World Animal Protection Urges Indian Travellers to Avoid Animal Entertainment Venues in Bali

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New Report Finds Wildlife Attractions in Bali are a Living Hell for Animals.

New Delhi, May 22, 2018: 

  • 100% of venues with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats didn’t meet basic needs of animals in captivity
  • 80% of venues with primates didn’t meet the basic needs of captive wild animals

A shocking new report from World Animal Protection has revealed that all wildlife tourism entertainment venues in Bali with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats fail to meet even the basic needs of wild animals in captivity. With around 2,72,761 tourists, India ranks third on the list of countries that have tourists visiting Bali in 2017.

The Wildlife Abusement Parks report details the results of an investigation into 26 wildlife tourism venuesin Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan that house 1,500 wild animals, including elephants, dolphins and orangutans.

Bali is a popular travel destination with Indians and registered an increase of 45.59% visitors in 2017 as compared to 2016. But far from being an island paradise, the report paints a bleak picture of the conditions the wild animals are forced to endure day-in, day-out. Almost all of them will spend the rest of their lives suffering in Bali.

Elephant rides, dolphin swims, orangutan selfies and circus-style shows, are increasingly popular tourist activities for many travellers to the island. But some of the most disturbing findings reveal that:

  • All dolphins were kept in severely inadequate conditions – one pool estimated to be 10X20 metres and three metres deep housed four bottlenose dolphins
  • Dolphins at one venue have had their teeth filed down or removed entirely to ensure they are unable to injure swimmers
  • All of the elephant venues offered elephant rides – elephants suffer a cruel and intensive training process that involves severe restraint. Severe pain is also often inflicted to speed up the process and quickly establish dominance. This highly traumatic experience will stay with the elephant forever
  • Nearly 15% of elephants displayed stereotypies – abnormal repetitive behaviours – including swaying and foot shuffling – which indicate distress and suffering
  • All venues with orangutans offered selfie experiences. Forced to entertain queues of tourists, many of these animals lacked freedom of movement, opportunities for social interaction and any stimulating activities.

Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director at World Animal Protection, said: “Bali is becoming a popular destination with Indian travellers. It is an idyllic paradise and its economy relies on the millions of tourists who travel there each year. Sadly, until Bali improves animal welfare at these dreadful venues, World Animal Protection is urging Indian tourists to avoid them. We’d also encourage travellers and tourists to boycott the travel companies that promote and support these venues. Indian travel companies have a responsibility to urgently review their Bali offerings to ensure they are not supporting these appalling establishments. If you can ride, hug or have a selfie with a wild animals, then it’s cruel – don’t do it, no matter how many ‘likes‘ it will get on social media.”

Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection, said: “It’s a tragedy that Bali, such a beautiful destination for tourists, forces its captive wild animals to endure such grotesque and horrific conditions. In the past, when our teams have investigated animal welfare conditions at other leading holiday destinations, I’ve always been able to recommend venues with good welfare standards. It’s horrendous that there isn’t one venue I can recommend on Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan.”

To protect wild animals, World Animal Protection has convinced nearly 200 travel companies to stop offering elephant rides and shows in travel packages. Among these are popular Indian companies such as ‘Tour My India‘ and ‘Trans India Holidays‘.

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