Ethical Wildlife Tourism

Ethical Wildlife Tourism2023-06-09T09:50:11+02:00
NSPCA Inspector Observing Lion in Captivity

Where there are hands-on wildlife tourism opportunities, the public need to re-evaluate the ethical aspect of such facilities. Lionesses are incredibly good, and protective mothers and there is usually no medical reason to remove cubs. The High-Level Panel Report refers to the same and condemns interaction with lions in these instances.

Similarly with ungulates and pachyderms, unless the mother has been poached or similar, the facilities taking the offspring in, should not be allowing public interaction due to not only imprinting, but also the ever-present risk of zoonosis, bacteria, and stress. The reverse of zoonotic diseases also applies i.e. anthroponosis.

The NSPCA has specific facilities for wildlife rehabilitation and for sanctuaries. If on holiday, you might find an animal in need and no SPCA in the area, please consult our accredited facilities listing in order to locate the one closest to you that may be able to help.

The facilities that are NSPCA accredited must abide with strict conditions. These include but are not limited to, as in the case of a wildlife rehabilitation facility: Extremely limited human interaction, due to effects of stress, humanisation, and biohazard concerns, and access to a veterinarian either contracted to the facility or a private vet experienced with wildlife.

Wildlife sanctuaries are not traders in wildlife or their products, we accept that in these cases there might be very limited public access and they may have access to paying volunteers, yet the animals must have a large area to fully retreat from public view and not be forced into any type of interaction apart from where limited training may be required for veterinary procedures.

The NSPCA carry out full unannounced inspections of accredited facilities from time to time and require access to all permits and licenses to be made available in addition the welfare of the animals is inspected. We do not have many accredited facilities as there are only a few that have been able to willingly comply with the requirements. We do welcome any facility that would like to apply for accreditation, bearing our requirements in mind.

Additionally, the South African Tourism Services Association have made a guideline for ethical wildlife guidelines to help tourists make informed choices about which venues they might visit. The guidelines may be found at: SATSA Human Animal Interactions

South African Wildlife is best seen my means of visiting a Nature Reserve where animals can be safely viewed foraging, socializing and generally, left to be the wild animals they are. For a list of SanParks Reserves please follow this link: South African National Parks

Lion and Lioness

An example of one of our accredited sanctuaries who took in cubs removed from a desperate situation by the NSPCA – These cubs have flourished at Panthera Africa!

What Can I Do?

You can help us continue to monitor our accredited sanctuaries by supporting our Wildlife Protection unit.

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