Thailand Animal Tourism

Do Not Ride Elephants

 Blond Travels Supports The Following Ethical Tourism Operator:https://maerimelephantsanctuary.com
 ELEPHANTS IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY ARE NOT ACTING NATURALLY. A wild elephant doesn’t naturally allow a human to climb atop its back and trek through the a city destination or jungle, for hours, every day of the week. It has to be tamed into submission. I.“Tourists may think activities like riding an elephant do no harm,”  GIVING RIDES CAN DAMAGE ELEPHANTS’ SPINES.An elephant’s spine is not built to support the weight of a human being. Elephants that carry tourists on their backs for hours every day experience discomfort and can suffer from permanent spinal damage. There is also the added element of the Howdah: the seat that the human sits in atop the elephant. The seat causes irritation against the elephant’s skin and can lead to infection2. ELEPHANTS ARE SOCIAL, INTELLIGENT CREATURES.Elephants are very similar to humans. They have family and friends and feel deep emotion. According to Elephant Voices, “elephants are well-known for their intelligence, close family ties and social complexity, and they remember for years other individuals and places.” Not only do elephants remember and feel the pain of torture deeply enough to suffer from post-traumatic stress, but when elephants are brought on trekking camps, they are often ripped away from their herd and forced to live in loneliness.3. ASIAN ELEPHANTS ARE ENDANGERED.The Asian elephant is on the Red List of Threatened Species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population declined more than 50 percent over the last 60 to 75 years. Asian elephants that work in the tourism industry sometimes die from hunger, dehydration and exhaustion. Like captive elephant Sambo, who died in Cambodia earlier this year from a heart attack while giving tourists a ride in 104 degree Fahrenheit heaT.4.  THERE ARE BETTER, SAFER WAYS TO INTERACT WITH ELEPHANTS.You don’t have to visit a camp that promotes elephant rides to interact with these beautiful creatures. There are conservations in Southeast Asia like Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary, Elephant Nature Park and Elephant Jungle Sanctuary that save elephants from captivity and allow humans to visit. You can hang out with elephants, and help bathe, feed and observe them. ENP even offers a range of volunteer opportunities for tourists. You can visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
 

Tiger Visits

After the closure of The Tiger Temple in Bangkok the BBC did a report on the findings of the Thailand Police and Wildlife Officers. 

40 Tiger Cubs were found kept in a freezer at the temple. After that all living tigers were removed and placed at a state facility.

Here over 137 tigers were kept and has become a tourist destination where visitors come and regularly take selfies with the animals.It is NOT NATURAL FOR A TIGER TO BE CUDDLED OR POSE FOR PHOTOS! You must be stupid if you think the answer is YES! Even if it is  a cub, IT IS NOT NATURAL!This practice of “Pay to Play” with tigers is one of the most unethical  tourism attractions in the world next to Elephant Riding. Many Asian governments are being progressive towards animal conservaton. They seek to protect  Native Wildlife and changes are happening in the industry that are postive. However, it will not happen overnight. 

 If tourists demanded ethical tiger tourism believe me they would build it. There is no way for travelers to responsibly interact with tigers and other big cats. They are alpha predators and deserve to be left alone in the wild. Breeding captive tigers is cruel and abusive in that they will never be released into the wild.ForTiger tourism to work, it must be done in a way that minimizes damage to key habitat, prevents unnecessary stress on the animals, and generates concrete benefits to both conservation programs and nearby communities through education and cooperation with government bodies. 

 The primary drivers of so-called tiger tourism are the numerous places around the world that continually breed captive tigers in order to produce cubs. The cubs may be snatched away from the mother tigers at just a couple days old and bottle fed to ‘socialize’ them with people.Then they are used and exploited by the breeder, or sometimes a separate exhibitor, in what we call ‘pay to play’ schemes. Because cubs quickly become too large and dangerous for the public to have direct contact (usually at about 12 weeks), the exhibitors need a constant supply of new cubs born to stay in business. The once-lucrative money-making cubs are now a huge liability.”Once tiger cubs age, owners are saddled with the issue of how to rid themselves of adolescent and adult tigers, usually giving them away to unqualified people or to roadside zoos, is a possibility. The cost of maintaining dozens of adult tigers is a burden as to food and space. 

