freedom of movement, opportunities for social interaction and any stimulating activities
- 80% of venues with primates didn’t meet the basic needs of captive wild animals
- 100% of venues with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats failed to meet basic needs of wild animals
Behind the scenes, wild animals are being taken from their mothers as babies, or bred in captivity; forced to interact with tourists for hours on end. Then they’re caged in filthy, cramped conditions when the tourists go home. This cruelty must stop.
To protect wild animals, we’ve convinced nearly 200 travel companies, around the world, to stop offering elephant rides and shows in travel packages. This includes YOU Travel and the House of Travel, here in New Zealand.
You can also be part of the solution by boycotting travel companies that promote and support these cruel venues, and others like them.
If you can ride, hug or have a selfie with a wild animal, then it’s cruel; don’t do it, no matter how many likes it will get on social media.