The distressing footage of the camels used for tourist rides showed the animals unable to stand and crying in pain while being dragged across the sand by staff. It was filmed at Mingsha Mountain in Dunhuang in Gansu province, northwestern China's Silk Road.
ALICE YAN: Famous Silk Road site in China is under fire after footage showed camels used for tourist rides unable to stand and crying in pain while being dragged across the sand by staff appeared online.
The distressing footage of the camels was filmed at Mingsha Mountain in Dunhuang in Gansu province, northwestern China, and was posted online earlier this month.
It has raised public concerns the animals are being overworked providing camel rides to tourists. However, reports that some camels have died as a result have been denied by authorities, news site The Paper reported.
The suspension of camel rides at the site on July 18 caused further alarm, with some people online expressing dark humour in jokes about camels “on strike”.
“Even the camels are tools for making money. Please care and love them. They are also living things,” one commented on mainland social media…
An anonymous official from the tour site said camel rides were briefly on hold for a day from July 18 to allow cleaning of the camels’ route up the mountain.
“There are many camel faeces left on the road. Since it is extremely hot at the moment, the road stinks. So we need to clean up the faeces,” the official told The Paper.
The official admitted that this also allowed the camels to rest as some were weak from carrying too many tourists.
“We’ve received an extremely high number of tourists this summer. Around 20,000 to 30,000 tourists visited the site, and almost every one of them hoped to ride a camel, but there are only 1,000 camels available here,” the official said.
On July 21, Dunhuang Cultural and Tourism Bureau denied the claims that some camels had died, saying no animals had died from exhaustion and that an investigation into the video footage had not revealed any abuse…
The camel-riding service on the Mingsha Mountain costs 100 yuan (US$14) per person and takes tourists over the sand mountain for one hour.
At times there have been so many tourists at the site that traffic jams of camels have occurred where the animals have to queue up along the path and wait. SOURCE…