Posted on March 23, 2016

Every year, nearly 3.8 million tourists visit Bali to experience beautiful beaches and other holiday and cultural activities. Sadly, there is a dark underbelly to many tourist-funded facilities that practice animal abuse and exploitation for profit.


Do Not Make the Animals Suffer



Many tourists unknowingly visit attractions and participate in activities that fuel immense animal suffering and pose risks to wild animal populations, as unscrupulous wildlife traders steal animals from their homes in the wild to supply dolphin pools, elephant parks, zoos, commercial enterprises, pet markets and wildlife parks.


What might seem like innocent entertainment, or even a tourists’ dream-come-true to come close to majestic animals, is a nightmare for the animals – it is their story of abuse and suffering.


Suffering, Not Smiling



Regrettably, the popularity in captive dolphin facilities in Bali has fuelled the illegal capture of dolphins. Dolphin family members are separated from each other and many animals are seriously injured or even killed during the capture. Those who do survive they endure months of grueling training which relies on cruel techniques including starvation, to force them to perform demeaning tricks.


Please don’t be fooled by the dolphins’ ‘smiles’. Behind what looks like entertainment, the dolphins suffer immensely in captivity where they are subjected to horrific abuse. Life in a tank or sea pen is so far removed from a dolphin’s natural environment that the effect this has on the animal’s mental and physical state is almost inconceivable. In the wild, dolphins live in social groups, but in captivity many are kept alone and mothers and calves are regularly separated. They are intelligent and wide-ranging animals, swimming up to nearly 100km a day at speeds of up to and can reach speeds up to 35kmh and dive to depths of more than 300 metres. So, if you really love dolphins, please don’t fund the cruelty. Please take the time to see these majestic animals in the wild where they belong!


Forced to Perform


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In many zoos and safari parks, wild animals are kept caged or tethered, unable to carry out even their most basic natural behaviours such as social interactions, foraging for food or being able to escape to a peaceful and quiet place to rest. These animals’ lives are controlled and dictated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through abusive training techniques that rely on cruel punishments that instill enough fear in the animals to make them comply with demands from keepers and trainers.


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Elephant parks are increasingly popular among tourists in Bali. The sad and devastating reality is that tourist-driven demand is fuelling the cruel trade in and keeping of elephants. Elephants are forced to endure the most profound cruelty with brutal training rituals employed to break the elephants’ spirit. Please don’t be fooled by the image portrayed by these profit-driven enterprises that elephants have freedom of choice. If you really love elephants, please don’t ride them or visit parks keeping them as entertainment props.


You Have the Power to Make Change!


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You really can make a difference! Please make sure you don’t fund animal cruelty by visiting attractions housing wildlife in captivity. Please dont’ be responsible for tourist funding of cruelty to animals. When the demand to see animals in captivity, ride elephants and swim with dolphins stops, so will the cruelty. BAWA is committed to raising awareness of the cruelty inflicted on these animals – often behind closed doors – and to lobbying for legislative change to protect all animals from abuse and exploitation. But we need your help!


To find out MORE about how to be a responsible and animal-friendly tourist and what you can do to help, please visit: www.bawabali.com/our-programs/responsible-tourism/


TO SUPPORT our work to stop cruelty and achieve stronger animal protection laws, please DONATE at www.bawabali.com/donate-to-bawa/