One of the best things about visiting new places is getting to see the animals that make their homes all over the world. However, you have to be careful with wildlife tourism. If you do things wrong, you could end up harming habitats and putting creatures at risk. That’s why everyone needs some tips on how to be a more responsible wildlife tourist.
Visit wildlife sanctuaries that do right by the animals they house
If you’re looking for wildlife, animal sanctuaries are a good place to go. After all, they bring together animals that might be too dangerous to encounter in the wild. However, if you visit a sanctuary, make sure it’s the real deal. Plenty might seem like they’re doing right by their inhabitants, but is that actually the case? Do the animals have plenty of space to move around? Can they go somewhere to escape bad weather or over excited visitors? Be sure to research a sanctuary before your visit to make sure you’re supporting somewhere that will make you a more responsible wildlife tourist.
Don’t get too close to animals or try to interact with them
It’s apparently human nature to want to connect with nature. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to get up close and personal with animals when you’re a wildlife tourist. If venues offer the chance to ride or pet animals, the chances are the creatures aren’t willing participants. While they might not resist, they may get stressed or depressed by being treated like a plaything. A good alternative to this is a safari trip where you see the wildlife in their natural habitats and keep a respectable distance from them.
Avoid giving food to animals in the wild
There will inevitably be animals that you encounter in the wild during your travels. It’s best that you don’t feed these creatures if you want to be a responsible wildlife tourist. Doing this can make them reliant on humans for food, which can lead to several problems. It can stop them from finding nutrition themselves, causing health issues if other people don’t then feed them. It can also make the animals more aggressive towards those who don’t share their food. It can apparently even mess with their breeding and migration patterns.
Think twice about what you eat during your travels
Speaking of food, it’s also worth considering what you eat yourself if you want to be a more responsible wildlife tourist. Not all meat served around the world is ethically sourced, with some animals force-fed or harmed before they’re turned into food. The best way to avoid eating something that might have suffered before it ended up on your plate is to stick to vegan dishes where possible. It removes any worry whenever you go out for a meal, especially if you’re visiting countries outside of the Western world.
Now everyone knows how to be a more responsible wildlife tourist, you should find that your next trip abroad does right by you and the wildlife you encounter.