Biting the Hand that Feeds You: Attacks by Captive Carnivores Cause Deaths and Injuries in South Africa


A new article in the African Journal of Wildlife Research analyzes captive breeding programs for cheetahs, lions, tigers, and other big cats in South Africa and the role that various tourist industries play in fueling the illegal parts trade. The article further explores the absence of regulations in South Africa to protect tourists, volunteers, or employees who come into direct contact with captive exotic animals and the rise in attacks and human fatalities associated with captive carnivore encounters. It concludes by recommending that, in the absence of protective legislation, tourists “never enter an enclosure with captive carnivores and do not engage in any activity that involves physically touching a large carnivore.” The article further urges “travel agents and tour operators to not book visits to such facilities.”

[To accompany Academic Update "New Research Urges Tourists Not to Have Direct Contact with Big Cats” from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 197]