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Why it is Time to Open Our Eyes to the Hidden Cruelty Behind Wild Animal Tourism

Why it is Time to Open Our Eyes to the Hidden Cruelty Behind Wild Animal Tourism year I visited Thailand, in the same way I did ten years ago: as a backpacker. But this time I didn’t just hang out with other travelers and enjoy the beautiful beaches.

This time, I went to Thailand with the purpose of visiting wildlife tourist attractions. I needed to see again with my own eyes what elephants, tigers, and other wild animals endure every day in the name of tourist entertainment.

Although I was prepared to see the cruelty, witnessing it with my own eyes still left me with an incredibly sad feeling. At the same time, it strengthened my belief that our Wildlife – Not entertainers campaign can make a real change for these animals.

The travelers at the elephant camps didn’t appear to see any harm in riding the elephants.

But would they feel the same way if they had known about the brutal taming process that the elephant went through as a baby to make her submit to having people ride on her back? 

What if they had realized that after they finished their ride, the elephant would continue to carry thousands and thousands of other tourists up that same path they had just taken, day in, day out for the rest of her life? What if they knew that after that long, hot day she would be shackled, unable to roam freely or to socially interact with other elephants?

Similar questions arose when I visited a tiger park and observed the other visitors. Instead of paying an entry fee, they paid for a photo opportunity. The price varied depending on the size of the tiger: small cubs and big tigers being the most expensive. read more at


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