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Indians told to avoid Bali’s animal venues

Indians told to avoid Bali’s animal venues
May 28
15:20 2018

NEW DELHI: A global animal protection body has urged Indian travelers to avoid visiting animal entertainment venues in Bali, while citing its latest report which found such sites in the tropical paradise to be “living hell” for animals.

According to the ‘Wildlife Abusement Parks’ report by the World Animal Protection (WAP), 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.

It said with around 2, 72,761 tourists, India ranked third on the list of countries that have tourists visiting Bali in 2017.

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

“Bali is becoming a popular destination with Indian travelers. 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, the World Animal Protection is urging Indian tourists to avoid them.

“We would also encourage travelers 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,” said Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director at World Animal Protection.

“If you can ride, hug or take a selfie with wild animals, then it is cruel do not do it, no matter how many ‘likes’ it will get on social media,” he said.

WAP in a statement said elephant rides, dolphin swims, orangutan selfies and circus-style shows were increasingly becoming popular tourist activities for many travelers to the island.

Citing some of the findings, it said all dolphins were kept in severely inadequate conditions one pool estimated to be 10X20 meters and three meters deep housed four bottlenose dolphins.

It also found at one venue that the dolphins had their teeth filed down or removed entirely to ensure they did not injure swimmers, while 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 stays with the elephants forever. Nearly 15 per cent of elephants displayed stereotypes (abnormal repetitive behaviors) like 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,” WAP said.

Steve McIvor, CEO WAP said it was a tragedy that Bali, witch 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 have always been able to recommend venues with good welfare standards. It is horrendous that there isn’t one venue I can recommend on Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan,” McIvor said. PTI

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