When you travel, are you leaving a positive impact on wildlife and the environment?
The growing business of eco-tourism allows travelers to respect and help preserve what animals are entitled to as fellow earthlings. Ethical wildlife travel is enjoying wild animals in their natural habitat without exploiting them.
It is possible for animal lovers to experience nature and wildlife without causing any underlying harm. Use these guidelines to confidently plan vacations that will have a positive impact on nature and the animals that live there.
Ethical wildlife travel is having a positive impact on local wildlife.
- Visit animal/wildlife sanctuaries that are non-profit (501(c)3) status.
- A good resource for research on true animal sanctuaries is the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
- Respect wildlife by demonstrating proper behavior around the animals.
- Take the Keep it Wild Pledge to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of wildlife interactions.
- Do not litter!
- Actually, do one better and pick up trash to avoid causing harm to wildlife.
Ethical wildlife travel is spending your money on the greater good.
- Always book eco-friendly places to stay.
- Look for accommodations that recycle and are self-sustainable.
Ethical wildlife travel benefits the local community.
- Support local businesses while visiting.
- Buy handmade crafts from local artisans.
- Eat at small family-owned restaurants.
Ethical wildlife travel gives back to the community and wildlife.
- Do extensive research when booking tours and hotels.
- Some lodges will give a certain percentage of their income to local schools and/or animal sanctuaries.
Ethical wildlife travel is NOT:
- Paying to have your picture taken with animals.
- Examples: big cat cubs, monkeys on a leash, exotic birds, ect.
- Riding elephants
- Feeding wild animals, unless it is part of a licensed rehabilitation center.
- Swimming with marine life where they allow touching and feeding.
Instead of participating in those animal encounters, choose a more ethical option.
- Volunteer time at a reputable animal sanctuary.
- Instead of swimming with marine animals, choose to kayak or view them at a safe distance.
- Visit natural museums and wildlife education centers.