Wildlife holidays: animal cruelty for a photo
By typing " holidays with animals " in a search engine you can find a varied offer of leisure plans that include animals: from hotels where pets are admitted to farms to schools.
Other options include interaction with exotic or wild species and, although they may be attractive, they sometimes incur cruel situations for the animals.
It is not uncommon to see photos of people on the back of an elephant in a paradisiacal setting on social networks or promotional brochures as a holiday attraction. This is one of the practices that, although it may seem harmless, hides a history of mistreatment.
Statistics show that in Thailand there are around 10,000 elephants in captivity. Some of these elephants are the ones that, exploited by their owners, take tourists for a walk.
These animals are separated from their mothers when they are offspring and domesticated with very dubious techniques. It is also normal to see them chained or locked up when they are not "providing the service".
The World Animal Protection Association has been collecting some of the most damaging tourist attractions for animals in its campaigns for years and documenting achievements in environmental protection in the tourism sector.
In addition to elephants, World Animal Protection points to other cruel practices: taking photographs with tiger and lion pups; holding and photographing with sea turtles, or dolphin shows.
Both lion and tiger calves are taken away from their mothers and their herds and chained so that the tourist, after paying the agreed price, hugs them and takes the photograph home.
The watchdog, as reported on its website, counted in a report, three years ago, that there were about 830 tigers held in premises for tourism purposes.
When typing in "whale shark" images, the first to appear on the screen are of these impressive animals with someone swimming nearby.
According to Agencia Sinc -Scientific News and Information Service-, whale sharks are in danger of extinction and their populations in Asian waters have decreased 63 percent in the last three generations.
This attraction, under the ecotourism label, doesn't seem to be so much. A team from the Royal Society Open Science has investigated how the practice of feeding whale sharks in Oslob, Philippines, is altering the natural behavior of these animals and could develop a food dependency in other phases of their lives.
"This practice has resulted in a large shark watching industry that provides significant income to a remote community through tourism, but the long-term impact on sharks remains little known," explains the scientists' report.
The alteration of the animal's natural behavior by human interaction has also been documented in other species, such as rays, another preferred species for travelers and Instagrammers.