Why a selfie with a wild animal is a bad idea

In recent years, the world has been taken over by a real selfie fever. It is difficult to find a person who does not want to take an original shot to surprise his friends or, if you are lucky, even the entire Internet.

Some time ago, headlines in Australian newspapers began to be full of reports of people who were injured while trying to take a selfie while feeding wild kangaroos. Tourists want their visit to wild animals to be remembered for a long time – but they get even more than they expected.

One described how “cute and cuddly” animals began to “aggressively attack people.” But is “cute and cuddly” really the right description for a kangaroo? Of all the adjectives that could be used to describe a territorial animal with large claws and a strong maternal instinct, “cuddly” is not the first word on the list.

Such incidents are described as if the wild animals themselves are to blame, but in fact it is the fault of people who get too close to the animals and offer them food. Is it possible to blame a kangaroo, which is used to people giving him carrots, of jumping on tourists?

A growing number of cases indicate that selfies with wild animals are common and a real danger to people. In India, one ended in tragedy when a man tried to take a selfie with a bear, turned his back on it, and was fatally stabbed by the bear’s claws. zoo in India in search of the best frame climbed over the fence and was killed by a tiger. And the wild long-tailed macaques at Uluwatu Temple in Balinese, though harmless, are so accustomed to the fact that people feed them to catch a moment for a joint photo, they began to return tourists only when they receive food for it.

In 2016, the magazine Travel Medicine even published for tourists:

“Avoid taking selfies at high altitude, on a bridge, in close proximity to roads, during thunderstorms, at sporting events and near wildlife.”

Interaction with wild animals is not only dangerous for humans – it is also not good for animals. When the condition of kangaroos, who are forced to interact frequently with people, was assessed, it turned out that people approaching them can cause them stress, and that the presence of tourists can repel kangaroos from feeding, breeding or resting places.

While some wild animals are undeniably cute and friendly, don’t lose your head and expect them to be happy to make contact and pose with us for the camera. We must respect the behavior and territory of wild animals in order to avoid injury and live in harmony with them.

So the next time you are lucky enough to see an animal in the wild, be sure to take a photo as a keepsake – but only from a safe distance. And ask yourself if you really need to be in that frame too.

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