The Truth Behind Wildlife Tourism

Alais Alzaga, Media Arts Editor

Wildlife tourism is often seen as a fun and educational way to experience foreign animal species, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. An often neglected subject is what happens behind the scenes at some of the wildlife tourism venues but more attention must be brought to it. There are different types of wildlife tourism, the most common and humane are places like national parks and wildlife reserves. On the other hand, there are the autonomous and run-down shanties that aren’t government-backed, let alone legal. Everyone would want to swim with dolphins or ride an elephant, but the cruelty that these animals experience is simply unfair. The exotic animals are chained up in small unsanitary cages, malnourished, beaten, and scared. They have been abused to tolerate humans and do tricks for our entertainment. Animals like orangutans and tigers are highly endangered species and are being taken in for entertainment purposes rather than being able to roam free in the wild.

(Photo from National Geographic)

It’s important to know which eco-tourism venues are good to visit and promote. Places like city zoos and wildlife reserves are more reputable and kind to their animals. Pay attention to the conditions of the facilities and the animals’ behavior as well as physical conditions like any cuts or sores. Paying attention to these signs can prevent the supporting of establishments that profit off of hurting wildlife.