6 Do’s and Don'ts for an animal-friendly holiday
September 27 is World Tourism Day. It’s the perfect time to think about what you do when you travel and the impact it can have on animals around the world.
Unfortunately, thousands of wild animals are captured, taken from their natural habitats or bred in captivity, suffering a lifetime of cruelty and abuse. Some are beaten into submission, deprived of food and water or trapped in concrete cages – all for the tourist dollar.
We know the vast majority of travellers don’t want to contribute to cruel wildlife tourism but it’s not always easy to spot.
Here are our list of Do’s and Don’ts to prepare yourself for an animal-friendly holiday:
Three things to avoid
1. Get a selfie with a wild animal. Never ‘cuddle’ a lion or a tiger cub.
2. Support attractions that force wild animals to perform tricks and shows. Do not visit dolphin shows and walk away from street shows involving dancing monkeys.
3. Book an elephant ride or visit an elephant show. Sometimes these are marketed as ‘Be a mahout for a day’ excursions.
Three things to try instead
1. See animals in the wild ensuring you are always far enough away from the animals. Take part in active eco tours where nature and wildlife are not disturbed.
2. Visit a genuine wildlife reserve or sanctuary, making sure there isn’t direct contact between visitors and animals and animals are rescued not bred in captivity.
3. Visit a nature conservation project or volunteer at one. By planting trees for example, you help contributing to the conservation of elephant and orangutan habitats.
Thank you for being an animal-friendly traveller. You’re part of a growing community of people ensuring that wild animals have lives worth living.