by Shannon Farley
Costa Rica is known for being home to some of the world’s cutest animals, like sloths and monkeys. Lately, though, more and more tourists are trying to take Instagram selfies posing with these wild animals.
So, the Costa Rica Tourism Board and the Ministry of Environment and Energy launched a campaign at the end of October called #stopanimalselfies to discourage tourists from the practice. The campaign is part of a global action to end animal selfies and other cruel animal treatment – like elephant rides, etc. – and to support wildlife conservation.
“Our visitors must know the negative impact caused by selfies and photos showing direct contact with wild animals,” said Pamela Castillo, Vice Minister of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) in interviews.
“Direct contact with wild animals can represent a risk to people and generate stress and suffering to the animals,” Castillo added. “Animals can also carry illnesses or get sick by pathogens transmitted by human beings; for these reasons it is necessary to keep a safe distance when they are seen in their natural habitat or sanctuaries and respect their natural behavior.”