Wildlife tourism is growing in the Amazon, a region that once virtually defined hard-to-reach. Visitors come to experience unspoiled nature, but that’s not always what’s on display. At some destinations, local residents keep captive wildlife, taken illegally from the jungle, to offer visitors the chance to hold a sloth, an anteater, or a caiman as if they were stuffed animals. Tourists also have the chance to swim with river dolphins, which tour operators attract with bait. The practice encourages aggressive behavior, endangering the very object of visitors’ admiration. All of these encounters are stressful for the animals and can pose health and safety risks to tourists.
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Read “Special Report: The Amazon Is the New Frontier for Deadly Wildlife Tourism”
When Wildlife Tourism Hurts Animals | National Geographic