Orangutan selfies in Bali

Wildlife tourism

Image credit: World Animal Protection / Andi Sucirta

If a venue that houses wildlife allows you to ride, hug, cuddle or take a selfie with a wild animal, cruelty is surely involved.

Right now, thousands of wild animals are being exploited for our entertainment. Whether it is watching tigers perform in shows and taking selfies with koalas or swimming with dolphins and riding elephants – these activities can cause lifelong physical and psychological suffering for these wild animals.

Across the world, wild animals are cruelly snatched from their natural habitats or bred in captivity and made to suffer a lifetime of cruelty and abuse in the name of wildlife tourism and entertainment.


People love to see animals when they are on holiday. And because demand for animals in the entertainment industry is so high, these animals continue to be used and abused for profit in ever-increasing numbers. From posing for a photograph with an animal to riding wild animals, the increasing demand from people on holiday means these animals will continue to suffer for our entertainment.

Travel companies around the world profit from some of the cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions on earth. But we can work together to educate ourselves and others to make animal friendly choices when we are on holiday to reduce demand for animal entertainment.

Seeing a captive wild animal in an unnatural setting, forced to behave in an unnatural way, paints an unnatural picture of wild animals and their natural behaviour for visitors. So, see wild animals in the wild where they belong.

With your support, wild animals can live a wild life, where they can thrive. And, together, we can end wild animal exploitation for commercial gain.

Become an Animal Friendly Traveller today.


Protect animals while on holiday

Pledge to be an animal friendly traveller and protect animals while on holiday.

Elephant riding at Mason Elephant Park. Credit: Andito Wasi / World Animal Protection

Stop travel giants selling cruelty

Help us demand GetYourGuide, Traveloka, Trip.com, and TUI Musement stop the sale of cruel wildlife experiences.

Elephant friendly venue

Animal friendly travel guide

How to be an animal-friendly traveller

Seeing wild animals at home or abroad can be a memorable part of any travel experience. However, you may not be aware of the severe cruelty and abuse that these helpless animals face behind the scenes.

At each stage, from being poached from the wild or bred in captivity to being exploited until the very end, captive animals in wildlife tourism undergo intense suffering and trauma.

Animals in this industry often suffer physically and psychologically from not being able to move and behave as they would naturally in the wild. On your vacation, you may see wild animals performing in shows. You may be approached to pose with animals for photos or be offered souvenirs made from animal skins, shells, or bones.

Often, the worst cruelty is hidden from view. Many animals like monkeys, tigers and elephants are removed at an early age from their mothers and have often had to endure painful training to force them to do unnatural things like give people rides, perform tricks, and allow people to touch them.

Sadly, many tourists and day trippers who love animals may actually contribute to animal suffering, simply because they are unaware of the hidden cruelty.

Our travel guide lets you know what to look out for, so you can make informed decisions about animal experiences on your journey at home and abroad. It also demonstrates the best way to make a difference to exploited animals when you’re on holiday.

Elephant friendly tourist guide

How to be an elephant-friendly tourist: use our tips to avoid venues that don't have elephants’ best interests at heart.

Is it a genuine wildlife sanctuary?

Download your checklist to make sure you’re visiting venues that have their animals’ best interests at heart.