Samantha Ellis, Global Animal
Animal lovers are drawn to activities that allow us to interact with and learn about animals. But it can often be difficult to find animal attractions that put the health and well-being of the animals first. The circus isn’t the only animal attraction that masks animal cruelty as entertainment. Read on to see a list of animal attractions that put money above animal welfare.
When the elephants, monkeys, big cats, and other circus animals aren’t imprisoned in trucks and trains for upwards of 26 hours at a time, these members of the animal kingdom are doing the tricks taught by torture. “Torture’ isn’t hyperbole – it’s the truest word for the electric shocks, beatings, and lifetimes of pervasive neglect exhaustively documented by reports, investigations, photos, videos, and personal accounts.
For more information on how to protest this animal cruelty disguised as children’s entertainment visit: http://www.globalanimal.org/2011/04/19/boycott-the-big-top-join-the-circus-protest-schedule-by-city/37176/
West Coast Game Park, Bandon, OR
Although their website claims that the West Coast Game Park in Bandon, Oregon, is the original walk through safari where the animals roam free, visitors report that many of the animals are kept in small cages. While the goats and deer walk free, the predatory animal are locked in tiny enclosures and appear to be in poor health. One visitor reviewed the Park on Yelp.com saying “The cages are small, the animals (particularly the big cats) seem cooped up and then all these baby cats you get to pet? It feels like a big ‘puppy mill’ for large cats! They’re constantly breeding them and then after socializing them with humans, increasing their value, their shipping them off to other zoos!” Other reviews mention the lack of staff monitoring the visitor interaction with the animals, and while one review raved over how funny it was to watch his mother feed Whoppers to a bear, and his father giving cigarettes to an elk, these unsupervised interactions can be dangerous for both the person and the animal.
Instead of visiting West Coast Game Park, instead visit a wildlife reserve that focuses first and foremost on the welfare of the animals under their care, and on rehabilitating threatened and endangered species. If you are in Oregon, try visiting the Wildlife Safari in Winston. Wildlife Safari is a drive through safari where the animals are free and the visitors are enclosed. The park is dedicated to helping save rare and endangered species from around the world. Wildlife Safari is an AZA-accredited non-profit wildlife park dedicated to education, conservation and research. They also have a cheetah breeding program.
Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve, South Carolina
While the tiger population dwindles, instead of focusing their resources on rehabilitating the species, the Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve is wasting their efforts by breeding ligers — a cross between a tiger and a lion. Breeding ligers endangers the life of the tigress mother — the cub is so large that she cannot give birth naturally, and must undergo a Ceasarian section. More than just endangering the life of the mother, ligers have short life expectancies, with many cubs dying shortly after birth, due to a high rate of birth defects. On top of all that, ligers are often sterile, making the liger a genetically unfeasible species.
Instead of visiting a zoo more focused on media attention and money than the animals, try visiting a real wildlife reserve dedicated to putting the welfare of animals before everything else, like the Elephant Sancturary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. The Elephant Sanctuary was designed as a refuge for old, sick, and needy elephants retired from zoos and circuses,. The sanctuary is dedicated to allowing the elephants to “live like elephants” rather than forcing them to preform, thus the sanctuary does not allow visitors. You can, however, visit their Welcome Center in downtown Hohenwald, or volunteer at the Sanctuary habitat during scheduled volunteer days.
Captive Swim With The Dolphins programs — like the one at Six Flags Disvovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA
While places like Six flags Discovery Kingdom does they best they can to care for their dolphins, there is no way a dolphin can have a long and fulfilling life in captivity. These thinking and feeling animals cannot be happy in a tank, and even the best aquarium is still essentially a prison. No tank can ever be big enough compared to the hundreds of miles of open ocean dolphins call home, and even the best care cannot compare to being free. According to Save Japan Dolphins, an Earth Institute project, “Even the best of these captive facilities harm and kill dolphins. Many wild dolphins die during capture operations from injuries and physiological stress.” Also, although it was years ago, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom attempted to buy and import several dolphins from Taiji’s dolphin hunts in 1992, but were blocked by the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Instead of swimming with captive dolphins, find expeditions that take people out to swim with wild dolphins. For information on the top five best places to swim with wild dolphins, visit: http://www.top-adventure-tours.com/dolphin-swim.html.
Annual Snapperfest, Ohio County, Indiana
Snapperfest is an annual event held at the Campshore Campground, where wild-caught snapping turtles endure terrible violence at the hands of participants. The frightened animals are grabbed by their tails and repeatedly slammed to the ground. Their heads are yanked from their shells, and they are then swung around until “contestants” are able to wrap their fists around the animals’ necks.
If you are in Indiana, try visiting the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary instead. the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, Indiana, is a non-profit exotic animal sanctuary dedicated to providing a refuge to captive-raised non-domestic animals in need. The sanctuary exists to ” give rescued and retired exotic animals a safe haven, and to educate people and enhance their knowledge of exotic and endangered species, and responsible pet ownership.”
To help stop Snapperfest, contact :
The Honorable Connie J. Brown, Ohio County Commissioner, [email protected]
The Honorable Todd Walton, Ohio County Commissioner, [email protected]
The Honorable Connie Smith, Ohio County Auditor, [email protected]
Campshore Campground, 812-438-2135 (office), 812-290-5939 (cell), [email protected]
Councilman Pro-Tem Mike Padgett, [email protected], (812) 438-3340
Councilman Steve Slack, [email protected], (812) 438-3340
Councilman Lynn Graves, [email protected], (812) 438-3340
Councilman Bud Radcliff, [email protected], (812) 438-3340
Councilman Roy Powell, [email protected], (812) 438-3340
For more information on this cruel event visit: http://blog.peta2.com/2011/08/urgent-turtle-torture-event-scheduled.html#.TkxoTV_ZNLc.facebook