Many of us consider ourselves animal lovers, but does that extend to how we behave when on vacation? You might not think it, but some of the experiences we are offered carry a significant cost for the animals involved.
We all like to document our pursuits and for many people that includes an opportunity with animals. A tiger is just one example of an animal that is often used as an attraction for tourists to visit and have their picture taken with.
What people are usually unaware of is that the tiger is likely sedated and treated cruelly in order to force them to submit to being in such close proximity to humans. To make matters worse, predators like big cats are often declawed (involves amputation of their toes) and defanged (removal or grinding down of canine teeth) so they don't harm people handling them. Neither procedure guarantees human safety, but instead leaves the animal with a lifetime of pain and susceptibility to infections and other debilitating chronic health conditions.
Sadly this story isn’t rare, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it. By refusing to engage in activities, such as selfies with wild animals, we will make it clear that treating animals this way is unacceptable.
The same is true of any opportunity to interact with animals, from touching or riding them to feeding or holding them - all of this is cruel and should not be tolerated. Close contact with animals can not only endanger the animals but you as well, as they are wild animals after all. The same is true of stray or feral animals like cats and dogs; whilst the temptation is to interact with them, it can be dangerous. Instead, reach out to local animal welfare organizations in the area who can help these animals and provide them with long-term support.
Travel Kind Tips on Things to Avoid Involving Animals
Finally, make sure to do your research. Sometimes not everything is as it seems. If anything seems out of place or you’re worried about the welfare of an animal(s) report it and take a positive step to Travel Kind.
Remember a once in a lifetime experience for you, is a lifetime of cruelty for them.
Download the free Travel Kind guide here and help make a change to #TravelKind.