Here, a tourist sets a small bird free from a tiny cage next to a Buddhist temple. Bestowing freedom on wild birds is a common tradition in Buddhist culture, said to bring on good luck. Its such a sad irony that setting these birds free requires that they be captured in the first place. Indeed, many of these birds are rumoured to have had their wings clipped, so after a brief flutter, they can be easily captured on sold to be freed again. No religion gets a special free pass in my book and this is just a cruel money spinner.
Related Buddhist ‘merit releases’ may even damage wild bird populations. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/buddhist-ceremonial-release-captive-birds-may-harm-wildlife/