Elephants at a sanctuary

Travel companies: don't send animals back to work


A complimentary animal welfare policy toolkit – the first of its kind – to help travel companies rebound responsibly and protect wild animals used for entertainment after the COVID-19 shutdown

Together with global tour operator Intrepid Travel, we are encouraging travel companies to take responsibility and put an end to the exploitation of wildlife in entertainment venues, following the collapse of tourism from COVID-19.

The first accessible animal welfare policy toolkit

We teamed up to provide tour operators with a complimentary Animal Welfare Policy Toolkit that is customizable and free for download from Intrepid Travel’s website.

The intention behind this initiative is to create an easily accessible way for tourism companies to implement more ethical wildlife practices into their businesses.

A wild lion stalking prey in a national park in Kenya.

The pandemic was a wake-up call

“The COVID-19 crisis has provided our industry with an opportunity to redefine what tourism looks like once travel resumes and to use this time to forge a new path for a more responsible, sustainable and ethical future,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.

“We must put real action behind our words, and as operators who facilitate experiences all around the world, it is our responsibility to protect the environment and all of its living species. The very least we can do is ensure our practices are not causing harm to the wildlife who call the destinations we visit home.”

Wild animals are suffering

Up to 550,000 wild animals are currently enduring lifetimes of suffering at tourist entertainment venues globally. Activities such as riding elephants, taking photos with tigers, lion walks, and dolphin performances are examples of popular tourist attractions that can cause lifelong trauma for wild animals.

A rescued elephant at Following Giants, roaming in the foliage. The ocean is visible in the background.

Build back better

"We are at a turning point when it comes to our relationship with wild animals. For too long, these intelligent, sociable creatures have been the victims of a cruel trade, just to entertain tourists on holiday.

The tourism industry has come to a halt in the wake of COVID-19 but it will re-build – this is the ideal opportunity to build a better future. We are calling on the tourism industry to revise their wildlife policies and stop offering exploitative experiences to their customers once and for all." said Audrey Mealia, our Global Head of Wildlife.


To download the free Animal Welfare Policy Toolkit, visit the Intrepid Travel website.

The COVID-19 crisis has provided our industry with an opportunity to redefine what tourism looks like once travel resumes - James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel

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