Jukani

Think twice about wild animal tourism, visitors told

A leading animal charity is urging tourists to think more carefully about the impact their adventures are having on animals

 

Footage of the hidden suffering behind animal tourism is released as part of a new campaign to curb abuse. 

A leading animal charity is calling on tourists to think twice before they take part in wild animal experiences, as part of a campaign to expose the hidden suffering behind many attractions.

The campaign by World Animal Protection, which launches today in conjunction with World Animal Day, draws on research that found almost half of people pay for a wild animal experience because they love animals, but they remain unaware of the abuse that goes on behind the scenes.

Mike Baker, chief executive of World Animal Protection said: “What we need to do is alert people to the wildlife suffering in this industry. We don’t want that once in a lifetime experience to be a lifetime of misery for the animal.”

Targeting tourists before they book, the campaign focuses on the five worst examples of wild animal attractions, with an emphasis on elephant rides – one of the most popular forms of wildlife tourism.

 

 

An Asian elephant chained up.

 

 

 

An Asian elephant chained up. Photograph: World Animal Protection

The charity is also launching a guide to being animal friendly on holiday, which includes advice on what to ask a tour operator before booking and things to look out for when you are abroad. However Baker says tourists should also use their common sense. 

“If an animal is doing something it wouldn’t do in the wild then it’s probably not right and something has gone on to make them behave that way,” he says. “Take elephant rides – you couldn’t just jump on a wild elephant’s back, there’s a process to get them there. They’re chained up, beaten. And what we’ve realised is most people don’t want that.”

Another form of wild animal tourism that has become particularly widespread in recent years are parks or “sanctuaries” where visitors can pose for photos with tigers – popularised by the “tiger selfie” trend. This is similar to experiences in which tourists can walk with lions.

 

 

A macaque performs tricks for tourists in Thailand.
A macaque performs tricks for tourists in Thailand. Photograph: World Animal Protection

According to World Animal Protection, both these types of attraction involve removing cubs from their mothers at a young age, where they are beaten and punished to train them. In some cases the animals are drugged to make them more compliant. 

Other types of wild animal experiences the charity hopes to end are swimming with captive dolphins and dancing macaques shows.

“This report is the first time we’ve been able to confirm the reality of these practices and underpin it with research,” says Baker. “We’ve also realised the scale of it. There are around 16,000 elephants in capitvity – that’s a quarter of the total number on the planet.”

According to Baker there has been a marked shift on this issue in the travel industry. Earlier this year, tour operator Intrepid Travel announced it would no longer offer elephant rides on any of its trips. In May STA Travel, which provides holidays for 2.5 million students and young people each year, stopped offering tours that include elephant rides or trips to the Tiger Temple in Thailand, as well as ending trips to SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego.

Tourists who want to experience animals while on holiday should be visiting the animals “carefully and ethically” in their natural habitats, says Baker.

“I’ve been on whale watching trips and safaris and when you see a dolphin skipping in the sea, or a tiger in the wild it makes the entertainment side just seem a little grubby in comparison.”

Wild animal tourism in numbers

16,000
Number of elephants in captivity worldwide – a quarter of the total number on the planet

75%
of captive adult elephants used for tourism entertainment have been taken directly from the wild

5,000
Number of captive tigers in the US alone. In the wild there are just 3,200

1,600
Estimated number of bottlenose dolphins being used for entertainment worldwide

4 million
Number of visitors to SeaWorld San Diego in 2012

8,000
Approximate number of lions kept and bred in captivity in South Africa – double the number of those in the wild or natural reserves

Source: World Animal Protection

Through the Lens of Braeme Holland

Little did Lara know when she went to check the mail yesterday that there will be a flash drive with some amazing photos in between all the junk mail and accounts.  However when she opened the letter from Braeme she could not wait to stick the little blue flash drive into her laptop. Braeme came to visit Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary and surprised us by sending us a collection of the photos he took.  If I where to load them all on here this post will take a day to open so herewith just a taste of Braeme’s beautiful photos of our amazing animals.

