A zoo in Thailand has come under fire for their show of ‘orangutan boxing’ where apes are forced to fight for the amusement of locals and tourists.
Safari World in Bangkok has been criticised by animal rights activists who say it should be shut down after tourists complained about the ‘good-natured’ show.
While two apes are forced to fight, other orangutans are dressed up in bikinis holding ring cards.
One tourist who saw the display condemned the zoo for exploiting the incredibly intelligent primates.
“Orangutans are extremely intelligent, and the zoo was exploiting that.
“They’re so smart and can tell when they’re being laughed at – it upset me so much I had to come home and shower just to wash it all off,” Samantha Fuller, a teacher from America working in Thailand told the Daily Mail.
Philip Mansbridge UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare told Metro that orangutans are extremely sensitive, and share 97 percent of their DNA with humans.
“It is shocking that such cruel and exploitative treatment of animals continues for the so-called ‘entertainment’ of tourists’,” he said.
A PETA spokesperson told The Daily Mail that often the incentive for these animals to perform is painful punishment, including electric shocks, cigarette burns or beatings if they do not obey in training.
“When you see these animals performing what are uncomfortable and stressful tricks, know that they’re not doing it because they want to they’re doing it because they’re afraid to”.