A holiday trip sometimes promises to get to know various strange and fascinating animals. However, an animal-friendly holiday is only guaranteed if you get to see the animals abroad under species-appropriate conditions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Here you will find seven tourist traps, where appearances are often more than reality and the animals may be doing poorly.
Wild animals like this lion don’t belong in the ring, they belong in the wild – Shutterstock / Nejron Photo
A cruel truth often hides behind tourist offers where animals put on a show or perform a service. Abroad, there are often less strict or no rules and regulations regarding species-appropriate animal husbandry. Many animals are made docile with physical and mental violence and are sometimes prepared at a young age for their future role in the tourism industry.
Reader info: The following examples are only intended to sensitize holidaymakers – not every provider or every show can be suspected of animal abuse, but there are a particularly large number of black sheep in the sectors listed.
1. Elephant trekking
Elephant trekking is especially popular in Asian countries like Thailand or India. Tourists ride the gentle giants as part of guided jungle tours through the primeval forest. What remains hidden: Many of the sensitive and sensitive elephants are drilled from an early age with brutal measures for riding. It is therefore often abused elephants that transport the tourists there.
2. Animal shows and circus performances
Questionable show programs in zoos, sea aquariums, dolphinariums and the like force animals to do things that are neither species-appropriate nor fun for dolphins, orcas, zebras, lions and the like. The housing conditions for animals are often very poor. SeaWorld, for example, repeatedly hits the headlines because large marine mammals are supposed to be kept there in aquariums that are far too small. For the amusement of the spectators, animals are trained and sometimes violently made docile in preparation for the respective show. Wild animals are already banned in circuses in some countries, but not yet in most. In the eyes of many, a tiger in a ring is basically animal cruelty.
3. Horse-drawn carriages
A number of horse-drawn carriage rides are offered not only far away, but also in European cities such as Paris or Bruges. Not all providers treat the horses well. Sometimes the animals live under conditions that are not appropriate to the species and are sometimes even mistreated. Running for hours on the streets in the blazing sun and waiting for tourists to board can take a toll on the horses.
4. Camel Riding
Similar to elephant trekking, camel riding, which is often offered in North African countries, is also shadowed by animal cruelty. While not every company abuses their camels for the task, there are always black sheep in the industry and it’s hard for tourists to tell which camels are doing well and which aren’t.
Hard to believe, but bloody bullfights are popular tourist attractions in countries like Spain, France and many Latin American countries. A long and brutal tradition precedes it. The animals are killed in agony before the eyes of cheering spectators. A pet-friendly holiday should never aim for animal fighting arenas.
Beautiful, cheap, cruel – some souvenirs sold abroad to tourists that are of animal origin are preceded by a cruel production chain. Animals are often bred and killed for the sole purpose of ending up in souvenirs. Be especially wary of animal parts made of coral, ivory, shell, and leather.
7. Animal photos
They are particularly popular in Asia and Latin America: animal photo shoots. In many places, dubious profiteers roam the tourist areas with exotic animals such as little monkeys or babies of tigers or elephants and offer photos with the animals for money. You can be sure that these animals are not being kept in a species-appropriate manner and are by no means happy with their task.
You might also be interested in these animal welfare topics on Einfachtierisch.de:
Animal cruelty observed on the Internet: what to do?
Cruelty breeding: what does it mean?