A new report for World Animal Protection (WAP) investigated tourist-animal interactions in two cities in the Amazon: Manaus, Brazil and Puerto Alegria, Peru.
In Manaus, the investigation of 18 different tour companies revealed that the opportunity to hold and touch wild animals as photo props was offered on 94% of excursions. It was actively encouraged in 77% of them. In Puerta Alegria, the opportunity to hold and touch wild animals as photo props for about US $15 was also provided at three different locations. We identified a total of 40 animals from 24 species.
The study found that the most common species used for selfies in the Amazon are sloths, pink river dolphins, anacondas, and caiman – with sloths being used the most. According to WAP, evidence suggests many sloths are likely to die within six months after capture.
To tackle the problem of wildlife selfies in the Amazon, WAP is therefore calling on the governments to enforce the law, and working to ensure that travel companies and individuals who exploit these wild animals abide by existing laws.