MANAUS, BRAZIL. An indigenous boy holds a baby sloth. According to Brazilian law, certain indigenous communities in the Amazon enjoy special status in their relationship with wildlife. However, questions are raised when these communities abuse this relationship to attract tourism.
Although I felt that this particular animal was not being used as tourist-bait, evidence gathered during this project by World Animal Protection indicates capturing sloths for use as pets is an increasing animal welfare concern.
This image is part of an investigative project designed to asses the impact of the selfie phenomenon on wildlife. During this assignment it became apparent that many tourists join tours to engage in eco-activities, unaware that the activities are often unregulated, illegal and cruel.
Animals used in these activities can die prematurely due to mishandling and severe, constant stress. Tour guides who are either lying or being lied to themselves pre-empt possible concerns by assuring tourists that these activities are harmless to the animals, and that supporting such activities help the local communities.