National Geographic : 2019 Jun
IMAGES ON FLAPS Photos of tourists with captive wild animals abound on social media platforms such as Instagram. With the tap of a finger, travelers post their images of exotic animals for the world to see. But often travelers and fans alike are unaware of what the animals’ lives are really like. RIGHT Muzzled and chained, three performing bears face their trainer, Grant Ibragimov, after a rehearsal at the Bolshoi State St. Petersburg Circus, in Russia. To make bear cubs strong enough to walk on two legs, trainers may keep them in a standing position, tethered by their necks to the wall. FAR RIGHT Gluay Hom, a four- year-old elephant trained to perform tricks for tourists, is chained to a pole in a stadium at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo near Bangkok, Thailand. His swollen right foreleg hangs limp. At his temple is a bloody wound from lying on the floor. BUT BEHIND THE SCENES, ANIMALS INVOLVED IN TOURISM OFTEN LEAD MISERABLE LIVES.