Animal cruelty through selfies and tourism in Prague

Tourists enjoy posing with snakes in the middle of the city. This kind of business is really usual at summer season in Prague. Photo: Astrid Jurquet.

Walking around the streets of Prague can make you think you are in a travel machine. The autumn colors, the different styles of architecture, there’s always something that will catch your eye, just beware of the… snakes.

Even though a great city as Prague is a real example of progress the clock turns a little too much back in time when animals in the streets are used as a performance, just as an entertainment (photos) and for the simple amusement of the millions of tourists this city holds every year.

These animals are as a strange and random as birds with painted feathers, huge snakes or chinchillas. For Julia, a local, the use of animals as entertainment for tourism doesn’t actually make sense because many of those species aren’t even originally from the Czech Republic: “I don’t find them amusing in any way because when you live here you see them all the time, they’re doing the same things all the time. They’re just making business” (…) “I like more galleries and workshops.”

Even visitors in different tourism sites online find the use of this animals a bit too strange:


I’ve just come back from Prague. I’ve loved every minute of my 5 days and a half there, except for my almost daily encounters with the “have-your-picture-taken-with-a-giant-snake vendors”. What does that have anything to do with such a magnificent city?”

At the famous Charles Bridge you can see some women dress with what used to be the latest fashion trend way back: fox fur scarves. They do look gorgeous but did they realize there’s a new Czech legislation that prohibited furry farms in the country and that every farm must end their activities by the end of January 2019?

Let’s take a look to this timeline, information is from Svoboda zvířat website (freedom for animals):

This timeline shows a little bit more of the problems of animal fur in the Czech Republic but as the featured image in this article and the context explained there’s still a long way to go. A great amount of tourists are still enjoying horses rides and taking selfies with all kinds of animals. How does this city plan to control these kind of business?

At the time this article was published we were still waiting for Prague’s City Hall answers regarding this social issue.

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