Wildlife tourism makes up a lucrative segment of the global travel industry, luring people from around the world to be with the animals. In this industry, social media serves as viral advertising for up-close animal encounters, and escalates the demand for wildlife tourism. Many tourists, however, are unaware of the animal abuse that takes place once the selfie crowds are gone. They typically are oblivious of the likelihood that they’re unwittingly complicit in hurting the animals.
In the true spirit of doing good to animals, Do Good condemns any act of animal cruelty. Thus, Do Good applauds the recent move by the Angkor Elephant Group Committee to end the elephant rides at the famous temple by early 2020. Here are a few examples of animal abuse that occurred in the name of wildlife tourism that most tourists don’t know (source: National Geographic):
- Adult tigers may be declawed, drugged, or both. Or that there are always cubs for tourists to snuggle with because the cats are speed bred and the cubs are taken from their mothers just days after birth.
- The elephants give rides and perform tricks without harming people only because they’ve been “broken” as babies and taught to fear the bullhook.
- The Amazonian sloths taken illegally from the jungle often die within weeks of being put in captivity.
- Dolphins and beluga whales, which need to be immersed in water to stay alive, are put in tubs on trucks and carted from city to city in a loop that usually ends when they die.