Street Dogs/Soi Dogs and Cats

 Blond Travels Supports The Folliowing Ethical Tourism Organisation.

Volunteer In Chiang Mai and Help! 

www.carefordogs.org

This is a Brillant Cause in Chiang Mai to Support!

 Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) and Care for Dogs Foundation have joined forces for the benefit of animals in Thailand and around the South East Asia region.The two charities have been working together in Thailand for almost 9 years and from 1st May 2015, Care for Dogs will be incorporated into the WVS family, with some exciting plans for the future.The Care for Dogs shelter has been sterilising, rescuing and rehoming dogs for the past 9 years and has made a significant impact in the Chiang Mai area on dog welfare and the population of stray dogs. This work will continue under WVS, but will be enhanced in three major areas:The WVS Care for Dogs Shelter will be upgraded over time and while still rescuing and rehoming dogs in the region, it will also become a shelter to train other shelter managers in all areas of shelter management from dog welfare to fundraising and marketing. There will be a component on how to run effective sterilisation and vaccination campaigns and an opportunity to link in with WVS teams who will support these new campaigns.  A new WVS Veterinary Training Centre will be launched later in the year and will be situated next door to the dog shelter. Similar to the WVS training centre in India, Thai vets will be able to sign up for free courses teaching best practice surgical skills for sterilisation of dogs and cats and specialist courses teaching vital veterinary skills in areas from small animal anaesthesia to orthopaedics and diagnostic imaging.​The dog shelter and training centre will work together to run an effective sterilisation and vaccination campaign in the Chiang Mai Province. This will not only reduce the number of stray dogs and cats on the streets, but also reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases, such as rabies.This exciting new vision for Care for Dogs and WVS in Thailand will make a massive difference for both animals and people in the Chiang Mai Province, but we need your continued support to make it happen. With your help, Care for Dogs has sterilised over 4,600 dogs and cats, treated over 2,500 dogs and over 1,800 dogs rehomed. Our new plans will see us providing veterinary care for thousands of animals and training hundreds of vets to continue the work around the country. Together, we really can make a big difference. 

Jungle Treks

Blond Travels Supports the following Ethical tourism Operator.

 http://www.goodmorningthailandtrek.com

Good morning Thailand trek is a Ethical Tourism Promoter.

They take into consideration the ecology of Thailand and its sensitive areas of jungle.

Their nature friendly designed, ecologically sensitive tribal  trekking in the beautiful Mae Hong Son area that will take to a journey to the magnificent beauties and cultural wealth of The Deep North Jungle breathtaking landscapes of Thailand. 

          Our treks are guided by the most uplifting, experienced guides and they are against animal exploitation. If you would like to participate in a real deep jungle trekking experience and know more about everything in a clear and fun way.
Having seen the commercial mainstream way most companies are running the trekking activities (including elephants and tribal exploitation) we decided to take a different road and offer a genuine completely ecological experience to our customers that goes together and supports the natural environment rather than harming it. 
        We choose areas quite far from the mainstream trekking path. 


Monkey Visits

MONKEY BAY (AO LING), PHI PHI ISLAND

This is one of the largest Monkey free roaming areas in Thailand.I do not support this as ethical tourism.

 As a matter of fact on my Elephant Sancutary trip I met an American man, who was bitten by a Monkey there and was undergoing rabies shots.

They are aggressive. They will fight you for your shiny things or anything else they would like to take from you.

Just please be aware if you do go do not feed them junk food. Do not fight them for belongings and do not leave your rubbish all over the beach.

Northwest of Loh Dalam Bay, the hidden cove of Ao Ling (Monkey Bay) is home to a colony of monkeys, not shy at all, who do not hesitate to climb onto the legs of their visitors in search of a banana.
It must be said that several times a day, speed boats stop here, landed dozens of tourists who feed all the monkeys, then left immediately. The traffic never stops and the monkeys are waiting patiently. They are not afraid to move into the sea to get the precious bananas. Beware that these animals can be aggressive and hostile if approached (I did not  encounter any particular problem personally).  

Zoo Visits

See my Day Trip review Chiang Mai Zoo.