April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Animal exhibition persists in Tulum archaeological site

At the main entrance of the archaeological zone of Tulum, exotic animals are still being used for the sole purpose of tourists taking pictures with them in exchange for 200 or 400 pesos, to which animal protectors indicate that environmental authorities should constantly monitor to prevent this practice, which is prohibited in Quintana Roo.

Carmen Torres, founder and representative of the association Alma Animal Tulum, commented that she is not in favor, since most of the animals used in this activity are exotic species and are often extracted from their natural habitat, sometimes killing their mothers, condemning them to a life of suffering and even having to drug the animals so that they are calm and can endure being in contact with people all day long.

“It is definitely something I do not support and I don’t think many people do either, but ironically it is one of the biggest incomes, so to speak, that they have in the tourist part of both Playa del Carmen and Tulum. I don’t think it’s worth a selfie with an animal that spends its whole life suffering to be part of the entertainment and amusement of humans. Many will say hypocrite, you eat meat or I don’t know, but it is unnecessary all this suffering for them”, he considered.

Animal exhibition persists in Tulum archaeological site

He mentioned that by paying attention to them, people contribute directly to this type of mistreatment for many species that are considered endangered. It is worth mentioning that since April of last year the Congress of Quintana Roo prohibited the exhibition and handling of wild animals in public.

The ecologist reflected that in the end it is up to each person to decide whether to buy that photo on their vacations, but at least the people who have the animals should be questioned about the living conditions of the species; “they will tell them that everything is fine with the animal as long as they generate and sell that photo”.

Miriam Tzeek, member of the Tulum Sostenible cooperative, said she knows about this practice at the entrance to the Maya site and denounced the lack of constant verification of this activity by agencies such as the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat) and the Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa).

He said that many of these species grew up in captivity, so releasing them into the jungle is not the most correct thing to do, but neither is it the most appropriate thing to exhibit them to a different rhythm of life than their habitat.

Editing: Estefanía Cardeña


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