An Australian influencer has broken down in tears while recalling her ‘horror’ experience at a monkey show in Thailand – as she begs her followers not to make the same mistake after witnessing ‘animal cruelty first hand’.
Rory Eliza, from NSW, told her 6.8 million followers she had been excited by the opportunity to hold a monkey while travelling in Phuket with her family.
However, upon entering the show she realised the monkeys were being kept in terrible conditions, were chained to their posts and mistreated by their handlers.
In horrifying footage of her encounter with a baby monkey, the tiny primate clings to Rory tightly as its owner tries to take it back to its cage.
The little monkey bares its teeth as the man repeatedly tries to take it away, as Rory becomes increasingly uncomfortable and tries to comfort the animal.
The influencer broke down into floods of tears while recounting the ‘repulsive’ and ‘disgusting’ show of animal cruelty she had witnessed first-hand.
‘The horror on my face when I walked and saw all those monkeys,’ she said in a video, which has amassed over 10 million views.
NSW influencer Rory Eliza broke down into floods of tears while recounting the ‘repulsive’ and ‘disgusting’ show of animal cruelty she had witnessed first-hand
‘I held this baby monkey in my arms, and the thing was absolutely petrified.
‘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 cruelty.’
She said the baby was ‘screaming and hissing’ as its handler tried to take it away.
‘Every time he would pull the chain around its neck, it would pull me tighter. We need to 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 and pay for these things, I wish I had knew. As I was walking out they said can you give us money to care for 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 out in absolute tears, and I actually need to delete all the footage and all the photos because it just breaks my heart way too much.’
She begged her followers to be the ‘power’ that finally puts an end to animal cruelty.
Rory (pictured) posted a longer explanation to her Instagram page in which she begged her followers to be the ‘power’ that finally puts an end to animal cruelty
Pictured is the inside of the Phuket Monkey Show the influencer visited in May of this year
‘I had never been to Thailand before and was completely unaware. Now that I have learnt this information I want to share it with those who were like me and didn’t understand the extent of animal cruelty in countries around the world,’ she said,
‘I am going to do everything in my power to try and stop this madness in the world. It honestly just broke my heart. Since seeing this animal cruelty firsthand, and now understanding it, I am doing all that I can to educate myself on these horrible topics.’
Rory claimed the monkeys were kept in terrible conditions, deprived of food and smacked and beaten repeatedly so they behaved and took photos with tourists.
‘These imprisoned animals show signs of extreme anger, stress, depression & disease and sometimes they even have open wounds on their bodies and unless we speak 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 terrible conditions, deprived of food and smacked and beaten repeatedly so they behaved and took photos 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,’ one said.
‘You made the baby feel safe. You’ve learned a horrible lesson, by sharing you are educating others. You’re a good person,’ a second wrote.
A third shared: ‘These things are constantly happening without public awareness or approval. thank you so so so much for spreading awareness.’
‘I have stopped going to zoo or aquarium because these are not the place where they are supposed to be. Thanks for speaking up,’ a fourth commented.
The Phuket Monkey Show has temporarily disabled new reviews due to ‘a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience’.
The influencer had been travelling with her family in Thailand when she decided to take the opportunity to hold a baby monkey. She said she saw ‘animal cruelty first hand’
The show is just one of many places that mistreat animals for the entertainment of visiting tourists, in particular monkeys and elephants.
In some instances, monkeys can be forced to ride bikes, jump through hoops, box each other, or dance while wearing tight restraints.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection, Suzanne Milthorpe, said animals that could be ridden, touched or held it has probably been mistreated.
‘The golden rule to follow is if you can hold, touch, or ride a wild animal, it has likely experienced some form of cruelty to make it submissive enough to allow for human interaction,’ she told Yahoo News Australia.
Ms Milthorpe urged tourists to do their research before partaking in animal-related activities to avoid contributing to wildlife exploitation.
An eye-watering 11.15 tourists visited Thailand in 2022, with about 800,000 Australians travelling to the popular tourist destination pre-pandemic.