An Australian influencer has burst into tears as she recalls her ‘horror’ experience at a monkey show in Thailand – as she begs her followers not to make the same mistake after witnessing ‘first-hand animal cruelty’.
Rory Eliza, from NSW, told her 6.8 million followers that she was thrilled by the opportunity to hold a monkey while traveling in Phuket with her family.
However, upon entering the show, she realized that the monkeys were kept in appalling conditions, chained to their posts and mistreated by their handlers.
In horrifying footage of her encounter with a baby monkey, the tiny primate clings tightly to Rory as its owner tries to return him to his cage.
The little monkey bares its teeth as the man repeatedly tries to take it away, while Rory becomes increasingly uncomfortable and tries to comfort the animal.
The influencer burst into tears as she talked about the “disgusting” and “disgusting” show of animal cruelty she had witnessed firsthand.
“The horror on my face when I walked and saw all those monkeys,” she said in a video that has been viewed more than 10 million times.
NSW influencer Rory Eliza burst into tears as she talked about the ‘repulsive’ and ‘disgusting’ show of animal cruelty she had witnessed firsthand
“I held this baby monkey in my arms and it was terrified.
“If you’re in Thailand, Phuket, don’t pay for this, don’t support this, and I wish I knew before I walked in because I spent money on this atrocity.”
She said the baby “screamed and hissed” when the attendant tried to take him away.
“Every time he pulled the chain around his neck, he pulled me tighter. We must end this animal cruelty in other countries and in Thailand,” she told her followers.
“I don’t know where else they do this but can I just say don’t go pay for those things I wish I knew. When I walked out they said can you give us money to take care of these monkeys and help support us.
“I said absolutely not, I don’t support this or anything else you’re doing here. And I walked away in tears, and I really need to delete all the footage and all the photos because it just breaks my heart way too much.”
She implored her followers to be the “power” to finally end animal cruelty.
Rory (pictured) posted a longer explanation on her Instagram page begging her followers to be the “power” to finally end animal cruelty
Pictured is the inside of the Phuket Monkey Show that the influencer visited in May this year
‘I had never been to Thailand and I didn’t know it at all. Having learned this information, I want to share it with those who were like me and did not understand the magnitude of animal cruelty in countries around the world,” she said,
“I’m going to do everything I can to try and stop this madness in the world. It honestly just broke my heart. Ever since I saw and now understand this animal cruelty firsthand, I’m doing everything I can to educate myself about these horrible topics.”
Rory claimed the monkeys were kept in appalling conditions, deprived of food, and beaten and beaten repeatedly so they behaved and took pictures with tourists.
“These captive animals are showing signs of extreme anger, stress, depression and illness and sometimes even have open wounds on their bodies and unless we stand up for the voiceless nothing will change,” she wrote.
The influencer begged her followers to share her post with their followers, friends and family, celebrities and other content creators so they could get the Thai government to end their “abusive wildlife tourism industry.”
Rory claimed the monkeys were kept in appalling conditions, deprived of food and beaten and beaten repeatedly so they behaved and took pictures with tourists
Social media users flooded Rory’s posts with supportive comments.
“Oh god this breaks my heart, that baby monkey didn’t want you to leave it,” someone said.
“You made the baby feel safe. You have learned a terrible lesson, by sharing you teach others. You are a good person,” wrote a second.
A third shared, “These things happen all the time without public awareness or approval. thank you so much for spreading awareness.’
“I don’t go to the zoo or the aquarium anymore because this isn’t where they’re supposed to be. Thanks for speaking up,” said a fourth.
The Phuket Monkey Show has temporarily disabled new reviews due to “a recent event that has attracted media attention and led to an influx of submitted reviews that do not describe first-hand experience.”
The influencer was traveling with her family in Thailand when she decided to take the opportunity to hold a baby monkey. She said she saw “firsthand animal abuse.”
The show is just one of many places where animals are abused for the amusement of visiting tourists, particularly monkeys and elephants.
In some cases, monkeys may be forced to ride a bicycle, jump through hoops, box each other, or dance while wearing tight cuffs.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection, Suzanne Milthorpe, said animals that could be ridden, touched or held were likely to have been abused.
“The golden rule to follow is that if you can hold, touch or ride a wild animal, it has probably undergone some form of cruelty to make it submissive enough to allow human interaction,” she told Yahoo NewsAustralia.
Ms Milthorpe urged tourists to do their research before participating in animal-related activities to avoid contributing to wildlife exploitation.
An eye-watering 11.15 tourists visited Thailand in 2022, with around 800,000 Australians traveling to the popular tourist destination before the pandemic.