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Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism

Captive wild animal encounters are hugely popular, thanks partly to social media.

But our investigation shows many creatures lead dismal lives.

  • By Natasha Daly
  • National Geographic
  • Photographs by Kirsten Luce

I’VE COME BACK to check on a baby.

Just after dusk I’m in a car lumbering down a muddy road in the rain, past rows of shackled elephants, their trunks swaying.

I was here five hours before, when the sun was high and hot and tourists were on elephants’ backs.

Walking now, I can barely see the path in the glow of my phone’s flashlight.

When the wooden fence post of the…

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