An Australian influencer has shared her heartbreaking experience in Thailand when she visited a monkey enclosure, which she described as “incredibly cruel”.
Rory Eliza posted an emotional video message to TikTok which quickly went viral.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Aussie tourist devastated by ‘monkey show’.
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Eliza explains when she visited Phuket she wanted to hold a baby monkey, since Australians don’t get the chance back home.
“If you’re in Thailand, Phuket, don’t pay for this, don’t support this … ” she said.
“I wish I knew this before I walked in because I spent money supporting this cruelty … it’s so cruel.”
Eliza said she had asked a travel guide where she could hold a monkey, but they did not give any recommendations.
Once she found a place, she paid a fee to go inside.
“Before we even went in, they said you need to pay and only the person that pays can go in,” she said.
Eliza posted emotional footage of her encounter which showed a terrified young monkey with chains around its neck clinging to her.
“I held this baby monkey in my arms and the thing was absolutely petrified,” she said.
“Every time the guy came near us, the baby sat there screaming and every time he pulled the chain around the baby’s neck and the baby would just hug me tighter.”
The footage shows the baby monkey clinging to Eliza as she continues to tell the handlers the monkey is “petrified”.
“Please don’t support this, we need to end this animal cruelty,” Eliza pleads with her followers.
“I wish I knew … it just breaks my heart.”
Eliza’s followers were horrified by the footage, with many expressing their concerns.
“I’m crying, we need to fix this,” one person said.
“He is so terrified, my heart breaks for them,” another added.
“My heart breaks for you and the animals. Your kindness and compassion is beautiful and I’m so sorry you had to go through that,” a third said.
‘Spotting cruelty isn’t always easy’
World Animal Protection head of campaigns Suzanne Milthorpe told 7NEWS.com.au travellers should do their research to avoid supporting cruel wildlife entertainment.
“Spotting cruelty isn’t always easy, with some low-welfare venues claiming to be sanctuaries, but remember, if you can hold, touch, or ride a wild animal, it has likely suffered cruelty to make it submissive for human interaction,” she said.
“Travellers have the power to combat this kind of cruelty by avoiding captive wildlife venues altogether, because, irrespective of the destination, wild animals’ needs can never be met in captivity.”
Milthorpe added activities such as holding monkeys, swimming with dolphins or riding elephants “inadvertently supports an industry that captures or breeds these animals, causing lifelong suffering and abuse”.
“For Aussies looking for a special wildlife experience in Thailand, visit one of the country’s many National Parks which are home to diverse wildlife in their natural habitats, where they belong,” she said.
Things to avoid:
- Never get a selfie with a wild animal. If you’re able to hold, touch, or kiss that animal, the chances are it has suffered. Wild animals are not domesticated. If you can “cuddle” or sit beside a wild animal, know that it has likely been abused and potentially drugged so you can have that experience.
- Don’t support attractions that force wild animals to perform tricks and shows. Avoid watching dolphin shows, dancing bears, and performing monkeys. Wild animals are not entertainers.
- Don’t get taken for a ride. Elephants are wild animals and, before they will tolerate a human sitting on their back, they are likely put through a cruel and inhumane breaking-in process known as “the crush”. They are physically beaten and their spirit is broken. This process lasts between a few weeks to a few months but the physical and psychological trauma lasts a lifetime.
- Avoid paying to see fights between animals. Walk away from bullfights, cockfights, crocodile wrestling, and bear baiting. Paying for these cruel performances increases demand and confines these animals to a lifetime of abuse and injury.
- Say no thanks to local dishes which are preceded by extreme animal cruelty, such as shark fin soup, bush meat, dog meat, frog legs, foie gras, or tiger wine.
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