A tourist area at a popular waterfall in Da Lat, a resort town in Lam Dong Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, has been accused of mistreating wild animals.
A post denouncing the managers of the tourist area at the Prenn Waterfall, located about 10 kilometers from Da Lat City, for keeping various wildlife in poor conditions has recently gone viral on social media.
“A monkey had his neck chained to a pole so that visitors could feed and take photos with him,” the post stated.
“Several tigers and a bear were locked inside small cages while tourists were allowed to go near. The bear had a wounded eye.”
After being notified of the post, a team of officers from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the provincial forest protection unit conducted an inspection of the venue on Thursday.
According to Pham Van Huy, deputy head of the Lam Dong forest protection unit, the facility holds legitimate documents for the origins of the animals.
|A monkey is kept in a small cage at the venue. Photo: Tuoi Tre
They have a license for raising most of the species there, Huy said, adding that the bear had been implanted with a microchip, as per the law.
However, the tourist area is not permitted to raise tigers, the officials stated.
“The owner did ask for permission, but competent authorities have not made a decision on the matter due to more complicated procedures regarding endangered animals,” Huy elaborated.
The facility also failed to report the condition of the bear with an injured eye, as per regulations.
Inspectors did admit that the animals were being kept in poor conditions, calling it an unacceptable situation for any major tourist destination in Da Lat.
However, they stated that the animals had not been physically harmed.
Vu Van Minh, director of the tourist center, admitted that there are shortcomings in how they keep the animals, stating that improvements will be made to the cages.
“As for the bear, we have been raising it for over 15 years. One of its eyes was already blinded before being brought to our facility,” Minh added.