A safari theme park in Thailand that features orangutan kickboxing matches - complete with boxing gloves, spin kicks, and bikini-clad females of the species displaying cards with the round number - has drawn both the glee of some tourists and the ire of some animal rights activists.
Safari World, an attraction in the outskirts of Bangkok, has been offering a 30-minute show that has drawn hordes of tourists who enthusiastically cheer on two costumed apes as they act out a boxing match, the New York Daily News reports.
But while the display may seem cute and amusing to some, others have pointed out the darker side of the practice.
Animal rights groups, such as PETA, have dismissed the organizer's claims that the animals have been trained not to harm each other and only pretend to be knocked out, citing the abuse that some of the participating apes have endured.
"When you see these animals performing what are completely unnatural tricks
they're not doing it because they want to, they're doing it because they're afraid not to," Debbie Leahy, PETA's director of captive animals, told the news source.
The word "orangutan," which means "man of the forest," may be evidence that the creatures are more suited to swinging on trees than fighting in the ring.