The world has lots of wildlife that suffer due to tourism, and most of it is due to western tourists from the US and UK. Did you know that British hunters have killed over 60 wild lions, since the sad demise of Cecil the lion? The dentist who shot him also has since allegedly paid almost £100,000 to kill one of the world’s rarest sheep. Also see how to be an animal-friendly tourist.
- Never buy souvenirs, unless you know the source. Just say no to anything with feathers, tortoiseshell, ivory, ashtrays (some made from gorilla paws). Take only memories.
- Don’t have photos taken with wild animals (monkeys are taken from mothers and have their teeth pulled). All animals used for entertainment suffer, from bulls in the ring to dancing bears.
- Don’t accept rides on animals (donkeys, camels, horses). In New York’s Central Park, a charity is trying to retire horses to sanctuaries, as many suffer injuries. It has invented beautiful electric car carriages, that would give drivers more income.
- Buy carbon offsets from Explorers Against Extinction. They use funds to help stop the bear bile trade and trophy hunting.
Protecting Animals While Abroad
- Boycott companies that support bullfighting etc. If you see a brochure promoting anything like this, send info to League Against Cruel Sports, who will investigate/educate owners on what’s really involved. Their site lists companies to boycott (promote ‘running of the bulls’ festivals etc).
- Don’t visit venues with live animals. Orcas (killer whales) at Seaworld have permanent sunburn as the water is not deep enough (like living your life in a bath tub). They are also masturbated to produce semen for breeding; one recently tried to beach himself, in a suspected suicide attempt.
- Be careful with ‘wildlife sanctuaries’, as many are glorified zoos. Responsible Travel says be careful with ‘elephant sanctuaries’.
- Report animal abuse (zoos, circuses). Give details (and photos if possible) to local animal shelters (make a note before you go), the police, tour operator, Freedom for Animals & Born Free.