Friends just returned from a trip to Thailand, sending me a picture of them with two tigers. They unknowingly had been lured into a typical tourist trap. The tigers were being held in a place that claimed to be a “sanctuary”, but in reality cubs of many different species are torn from their mothers, confined into tiny cages and only taken out for photo sessions with tourists. Once they grow too old or become too dangerous to handle, “acting up” despite severe punishment they are sent off to farms for canned hunting.
“Do you remember Cecil, the beloved lion who was illegally lured from a Zimbabwe park and painfully killed with a bow and arrow last summer? Unfortunately, despite the public outrage of this sad and very unnecessary death, thousands of other lions continue to suffer at the hands of the tourism industry today.
World Animal Protection has investigated the lives of captive lions in Africa and were appalled by what we found. We are desperately trying to help these lions, but they need your help too.
|What We Found
Lion cubs bred in captivity are ripped from their mothers at less than a month old. At just a few weeks old, cubs will begin to be handled by tourists for pictures, often roughly, causing them chronic stress and sometimes injury. Any aggressive behavior they display is punished using fear and pain. Tourists are even instructed to hit the lions if they act unruly. When they are not being handled, they are kept in small concrete enclosures and fed inadequately.
A group of lions in a facility in South Africa. These lions will likely be euthanized or sold for canned hunting.
As the cubs grow into lions, they will become too dangerous for these tourist parks. No longer profitable as toys for tourists, the lions might be euthanized or sold to farms for “canned hunting.” Canned hunting uses whatever means necessary to ensure a kill, including drugging the lions or luring them with meat. The area is enclosed so the lions cannot escape. They do not stand a chance at survival.”
Sadly, this happens all around the world, with tigers, lions, almost any wild animal.
Please never pay for having a picture taken with a wild animal. Never ride an animal, be it donkey or elephant.
If you want to visit an animal sanctuary, ask people who know where to find a legitimate one, most animal welfare organizations will be able to point you into the right direction. Tell your family, tell you friends.
Here are some helpful links:
Thank you for spreading the word on animal awareness!
2 thoughts on “A Camera Can Be as Deadly as a Gun”
Isn’t it sad that people’s genuine love of animals can cause great harm and they don’t even realise it? And often it’s quite hard to know what is ok and what isn’t. We visited the seal sanctuary in Cornwall, but found they had penguins there – presumably to attract visitors, to fund their rescue work. I wasn’t happy about that. You are right to say we should get advice before we visit animal places. x
Thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, you are right. Most of us who believe in the humane treatment of all beings have probably had some interaction we in hindsight regret. But as long as we keep on learning we are on the right track.