years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Main entrance of Chuanlord Holiday Manor, Foshan, Guangdong Province, China.
Chuanlord Manor is in Foshan, Guangdong Province. It was founded by the Guangdong Changlu Group in 2001 and opened to the public in 2004. It is a large and well maintained tourist holiday park with holiday chalets and a variety of activities for holiday makers including swimming pools and amusements. In general the park has a fun atmosphere and is very well attended. The holiday chalets surround a large lake with islands for aquatic birds.
In addition to the many non-animal related activities the owners of the park have chosen to include animal 'sideshows' and circus style animal performances within the park.
Ducks are forced up a ramp and fly off the same platform as the piglets, as the ducks can fly they are able to control the descent to the water. The accommodation for the ducks is small but clean.
The large animal performances take place in a purpose built arena accommodating approximately 300 people. During the visit there were approximately 70 people in the arena. There are three scheduled performances on weekdays, four on weekends and five during major holidays.
The animals used include macaws, cockatiels, macaques, wolves, bears, a seal, a sea lion, an elephant, a horse, tigers, goats and lions.
The performance involves 4 tigers (including 2 white tigers) and 2 lions. All of these animals appear to have had their canine teeth either removed or cut back to gum level, and appear to have been de-clawed.
Public reaction during performance
The public showed enthusiasm, clapping and laughing throughout the performance.
Public Safety The public are at risk throughout the performance, the performance area has a small barrier approximately 5ft tall and a moat. If an animal decided it wanted to escape the arena it would be possible to do so with ease.
The use of an elephant to both lift a person by its trunk and to prod a person lying on the floor causes series safety concerns. The only way to prevent the elephant from trampling the member of the public is through the use of a sharp ‘jab’ stick.
The small animal side shows are completely unnecessary and do nothing to add value to the customers visit to Chuanlord Manor. Due to the wealth of non-animal related activities at the park, the visitors show very little interest in these sideshows.
There is little educational value for people to see animals that are not housed in conditions resembling their natural habitat. Teaching animals to perform inappropriate tricks does not do anything to educate the public or foster respect for animals. There is no evidence to indicate that training and performance make up for the lack of stimulation provided by impoverished living accommodation. Experts attest that exhibiting such animals in fear and stress leads to a mis-representation of the species in the public eye and teaches them nothing except the animals’ size, shape and colour. Loud music used during animal performances and crowd noise can also cause stress and severe welfare problems.
The physical condition of the animals used in the performance is appalling. The tigers and lions appear to have been de-toothed which causes severe and chronic pain owing to the exposure of the pulp and nerve endings, and leads to potential infection of the surrounding area, including gums, jawbone and nasal region. The tigers and lions also appear to have been de-clawed; a practice which causes significant pain and leads to an inability for the animals to perform natural behaviour.
The showmen in the animal performances use ‘fear’ to control the animals and force the m to carry out humiliating tricks. The showmen frequently engaged in negative reinforcement, striking the animals with sticks, forcing them to carry out tricks which go against their natural behaviour and demonstrating to the audience that the animals can only be “controlled” by pain and fear. The tigers and lions show ‘defensive threat’ behaviour with their ears laid back, mouth open, nose wrinkled, the eyes are narrowed, and the tail held low. Due to fear of showmen no ‘offensive threat’ behaviour was observed. The lions also use their paws to keep the showmen away from them but did not use their paws in an offensive manner.
This only demonstrates a need to dominate other species rather than a respect for the behavioural, ecological and conservation needs of these individuals and the species they represent. No animal should suffer in this way for the sake of public entertainment – especially when it results in a compromise to the health or welfare of the animal concerned. Animal performances portray the animal to the public in such a way which is humiliating and contrary to the principles of promoting empathy and respect.
Safety at Chuanlord Manor is a series concern. All wild animals have the potential to cause series injury and death to both the showmen that abuse them and members of the public encouraged to interact with the animals in the show-ring. This is no more evident than the case of the elephant used in the performance to lift a person using its trunk and to stand in front of a person laid on the floor.
Many of the animals also appear to be mal-nourished leading to further physical problems and misery for the animals concerned.
Zoos and safari parks are ideally placed to foster compassion for animals and raise awareness and understanding of the welfare and conservation needs of individual animals and species. Chuanlord Holiday Manor makes no attempt to provide this knowledge and to educate its visitors for the benefit of welfare and conservation.
Animals Asia recommendations
Immediate end to the use of animals in both small and large animal performances and suitable homes found for both wild and domestic animals to live out the rest of their natural lives.
Immediate end to the practice of de-toothing and de-clawing tigers, lions and bears.
Meet with Animals Asia staff to discuss an end to the animal performances and promotion of Chuanlord Holiday Manor as a non-animal related tourism destination.