Where Does Ethical Tourism Start, and End?

In many African countries, particularly southern African countries, tourism depends largely on wildlife – game parks, game reserves, nature parks – call them what you will, but without a place to view lions and elephants in their natural habitat many African tourism endeavours would fail. To be fair, many of these parks are managed by people with an innate love and respect for the bush and the animals who live within it. They do their best to ensure that the animals are well cared for and not exploited in any way. But, as in all industries, there are an unethical few who will try anything to generate attention and turn a profit, even if it’s cruel. What to do at sentosa singapore¬†

As animals are often viewed as commodities, there to bend to the will and serve the needs of man, it should come as no surprise that some individuals act without any concern for animals’ overall well-being. For example, how often have elephant herds been raided and members taken and moved elsewhere in the interests of attracting a wider human audience? Until not too long ago we didn’t really know all that much about the dynamics of elephant herds, about how close knit they are and how much they suffer when separated from their loved ones. But even armed with that knowledge, people still willfully plunder herds, picking out ‘items’ that need their needs to load into trucks and transport to strange lands.

Often these efforts are widely advertised, especially when a new park is opened and there is a need to drum up attention. “Come to SuchandSuch Park, the only park in the region with a herd of baby elephants and no adults!” And the masses stream in to ooh and aah at the cute little babies and don’t bat an eye when the park closes in 2 months because the baby-only herd has died of a broken heart.

That’s not to say that all initiatives to repopulate parks with certain species are a bad idea, provided that proper plans and structures are in place to guarantee the well-being and safety of the animals, during capture, transit and integration in their new homes. At the moment South Africa has plans in place to repopulate a game park in Mozambique. The plan is feasible because the park cross the border between the two countries, and animals will be allowed to roam as they please. But it’s also feasible because experts have been consulted to ensure that the welfare of the animals remains a priority every step of the way.