CAPTIVE WILDLIFE ABROAD...
Chapter Animals investigations have taken place all over the world, notably thanks to the help of volunteers hired by our side. We have also documented a lot with our local partners, to learn more about the conditions of detention of certain animals. Even activities that may appear cute or harmless can be harmful to animals.
Asia is the continent on which we have worked the most. Mainly in animal themed cafes and bars, which are extremely popular in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. If cats and rabbits are present, exotic animals are appearing more and more in these types of establishments - starting with the otter and the hedgehog. This unusual experience, which many would like to try, actually hides a terrible secret ... that of the illegal capture of wildlife.
Entering such a place is not trivial. If, in general, cafes for cats and rabbits allow customers to adopt an animal, those with wild animals mainly attract crowds so that they can handle them. Which is very stressful for the animal. Owls, nocturnal animals, are permanently disturbed. Tied, with feathered wings, it is not uncommon to see them trying to fly away in an attempt to find a quiet place. Hawks, snakes, meerkats, wallabies, iguanas and hedgehogs can also be very disturbed by being handled every five minutes by ... tourists. Because these establishments are much more frequented by passing tourists than the Asian population itself. The penguins, who also own a cafe, also attract crowds, but cannot be touched.
We were also able to learn more about certain zoos, where the very idea of animal welfare does not exist. Did you know that orangutans must simulate boxing fights. These critically endangered great apes are forced to dress up to entertain visitors. They are then forced to pose, so that visitors can take photos alongside them. Obviously, the slightest gesture is not tolerated for this being so intelligent. You think these great apes are unique cases. This is without counting on the crocodiles which are used for taking photos, the possibility of also posing with a tiger or the rides on the back of elephants under the threat of the ankus.
Among our other investigations, that of the dromedaries of Egypt and their shameful working conditions. In France, an individual is authorized to hold a dromedary, just like a camel or a llama, in the same way as a horse or a donkey. It is therefore shocking to see how animals are treated in their own country. Tied in the sun for hours, without food or water, the dromedaries wait for a customer to rent them. They are then loaded by weight, to lift the individual but also his luggage. It is not uncommon to see injured dromedaries, especially in the nostrils, as they are pulled with a ring and a rope. The legs also suffer, often the dromedaries are tied with much too small cords. They cannot lie down. The owners of these attractions don't hesitate to hit them, forcing them to work. The males, once adulthood is reached, are sold to the local merchant to make meat. Females suffer the same fate when they can no longer reproduce.
To stay in hot countries, snake charmers are a false good idea. It is by no means fabulous and it is even a dangerous practice. Snakes cannot hear the same sound as us, they only feel vibrations. And in no case does the charmer's flute have anything to do with it. The snake is in no way hypnotized by music, as the spectators of this sad sleight of hand think. It is the noise around him, the approaching crowd and the tapping of the charmer's feet that forces the cobra to get out of his basket ... in a defensive position. The snake being an animal relatively sensitive to certain sounds, once awakened, the vibrations that the flute emits worry them and they will move to the sound of these. But be careful that neither the charmer nor the public are too close, an accident could happen very quickly. Remember that the different species of snakes used - although a majority of cobra - are wild and can be very dangerous. A movement that goes wrong, and it's a bite that will bring death.
To stay in the street shows, those of primates are appalling. They take place on the African continent, but also on that of Asia. Primates are forced to perform numbers, attached to a chain or leash in order to attract the crowd. Often dressed in clothes, sometimes wearing make-up, they perform street performances to attract the public and ask them for a small room.
To know :
It seemed obvious to us not to specify that animal-related activities, such as bottle feeding tawny babies or taking selfies with them, on the African continent, were not educational. They even go against animal welfare, since these are intended to end up in boxed hunting. The same is true in Asia with tiger farms, which will be slaughtered for skin and bones. Any activity involving wild animals, and generally animals, should be prohibited.
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