A local tourism association has launched guidelines on how South African tourism facilities should approach the contentious issue of captive wildlife interactions.
The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) released its guide after a year-long study and consultation with the wider tourism industry.
SATSA, which represents 1,200 tourism entities, says while the guide is an ethical framework, it is not a legislative tool.
In the guide, the organisation shuns the most unethical practices linked to animal encounters.
SATSA's Keira Powers says many of the activities were found to be tarnishing the country's brand and reputation around conservation.
Here are five captive wildlife encounters that SATSA has declared unaccaptable tourism activities:
- Performing animals
- Tactile interactions with all infant wild animals
- Walking with predators or elephants (both infants or adults)
- Tactile interactions with predators and cetaceans (dolphins and whales)
- The riding of wild animals (from ostriches to elephants)
There was a serious concern that some of what was going on that side of the industry was actually damaging to Brand South Africa.— Keira Powers, Chairperson - SATSA animal interaction committee
There are other types of engagement with animals in ceratin facilities that didn't fall into the entirely unacceptable range.— Keira Powers, Chairperson - SATSA animal interaction committee
Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : A plea for SA tourism industry to scrap five captive wildlife interactions