• Culture

The Consequences Of Taking Selfies With Exotic Animals In Foreign Countries

While the world is filled with animal lovers who would never want to see any harm come to a wild creature, the truth is that humans have never been particularly good as a species to our animal cousins. Whether it is destroying their habitats or hunting them to extinction, people have a great deal of harm to the rest of nature. One of the latest trends that has caused huge problems in places such as South America and Thailand is that of animals abused for tourist selfies.

These types of activities have become more and more popular as people flock to get a photograph taken with an animal that they might otherwise never get a chance to see up close. Unfortunately, the treatment of these creatures effectively just makes it animal abuse in foreign countries, where the laws and regulations don’t make it difficult enough for these unethical practices to be carried out. For animals that are often shy and unaccustomed to human contact it can be a stressful and frightening experience, especially when combined with the cruel way they are locked up and treated by their handlers.

So make sure you read on to understand why you shouldn't pay to pose with exotic animals, especially when it involves direct contact with them.

  • Tigers Are Drugged And Kept In Tiny Cages

    Arguably the most impressive animal selfies that people get while traveling in places such as Thailand is with a tiger. The sheer size and ferocity of these creatures means it would be impossible to get so close to them anywhere else but at a center dedicated to this type of activity. Unfortunately, the big cats are not well looked after. Reports in Thailand suggest that many of these, including the famous Tiger Temple, would drug the tigers to keep them docile. They would also be kept in small cages at night and physically assaulted by handlers if they did not obey orders correctly.

  • Alligators And Other Reptiles Are Essentially Being Tortured

    Photo: Lea Maimone / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Other investigations in South America along the Amazon rainforest have also found that snakes and alligators are being kept in conditions that amount to torture. They are often housed in tiny cages that are sheltered in the dark. This stops the anacondas and caimans from being able to properly regulate their body temperature, as they are cold-blooded and need access to sunlight to do this. They are also often left without enough water to fully submerge and have their mouths tied shut permanently.

  • Money Raised From The Selfie Trade Doesn’t Go To Conservation Efforts

    There is often a perception that any group or company operating within wildlife tourism will be working with conservationists. This leads people to believe that spending money on getting a selfie with an animal is actually helping those that remain in the wild. The sad truth is that this is simply not the case. In fact, the exact opposite is often what happens, with these less ethical organizations destroying habitats and poaching adults as they try to capture the animals they need for their business.

  • The World Animal Protection Organization Has Set Up A Wildlife Selfie Code

    One way in which animal welfare groups are attempting to solve the problem is by making tourists aware of the problem. The World Animal Protection organization has created an animal selfie code to help those visiting the Amazon rainforest be aware of just how the animals are treated. It includes information about how to spot those that have likely been taken from their natural environment or are being kept in cruel conditions. It asks tourists to avoid getting selfies with any creature that is being restrained or baited with food.