If you’re a monkey at Chiang Mai Monkey Centre in Thailand, then you know Hell on Earth.
At this cruel tourist trap, monkeys spend their lives attached to a chain — even while caged — and are never able to walk freely. They perform the same demeaning tricks day in, day out. The monkey above gazes glumly while riding a bike for the audience, chain wrapped around his neck the entire time.
The short chain stays on as the monkey plays a sad game of basketball – the trainer must lift the chain when the monkey jumps, because it’s only a few feet long.
The weight-lifting trick makes a humiliating spectacle out of the monkey, who looks like they’d rather be just about anywhere else.
Perhaps the cruelest trick is the “push-up” session, in which the trainer physically holds the monkey down as they howl and struggle to lift themselves up.
Animal shows and rides may seem fun in an online photo or brochure, but the truth is that they’re torture for the animal. They may have been kidnapped from their family in the wild as babies, their spirits broken to make them perform. Or else they were born into this captive existence, knowing only abuse and confinement.
At Chiang Mai Monkey Centre, the suffering is clear (as proven by the heartbroken Tripadvisor reviews). But it’s not always obvious, as with elephant rides or aquarium shows. With so many things do while traveling that DON’T involve cruelty, the compassionate choice is to steer clear of captive animal tourist attractions.