Many zoos offer the chance to have direct contact with animals, alleging that the interaction between animals and visitors manages to create a natural and unforgettable bond for both parties. They also say that this is the best educational and sensitisation tool to transmit respect for animals to people. The activities with interactions is usually offered especially for children and as part of a school visit.
The interactions don’t just involve a risk to people (especially children), due to possible attacks, bites or zoonotic diseases, but also for the animals as a consequence of bad-handling or possible transmission of diseases. When it comes to wild animals, being continually picked up or touched by visitors, transferred from one area to another and being the object of continuous photo sessions may provoke high levels of stress which end up coming out in frustration, aggression or apathy.
At the state level
Through InfoZOOS a coalition made up of the organisations ANDA, BORN FREE and FAADA, created to bring about effective change in the way wild animals are managed and treated in zoos.