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The tragic truth behind all of those people posing with wild animals for Instagram pics

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Enslaved elephant shackled (Photo: Shutterstock)

For people who travel to central Africa, Thailand or other vacation spots, animal attractions are huge. Selling elephant rides, tiger selfies or making wild animals perform for the tourists is simply part of the economy. But a National Geographic report is revealing just how horrific the lives of those animals are.

“Meena is one of 10 show elephants,” wrote Kirsten Luce. “To be precise, she’s a painter. Twice a day, in front of throngs of chattering tourists, [a staffer] puts a paintbrush in the tip of her trunk and presses a steel nail to her face to direct her brushstrokes as she drags primary colours across paper. Often he guides her to paint a wild elephant in the savanna. Her paintings are then sold to tourists.”

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When Meena is older and incapable of performing anymore, she’ll carry tourists on her back. Then she’ll die. If she’s lucky, she’ll get a year or so in retirement. Her entire life will be spent chained up in a small cell like a prisoner. When she first came to the company, she tried to run away. But her handlers said she’d been more well-behaved since they started using spiked chains.

European tourist with Asian elephant in Thailand. Elephants training camp and show in Chiang Mai, Thailand. – Image (Photo: Ben Heine/Shutterstock)

The report featured a series of photos of tourists sitting behind a tiger laying on the ground. Around its neck is a collar attached to a chain. That chain is so short that the tiger can’t stand up. Sometimes they’re drugged. Some of the parks clip the tips of the paws of the tigers to ensure it doesn’t grow claws and harm tourists desperate for the perfect vay-kay shot for Instagram.

The same is true for dolphins in Brazil, where tourists surround the poor porpoise dangling a fish.

Twice as many trips are taken today than 15 years ago specifically for animal tourism. “Their selfies—of swims with dolphins, encounters with tigers, rides on elephants, and more—are viral advertising for attractions that tout up-close experiences with animals,” Luce wrote.

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From polar bears to whales to wolves and every animal in between, animal tourism exists all for the precious photo people can post on social media to make their lives look more important than they really are. Meanwhile, the animals they smile with are being stabbed with nails, chained to the floor, tranquilized or worse.

Read the full report at the National Geographic.

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2020 Election

‘Segregated South type behavior’: Americans are furious at ‘scared’ Texas’s Gov. Abbott deploying Guard troops to the polls

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he is deploying troops to the polls in the state, something that a president can't even due because it can suppress the vote.

“The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election,” San Antonio Express-News reported on Monday.

It sent people into flames of rage claiming that it was an example of a Republican governor behaving like a segregationist from the 1950s.

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Trump officials rage against Meadows for his communication failures: report

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On Monday, The Washington Post reported that White House officials are frustrated with chief of staff Mark Meadows, over his management style and his failure to communicate vital information to both the public and his colleagues.

"Meadows’s uneven handling of the pandemic response and other West Wing crises has dismayed many staffers and campaign officials, who say he has largely proved to be an ineffective chief of staff, instead serving more as a political adviser and confidant," reported Josh Dawsey. And the frustration reportedly goes deeper than his contradictory claim over the weekend that the administration will not control the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2020 Election

Phil Collins rips Trump for playing ‘In the Air Tonight’ to mock coronavirus at his super-spreader rallies

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Musician Phil Collins has not been pleased with President Donald J. Trump's use of his song, "In the Air Tonight" at his campaign rallies. Collins' legal team sent a cease and desist letter Monday reiterating that the president stop playing his music without permission.

"We wrote you on June 24, 2020 demanding that the Trump campaign cease infringing the musical copyright in the musical work 'In the Air Tonight.' Another copy of our June 24, 2020 letter is attached. Our previous letter also noted that the campaign’s use of the work constituted an implied and false endorsement of Mr. Trump. It also noted Mr. Collin’s express and unequivocal statement that he wants no affiliation whatsoever with The President or the Trump campaign."

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