A lot of people ask me whether or not interacting with animals in captivity is ethically sound. Like with most controversial topics, there are many things to take into account and the answer is often situationally-dependent.
Many wildlife encounters are still offered to the public such as tiger cub-petting, elephant rides and photoshoots with exotic animals like pythons or monkeys. Unfortunately, some of the most popular tourist attractions involve these types of encounters. Why? Because humans are naturally intrigued by wildlife and it isn’t every day that we get the opportunity to experience their beauty firsthand. Knowing this, many zoos and for-profit facilities have found a way to market these experiences and monetize them.