The American travel company TripAdvisor decided to help advocates put an end to animal exploitation. Officials from the agency have recently announced that they won’t be selling tickets for attractions including wildlife exploitation. Activities such as swimming with dolphins are now on the list of banned attractions.
The decision from the American company comes after large protests of advocates regarding cruel treatment against wild animals. There are other travel companies that adopted this view earlier. Advocates have been asking TripAdvisor to stop selling tickets to tourists in search for one in a lifetime experience involving wild animals.
There are visitors who pick certain destinations for the advantage of enjoying such experiences. There are several types of activities which are qualified as animal exploitation, such as swimming with dolphins, riding on the back of elephants or petting lions and tigers.
Specialists explain that more often than not, animals find these activities disturbing. Such interaction with humans can lead to stress and poor health status, as wildlife experts warn. There are even reported cases of such treatment shortening the animals’ life.
Biologists are also concerned because animal exploitation implies taking them out of their natural environment. This means that animal tourism is affecting the populations by reducing the number of the individuals in the wild and increasing that of those in captivity.
Scientists are aware of the fact that people who own the and exploit the wild animals treat them badly. They are exposed to cruel methods, such as beating, drug sedation, and confinement to inappropriate, small enclosures.
TripAdvisor also intends to open an education program. Its aim is to raise awareness on the situation of wild animals and inform people on how they are treated. They hope that fewer and fewer visitors will be attracted by such activities.
However, previous studies account for the fact that tourists are not quite aware of the situation of wild animals, even if they visit them. People seem to be highly interested in having exciting experiences with exotic animals, without acknowledging that it is the very animals the ones that pay a high cost.
Wildlife advocates and organizations are pleased with their recent victory. Nevertheless, they hope that many more companies and organizations will join them in their effort of fighting against animal exploitation around the world. They also hope that all travel agencies will adopt similar policies and stop selling tickets to wild animal-related attractions.
Image courtesy of: Flickr