“A captive wild animal can never truly experience a life free from suffering
and cruelty. No matter how well they are looked after in captivity, only in
their wild environment can all the animals’ needs be fully met.
When you see a captive wild animal on your holiday, often you can’t see
the cruelty. It’s hidden from view. Whether taken from the wild or bred
in captivity, all captive wild animals have their own stories of pain and
suffering. Here’s just one example.
Elephants used in entertainment can appear to be well looked after, but
the reality can be very different. Where they’ve come from and how they
got there is a terrible journey that most holidaymakers aren’t aware of.
Young elephants are valued much more than older ones, so they become
the targets of poachers. They’re easier to catch, transport and train. In the
wild, these adolescent elephants are trapped in pits, crudely-dug holes
from which they can’t escape. Equally traumatic, many elephant calves are
bred and born into captivity – never to experience a life without pain and
Ripped from their families and transported to their destinations, terribly cruel
training awaits. Rods with spikes, chains, ropes, and “the crush”. And this
is just the beginning. This elephant will now be forced to entertain tourists
with its free time spent socially isolated and physically restrained for the rest
of its life. And as long as the demand remains for this kind of tourism, so
will the cruelty.
By being aware of the impact your decisions can have, you’re taking the
first step to ending the cruel exploitation of wildlife.”
Excerpt from Your guide to being animal friendly on holiday.