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Animal Cruelty: Orangutan in China Dressed Up, Ridiculed for Selfies

Aug 30, 2016 11:17 PM EDT
Momentum Grows In Campaign To Free Gorilla From Bangkok Shopping Mall Zoo
BANGKOK, THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 25: A visitor photographs an orangutan at the Pata Zoo on September 25, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Located on the 6th and 7th floors of the aging Pata Department Store, the Pata Zoo is being criticized by animal rights activists for having cramped, inadequate facilities. A recent campaign to free Bua Noi, the zoo's only gorilla, has received over 35,000 signatures and the chief of Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has agreed to meet with activists to discuss the matter.
(Photo : Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)

When you're on vacation, never leave your animal rights awareness at home. A viral video from China shows an orangutan forced to dress up and ridiculed for selfies with tourists.

Illegal Pet Trade

In the video posted by People's Daily China on Facebook, the orangutan could be seen wearing a pair of pants while taking cues from his trainer on how to pose for a picture with a young tourist girl. Even though it may look harmless in paper, PETA notes that tourists are not aware of the cruelty the wild animals like the orangutan had to endure behind the scenes just to be trained and follow orders.

“Orangutans are shy, sensitive, highly intelligent, and socially complex animals—not props or objects of ridicule. When they’re seen posing or performing, it’s because they’re afraid of what might happen if they don’t ‘behave,'” says PETA U.K. Director Elisa Allen in a post on the PETA website.

Allen further explains that in order to control wild animals such as the orangutan, these creatures in captivity have their spirits broken and had to suffer fear, physical abuse and deprivation from their mothers just a few days or weeks after they are born.

Tourism-Related Cruelty

A February 2016 study reveals that approximately half a million exotic animals are being used for tourism purposes. A previous report in Nature World News even shows the cruelty on animals in Chinese circuses.

“It’s clear that thousands of tourists are visiting wildlife attractions unaware of the abuse wild animals face behind the scenes," said Kate Nustedt, director of wildlife at World Animal Protection via Express.

PETA notes that the use of orangutans for entertainment proves that the illegal pet trade is still going on, and posing with this critically endangered species just for the fun of it is actually fueling such exploitation.

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