The Tiger King phenomenon has brought the plight of big cats in captivity to the forefront of many people’s minds, but it is hard to know how to help. Even as the Big Cat Public Safety act makes its way through the legislative process, there are a few things that private citizens can do to contribute.
Don’t visit roadside zoos – Roadside zoos of any type have little oversight and though many are well-intentioned, they often don’t adhere to the highest standards in animal care. By spending our dollars elsewhere, animal welfare conscious consumers can help reduce the demand for these types of animal encounters.
Follow the rules at national and state parks – “Don’t feed the animals” and “stay in your vehicle” signs are there for a reason. Each year people and animals are hurt because people get too close to wild animals. If you are visiting animals in their natural habitat, follow the guidance of authorities to keep your animal encounters safe.
Be conscious of chance animal encounters – With many people staying home amidst COVID-19, more animals are venturing into parks and other public spaces. If you see a wild animal while you are out enjoying nature, give them plenty of space. The less we interact with them, the longer they are likely to stay!
Access wildlife cameras – There are some great free wildlife cameras offered by conservation and animal welfare groups. A quick google search will turn up cameras that can take you around the world from the comfort of your home! There is truly something for everyone with different cameras focusing on sea creatures, birds and mammals.