A zoo in the capital of Cambodia has been accused of animal abuse, with apes allegedly forced to wear fancy dress and crocodiles having their mouths taped shut.
An article detailing the conditions was published by local newspaper Khmer Times, which sent one of their journalists to check out the zoo, called Phnom Penh Safari, in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
According to Khmer Times, the water for the animals is filthy and covered in moss and the tigers and other animals seemed weak and listless.
The newspaper also reports alleged abuse during the animal shows, such as the crocodiles being pulled out of the water by their tails, having their handlers climb over them and force their mouths open as well as kick and hit them resulting in sores and infections.
The smaller crocs are also allegedly used as props for visitors to have photos taken with and have their mouths taped shut so they do not bite anyone.
The other abuses alleged by the newspaper include dressing up orangutans which are trained to ride a bicycle, hula-hoop and even stand on the stage and pull their trousers down.
A macaque monkey on a lead and in a dress was also said to be used for photos in exchange for a fee.
The article goes on to depict alleged abuse of the elephants in the zoo, who they say receive physical abuse to force them to perform and carry visitors.
The elephants are also said to be ridden on concrete-floored areas, which is contrary to regulations.
The article also mentions that tigers were also used in the show and made to jump through hoops of fire and stand on their back legs.
Khmer Times says they tried to contact the zoo but received no reply.
Various visitors have also backed up the statements on Tripadvisor, such as user ‘christinescotts’ who wrote: “I regret visiting Phnom Penh Safari, but it did open my eyes to the animal cruelty that people do for the sake of tourism money.”
“When I visited the elephants, I saw deep wounds on the top and sides of their head. I also witnessed their caretakers using bullhooks to hurt them into obedience, and the elephants were repeatedly stabbed to perform for tourists. I just looked on in horror. This was the same for their tigers, orangutans, and crocodile shows. Please don’t support this kind of tourism! I, for one, want to teach my children more compassion.”
There is no further information as to whether the authorities are looking into the case.
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