In light of the recent incident where Thai wildlife authorities uncovered 70 dead tiger cubs and hundreds of other tiger parts at the infamous Tiger Temple, World Animal Protection urges the Government of India to investigate all animal entertainment venues to ensure such practices are not being followed in our country.
The temple, a popular tourist attraction, has been closed to the public since last Monday, when the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) began an operation to remove the tigers following allegations of illegal smuggling.
The confiscation of the tigers is a positive step in protecting these wild animals from the inherent cruelty involved in wildlife tourism. Only the removal of tigers will stop their exploitation and ensure that no further tigers will be bred for profit at the venue.
Shubhobroto Ghosh, Wildlife Project Manager at World Animal Protection India said: “The breeding of tigers kept under such conditions serves no conservation benefit – they are bred in cruel confinement purely for profit. It’s a far cry from their natural lives in the wild.”
“Tourists are unwittingly contributing to this industry by visiting these attractions. Once people know the truth, they can take action to end cruelty by avoiding wildlife attractions and choosing to see wild animals in the wild, where they belong.”
Echoing the sentiments, Gajender K Sharma, Country Director at World Animal Protection India added: “Investigations like this could shed light on illegal wildlife trade and help to uncover the hidden cruelty at tourist attractions. Taking lesson from this horrible discovery, we would like to urge the Government of India to initiate such investigations into animal entertainment venues in India as well.”
“This incident is a turning point for all animal entertainment venues. We need to ensure a better future for these animals at a government or affiliated sanctuary operating to the highest possible welfare standards.”
World Animal Protection is asking people to take the pledge not to visit venues which offer tigers for entertainment and instead see tigers in the wild.
Together we can put an end to exploitation of tigers and stop the entertainment venues cruelly exploiting wildlife for profit.
Using the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (Wild CRU) ratings and our own research and investigations in Asia and Africa, World Animal Protection has compiled a list of ten of the world’s cruelest wildlife attractions:
- Riding elephants
- Taking tiger selfies
- Walking with lions
- Visiting bear parks
- Holding sea turtles
- Performing dolphins
- Dancing monkeys
- Touring civet cat coffee plantations
- Charming snakes and kissing cobras
- Crocodile farms.