Animal abuse is rampant in Thailand, but recent photos that came out in the U.K.’s Express newspaper are horrific enough to leave decent people reeling—and booking future trips elsewhere.
Primate mothers, who passionately protect their newborns, are chained to posts while their babies are mistreated. Some are forced to play with fire. They are forced to jump through hoops that have been lined with knives, where one misstep can lead to serious injury or death.
These keenly intelligent animals suffer from debilitating loneliness, stress, and depression when they’re separated from their families, and they are trained through beatings and fear. The monkeys’ spirits are broken, and many go mad, constantly circling or pacing, biting at their own limbs, pulling out their own hair, and rocking back and forth.
Animal-protection laws, particularly for animals in zoos and other entertainment displays, are nearly non-existent in Asia.
What You Can Do
If you’re planning a trip to Asia (or anywhere, for that matter), never spend a bhat, rupee, or yen on any animal act, zoo, or roadside animal display, including elephant rides or “camps” and the notorious Tiger Temple. Don’t pay to have your picture taken with an animal—don’t even stop to watch. Tourists help to keep these sick spectacles in business. If you see animal acts on your trip, complain to your tour guides and/or hotel managers. If they think this is affecting business, they will speak up, too.