Cruel Tourist Attractions


Relief for animals as prestigious Vietnamese zoo quietly ends cruel elephant performances

Following years of criticism from Animals Asia, Saigon Zoo has ended all elephant performances.Saigon Zoo, the biggest in Vietnam, has ended all live elephant performances following years of opposition by Animals Asia.For years, four elephants have been forced to perform tricks, such as rearing up on their hind legs and standing on stools every weekend and on public holidays.These activities cause great suffering to the animals as they are forced to behave unnaturally and in manner which can cause long-term harm to their bodies. Such activities can only be achieved through the threat of violence in the form of spiked sticks known as bullhooks.While the zoo made no formal announcement that the shows have ended, Animals Asia has gained assurances that they have not taken place since December 2018 and will not be reintroduced.Animals Asia has opposed the elephant performances since 2016 when the charity began liaising with the zoo and the Vietnamese Zoo Association.Animals Asia Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:“We are absolutely delighted that Saigon Zoo has realised the elephant shows are cruel, out-dated and utterly at odds with the principles of animal welfare.”Saigon Zoo owns six Asian elephants, four of whom were forced to perform. All six…

Baby elephants at shopping plaza raise concerns

PHUKET: Two baby elephants seen outside a shopping plaza in Mai Khao, at the northern end of the island, are in good care, but their legal status has yet to be confirmed, the Phuket livestock chief has told The Phuket News.Manas Thepparuk, Acting Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Livestock Development (DLD), conducted a surprise visit at the Turtle Village shopping plaza in Tuesday night (Mar 12) after receiving a tip off that the baby elephants were “badly abused”."When I arrived at 6:30pm, I found two baby elephants, one male and one female, both about four years old. They were on show to tourists, who were allowed to feed them,” Mr Manas said.Please credit and share this article with others using this link:

Elephant racing festival highlights urgent need for shift to ethical tourism

As a festival featuring performing elephants in Vietnam approaches, Animals Asia calls on the country to transition to cruelty-free tourism and celebrations. The Dak Lak province Coffee Festival, due to take place from 9 to 16 March, celebrates the province’s achievements, including its historical connection to elephants, through a series of cultural events. As part of the celebrations, elephants will be forced to play football, race, swim and take part in tug-of-war for the amusement of locals and visiting tourists. But with Vietnam struggling to preserve their last remaining populations of wild elephants, Animals Asia has written to the government urging a transition away from exploitation. Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Department Manager Nguyen Tam Thanh said: “We absolutely support the celebration of Dak Lak province’s close cultural connection with elephants, but it is time to put the elephants’ welfare needs at the heart of that relationship. “Vietnam is struggling to save its last wild populations of elephants and if steps aren’t taken to embrace a culture of respect for them – not as an economic resource to exploit, but as an integral part of the ecosystem – then I’m afraid a vital part of this region’s identity and heritage will…