Thailand’s famed Tiger Temple may soon be tigerless. The tourist attraction, which houses more than 100 tigers, has been raided on suspicion of links to wildlife trafficking. Authorities impounded the tigers and are keeping them at the temple in the country’s western Kanchanaburi province while they investigate whether the temple has the right permits for the animals. Flickr/Juame Escofet)( The temple has offered tourists a chance to get up close with tigers for years, advertising itself as a sanctuary for the big cats. But more than one investigation has revealed that the animals are kept in tiny cages for long hours and in extreme heat, and kept on chains nearly all the time. The facility also runs a captive breeding program (a practice that most sanctuaries don’t condone), and separates mothers and cubs at a young age so that people can cuddle with the young tigers. Flickr/Doug Beckers)( Tigers were found exhibiting signs of malnutrition and obsessive behaviors during visits between 2005 and 2008, according to a report by the international organization Care for the Wild. The report also alleged that tigers supposedly being bred for conservation were exchanged with a tiger farm in Laos. Thailand is a known hub for wildlife products, though it’s been trying to crack down on the black market in recent years. In 2013, The New York Times reported that the country had seized 46,000 animals from traffickers over the previous two years. In addition to tigers, monkeys, pangolins and snakes are all coveted. Now, conservationists hope that the seizures result in “legal action and a deterrent punishment for offenders” — one step in tackling Thailand’s massive illegal wildlife trade. See this database of responsible travel options to find places to see Thailand’s wildlife — without harming it.

Article sourced from The Dodo
Thailand’s famed Tiger Temple may soon be tigerless.

The tourist attraction, which houses more than 100 tigers, has been raided on suspicion of links to wildlife trafficking. Authorities impounded the tigers and are keeping them at the temple in the country’s western Kanchanaburi province while they investigate whether the temple has the right permits for the animals.

The temple has offered tourists a chance to get up close with tigers for years, advertising itself as a sanctuary for the big cats. But more than one investigation has revealed that the animals are kept in tiny cages for long hours and in extreme heat, and kept on chains nearly all the time. The facility also runs a captive breeding program (a practice that most sanctuaries don’t condone), and separates mothers and cubs at a young age so that people can cuddle with the young tigers.

Tigers were found exhibiting signs of malnutrition and obsessive behaviors during visits between 2005 and 2008, according to a report by the international organization Care for the Wild. The report also alleged that tigers supposedly being bred for conservation were exchanged with a tiger farm in Laos.

Thailand is a known hub for wildlife products, though it’s been trying to crack down on the black market in recent years. In 2013, The New York Times reported that the country had seized 46,000 animals from traffickers over the previous two years. In addition to tigers, monkeys, pangolins and snakes are all coveted.

Now, conservationists hope that the seizures result in “legal action and a deterrent punishment for offenders” — one step in tackling Thailand’s massive illegal wildlife trade.

See this database of responsible travel options to find places to see Thailand’s wildlife — without harming it.

No to Fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day

Please reconsider before you light up for Guy Fawkes Day

Think of the Animals before you light up

But What is Guy Fawkes day you ask? Well lets ask WikiPedia:

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Within a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was known, became the predominant English state commemoration, but as it carried strong religious overtones it also became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment. Puritans delivered sermons regarding the perceived dangers of popery, while during increasingly raucous celebrations common folk burnt effigies of popular hate-figures, such as the pope. Towards the end of the 18th century reports appear of children begging for money with effigies of Guy Fawkes and 5 November gradually became known as Guy Fawkes Day. Towns such as Lewes and Guildford were in the 19th century scenes of increasingly violent class-based confrontations, fostering traditions those towns celebrate still, albeit peaceably. In the 1850s changing attitudes eventually resulted in the toning down of much of the day’s anti-Catholic rhetoric, and the Observance of 5th November Act was repealed in 1859. Eventually, the violence was dealt with, and by the 20th century Guy Fawkes Day had become an enjoyable social commemoration, although lacking much of its original focus. The present-day Guy Fawkes Night is usually celebrated at large organised events, centred on a bonfire and extravagant firework displays.

So even if you are not close to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden or Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, there could be other sanctuaries or just wildlife and pets that will appreciate you not lighting up!