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BAMBA EXPERIENCE > ANIMAL WELFARE

ANIMAL WELFARE


Many of us as world travellers, thrive on the chance to see wild animals while on holiday. We may love and appreciate wildlife, but we don’t always do our homework to check how animals are treated at the venues we visit. It’s hard to know what activities or organisations best support their conservation. It is up to every traveller to ensure that the tours we take part in and the organizations we support are helping to conserve, and not exploit, the animals we are sharing our trip - and our planet - with.
 
Bamba is strongly committed to sustainable means of travel which includes looking out for the welfare of animals affected by the tourism industry.
 
For these reasons, Bamba Experience has taken a pledge with World Animal Protection to not sell or promote any venue, activity or show involving elephant riding or any wild animals. Instead, we are pledging to offer activities with a high standard of animal conservation and welfare with responsible viewing of animals in their natural habitat.
 
Here are some guidelines to learn what to look for and how to travel responsibly.
 
Basic Animal Welfare
Bamba supports the Five Pillars of Basic Animal Welfare, which are universally accepted animal rights that including the following freedoms:
 
1. Freedom from Hunger & Thirst
2. Freedom From Discomfort
3. Freedom From Pain, Injury & Disease
4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior
5. Freedom From Fear & Distress

 
Animals must be provided with a safe environment sufficient to their size, and comparable to their natural habitat with other animals of the same kind. This environment should include shelter, access to clean water, healthy food and medical attention to prevent disease, pain, injury, mental suffering and distress.  
 
Working Animals
Domesticated (or working) animals such as horses, donkeys and camels have gone through a selective breeding process that takes place over more than 10 generations. These animals are considered domesticated, and are therefore used as work animals and for riding. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines you can keep in mind to ensure the health and safety of these animals.
 
- The animal should be well-fed and in good health with no sores or wounds on their body or neck from the harness or damage to their legs and feet.
- Handlers should treat the animal with respect and provide appropriate and sufficient food, water and medical care.
- The size of the animal should be appropriate for the weight of its rider/load. Animals should carry a maximum of half their body weight (less in extreme temperatures or steep terrain).

 
We ask that as a tourist you make sure the above guidelines are being followed, and if you feel there has been a violation, please report it directly to the local authorities.
 
Wildlife Viewing
Wild animals are best viewed in their natural habitat and many of the most incredible travel experiences happen when we simply sit back and observe a scene unfold before our eyes. Interfering with the natural habitat and behavior of animals can cause them undue stress. Please maintain a safe distance from wild animals and try to keep as quiet as possible while viewing them at a close range.
 
Animal Products
It might be tempting to buy a tiger-tooth necklace or a product made from ivory while traveling abroad, but remember that a wild animal suffered greatly and most likely lost their life in order for these products to reach the marketplace. These products are usually acquired through illegal poaching which puts animals at risk. We strongly advise travellers against purchasing these types of souvenirs, as well as refraining from consuming meals or medicines made with wild animals like shark-fin soup.
 
Elephant Riding
Bamba does not include any Elephant Riding activities in our programs and discourages travelers from participating in any type of activity or venue that uses animals for entertainment. Elephant riding is a popular activity in Southeast Asia, and is on many travellers’ bucket list. However, few travellers know that in order for tourists to ride an elephant, the animal first must be tamed, and the process that this entails. In Bamba destinations where elephant riding takes place, we have included animal-friendly alternatives like a boat safari and ziplining in Koh Phangan, a nature trek to tribal villages in Chiang Mai and a jeep safari in Chitwan National Park. If you wish to experience an elephant encounter up-close-and-personal, we recommend supporting a reputable center or sanctuary focused on welfare and conservation.
 

Video Credit: World Animal Protection

Wild Animals in Captivity
Wild animals deserve to enjoy a life of freedom in their natural habitat, and those that are used in entertainment have most likely been subjected to a painful and cruel 'breaking' process. Many times they are held in unnatural conditions that involves chaining, isolation, little to no veterinary care and an unhealthy diet. Films such as “The Cove” and “Blackfish” bring into question and openly criticize the methodology used for attaining and holding captive dolphins, killer whales and other marine animals for use in entertainment parks. For these reasons, Bamba Experience does not promote activities with wild animals in captivity such as SeaWorld.
 
Tiger Selfies & Walking with Lions
Wild animals are often used as tourist attractions, but it is hard to know how these animals are being treated or how they reached the venue in the first place. Baby tigers or lions in petting centers are often separated from their mothers at an early age which causes trauma, and are often drugged to keep them docile. Even though it might seem cute or fun to pet them and take selfies with them, what's behind the scenes is not usually a pretty picture, and interferes greatly with the animals’ natural habits and habitats.
 

Video Credit: World Animal Protection
 
Special thanks to World Animal Protection for their guidance in creating these guidelines. World Animal Protection is an international non-profit animal welfare organisation that has been in operation for over 30 years. Their vision is a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended. 

We have taken pledges with the following organizations to promote animal welfare in tourism.


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    WHY BAMBA?

TRAVEL INDEPENDENTLY
You are a traveler, not a tourist. We want you to be able to explore the world exactly as you have always dreamed it. You are free to travel at your own pace with no tour leaders or set schedules.
DAILY DEPARTURES
Depart any day you want, 365 days a year whether you are traveling on your own or in a group.
UNLIMITED SCHEDULE CHANGES
We make it easy for you to be spontaneous! Enjoy the freedom of making an unlimited amount of changes to your schedule before and during your trip. Your pass is valid for 12 months so you can take all the time you need to enjoy your journey!
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