Travelling Tip: Taking Photos with Animals12:24 PM
Here’s a story of something I experienced when visiting Peru. While travelling from one birding spot to another we stopped in a small town to visit a church and some local “tourist spots.” Waiting outside the church was a man (photographed below) with a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus). The man took this eagle from the wild, to show to tourists and earn money through allowing people to take photographs with the bird. This is illegal in Peru (and many other countries around the world) and it became such a problem that the Government of Peru stepped in and forced many of the people who did this to release their animals back into the wild or face legal consequences. However there were a few people who were allowed to keep the animals because they had been kept in captivity for such a long period of time that being released back into the wild would probably result in the animal's death. You can see from the photos below that taking photos with this large raptor is popular among tourists and they will pay to have the experience. Although these photos were taken in Peru, sadly this happens all over the world with birds, mammals and a variety of other wildlife. If you see this kind of thing on your travels around the world I would strongly encourage you to not get your photo taken. If we don’t support the people who take these animals from the wild, hopefully it won’t happen in the future.