If you get the opportunity to have your photo taken with a wild animal, please think about these points:
- If the animal is in a ‘sanctuary’ which claims that it will be returned to the wild, then it shouldn’t have contact with humans (other than to be fed etc);
- If an animal hasn’t been taken from the wild, and will not ultimately be set free, then close-contact is less of a problem. However:
- Please check that its needs are being met: what condition is it in, what is its housing like, is it being fed properly, is it behaving the way a wild animal should, is it scared? These are the key Five Freedoms that animals have a right to.
- If the situation feels exploitative, then it probably is.
- Don’t forget that disease can spread – both ways – between wild animals and humans.
- Summary: it’s probably best to avoid close-contact with wild animals, however tempting. Readers need to judge for themselves – but please do so armed with as much information as possible.
By Chris Pitt, RIGHT-tourism, courtesy of Wanderlust.com.