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The Ethical Way to See Wildlife When You Travel

The Ethical Way to See Wildlife When You Travel

Travel has been off the cards for the past year and a half due to the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic. Now that vaccines are being rolled out around the world, you may be considering planning a break and getting away. Some of us want beach holidays. Some of us want city breaks. Wherever you visit, chances are you’ll be asked if you want to engage in some sort of wildlife encounter. Now, seeing animals that aren’t native to your home country can be exciting. But at the same time, you need to make sure that the way you’re seeing these animals is ethical. Where there’s demand, there’s often exploitation and you want to make sure you aren’t funding animal cruelty on your trips. Here are a few ways to avoid animal exploitation but still see some beautiful creatures while you are away.

Options to Consider
If you’re looking for animal friendly wildlife encounters, here are a few options that do not harm the animals and where you can safely see them in their natural environment.

Safari – Safaris tend to be located in Africa. Here, you will traverse the plains, often in some sort of Jeep, with professionals, to see the animals in their natural habitat. The animals can roam free, unbothered, with you keeping a respectable distance. You can visit this website to find some good examples of places to see some lions.

Snorkeling and Diving – Unlike animals in Seaworld and similar attractions, animals in the sea can live their lives freely. To see them, snorkeling and diving are great options. They see you dive into the underwater world, seeing corals, fish, octopi, crabs, turtles, dolphins and more depending on your chosen location. If you’re not confident in the water, glass bottom boats are a good alternative option.

Options to Avoid
Animals should be in the wild. They should be allowed to engage with natural behaviours in a natural setting. They shouldn’t be kept captive or forced to perform for our entertainment or for some pictures for social media. Here are some attractions you should steer clear of.

  • Tiger Temples – if you are visiting Asia, you may find that you see Tiger Temples advertised. Tigers are huge predators and are not domesticated, so you should never be in close proximity to them. The tigers in these temples are not “tame”. They are often drugged or tortured to submit to humans.
  • Camel and Elephant Rides – camels and elephants are other large creatures that are not domesticated. To ride on their back can cause damage to their back. They are also often beaten to allow this to happen in the first place.
  • Any captivityzoos and aquariums are not a suitable environment for animals to live in. Avoid animals in any form of captivity. They shouldn’t be kept in these confined spaces.

Of course, there are other ways to see animals in their own environment and other options you should definitely avoid. But hopefully, some of the information above has helped to get your wildlife journey started off in the right direction!

** Header Image credits from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/elephants-walking-on-dry-terrain-4577147/

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