Animal Activists Try To Stop Thailand’s Orangutan Boxing

April 14th, 2010 - 1:46 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Orangutan Boxing Apr 13 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Animal rights activists are slugging it out with “Safari World” in Bangkok, Thailand. The activists are trying to stop the practice of putting orangutans into a boxing ring at the well loved show. It is not the first time that animal rights groups have went up against Safari World. The last time was in 2006, when a two year investigation which included DNA testing determined that the orangutans in the show at that time had been smuggled out of Indonesia. The animals were returned to their homeland in the Indonesian Rain Forest.

Now the animal rights activists are at it again. This time, they are claiming that the show is cruel to the animals, and violates animal rights. Although the orangutans are not seriously fighting, but are simply putting on an amusing show, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spokesman Ryan Huling says that is not the point. These animals are not doing it because they want to; they’re being forced by trainers to perform these confusing and unnatural tricks,” he said.

The punches, kicks, and pretend contact fighting are all simulated. The knockouts are faked, often with the primate “peeking” as he is supposed to be unconscious, drawing laughter from the onlookers. Other primates will come out pretending to be medical personnel, and “treat” the fallen boxers. “Round Card Girls” which are orangutans in bikinis, mark the beginning of each round, walking around the ring with a card presenting the round number.

“It’s sad that people would find this entertaining,” said Debbie Leahy, director of captive animals for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “When you see these animals performing what are completely unnatural tricks…they’re not doing it because they want to, they’re doing it because they’re afraid not to,” Leahy said.

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