The annual Camel Wrestling Festival exploits animals

Camels Are Forced to Wrestle with Each Other Until One Falls Over or Shows Fear

The annual International Camel Wrestling Festival is held each year in western Turkey. Handlers bring hundreds of camels covered in bright decorations — as well as muzzles to keep the animals from maiming each other through bite wounds. Thousands of eager spectators crowd together to watch the tournament, setting up barbecues and roaring as the camels dominate each other. Vendors even sell camel meat snacks and street food to viewers who munch on the cousins of the very animals they’re watching. Ultimately, these animals will be made to tussle with each other until humans decide one of them is the victor — usually because one of them topples over, screams out, or retreats in fear.

This year, handlers gathered together 152 camels for the contest’s 40th event, but Turkish animal lovers spoke out in the camels’ defense to raise public awareness about cruelty and exploitation. These animals are exposed to unnatural conditions — including loud noises and training tactics — that cause them to feel confusion, stress, tension, and aggression. That is inhumane, especially since these creatures are put through all this just for human entertainment. It’s time for us to stand with animal lovers in Turkey and elevate their voices. Sign the petition to demand protections for camels and an end to this exploitative contest forcing camels to wrestle each other!

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