ISLA DE LOS MICOS, COLOMBIA. A free-roaming squirrel monkey inspects a piece of banana given to it by tourists. Feeding squirrel monkeys is the main activity offered to tourists to the Island, but luring an animal to a spot with food can create an unnatural dependency on humans, and can have negative impacts on their behaviour and health.
This image is part of an investigative project designed by World Animal Protection to assess the impact of the selfie phenomenon on wildlife. During this assignment it became apparent that many tourists join tours to engage in wildlife ecotourism, 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-amp possible concerns by assuring tourists that these activities are harmless to the animals, and that supporting such activities help the local communities.