So what is wildlife conservation and how can we know if our money is going to the right place?
With social media being at the forefront of most people’s focus these days, it almost seems as if people are doing things with the sole initial intention of being able to upload the proof onto their social media accounts…but is this really a bad thing?
Social media has been incredibly influential in spreading awareness about true wildlife conservation compared to the dreaded canned hunting industry, particularly in the past year since the public outrage about Cecil the lion. Social media as a global tool for the truth about conservation only seems to be growing and making more of a positive impact as the message is educating more and more people. These people can then proceed to make the informed decision against visiting these places which are only hindering animals’ lives instead of helping them, as we are initially lead to believe.
With so many volunteer projects around the world, companies are under pressure to come up with new ways to stand out above the rest in order to become the most popular in their area.
Sadly, for conservationists and animal lovers alike, using young cubs proves to be a great way of attracting young volunteers who are only used to seeing these beautiful but dangerous cats on wildlife documentaries.
With companies recently using celebrities such as Justin Beiber, Beyoncé and the Kardashians, it is no wonder that young people are confused about what it right and what is wrong. Sadly, it is often the case that these companies feed celebrities endless stories of the need for their love and care for the cubs to contribute to the survival of the species.
Frankly, it is sad that in the celebrity culture that we live in, the monetary endorsement and media attention overrides their ability to question how it can be possible for them to be cuddling a fully grown lion that will then be able to successfully survive in the wild. Doesn’t sound right, does it?
Any volunteer programmes that say that they can guarantee that you will be cuddling cubs is not a good place. Instead, chose a project that includes monitoring and research of wild animals.
This is an example of the correct way to work in wildlife conservation and give our animals the right to the life that they deserve in their natural habitat. The sooner that the entire world can understand this, together with social media continuing to be a great way to spread this message to people across the globe, the sooner that potential volunteers and visitors to these facilities can make an informed, responsible decision before they reach the place, pay their money and then realise that it is too late.