If you're interested in traveling to Korea or Japan, you've probably heard of dog or cat cafes.
You can go to these cafes, pay for a drink, and then play with the dogs and cats that are living there. In some cases, these dogs are actually owned by people who drop their puppies off here while they go to work, so that the dogs aren't home alone all day. But as dog cafes grew in popularity, people started buying tons of dogs, putting them in these cafes, and then never really taking care of them. They were just entertainment for customers, not animals that deserve love and freedom (like walking outside!)
But dog and cat cafes have become sort of "normal" now and aren't as exciting so cafes with other animals are starting to pop up. First it was raccoons who are often put in bright cafes (they are nocturnal animals and like darkness...) and are fed way too much food by the visitors to these cafes. There are also places that have tortises and iguana :/
The latest and craziest one I've seen opened recently with MEERKATS. And here's why I'm upset.
1. These are not animals meant to be in a cafe-setting, handled by humans daily
2. Veterinarians in Korea are not trained to handle sick meerkats or the other exotic animals in these cafes. What happens when one gets sick?
3. Cafes in Korea go out of business so quickly, what will happen to these animals when this cafe shuts down? Meerkat can live to be 14 years in the wild (probably longer in captivity) and there is no way this cafe will be around for 20 years. Will they send the meerkat to the horrible Seoul Zoo? Abandon them? Sell them?
I just wish that there were more regulations on animal cafes here in Korea because as cafe owners want to find the newest, shiniest toy for people to play with, they're messing with real animals and real lives :(