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Elephant Rides, Tiger Selfies, And Dancing Dolphins: Five Cruel Things You Probably Didn't Know About Animal Tourism

Travelers Today       By    Jestan Dale Mendame

Updated: Mar 14, 2017 04:05 AM EDT

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cruel things about animal tourism, animal tourism, animal cruelty

Most of the world's tourist destinations use animals to attract visitors. It's a big business in the tourism industry -- lots of travelers people want that cool selfie of riding an elephant or holding a tiger so they could post it on social media. But behind these amazing pictures that you see online are cruel things that you didn't know about animal tourism--here are five examples.

Elephant Riding

Elephant riding was a result of tourist demand most especially for foreigners. According to World Animal Protection, trainers break the spirits of these animals to establish fear and dominance over them. What most tourists don't know is that many elephants beaten, tortured, and taken away from their mothers.

Dancing Dolphins

Seeing dolphins dance are always entertaining but it won't be any longer if you only knew that most of them are poached from the wild as babies. Some of them die during transport and for those that live, they're put in small pools and trained to entertain people. Take note, dolphins live in the ocean so putting them in small pools is basically like putting a person in jail.

Taking Pictures With Tigers

Tiger selfies are really popular among tourists--but take note, these are solitary animals so it's a lot of stress for them being around crowds of tourists. Most of them are poached from the wild as cubs and locked up in small cages. There are also some tour companies that sedate these animals--this is could be the reason why people can go near them (check out this article about a "tiger temple" in Thailand, which allegedly drugs the animals). 

Bear Shows

Bears are being trained for entertainment purposes in Asia and Eastern Europe. However, they are wild animals and they're not easily trained like dogs. If you see a bear dancing or standing up, then they might be doing it out of fear. 

Snake Charming

According to Independent, snake charmers would remove the snakes' teeth and destroy their venom ducts using hot needles to make them harmless. And they're not actually dancing but they're swaying out of fear.

Animal tourism isn't all cruel but there are people and companies who abuse it. There are many ethical ways for tourists and travelers to experience animal tourism, nature parks and wildlife reserves, so make sure that you do your research well before you embark on this kind of journey. 

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