February 23, 2020
It’s no surprise that one of the most exciting experiences for Tulemar guests to have is to see wildlife right from their villa patio. Whether its macaws flying over your bungalow, monkeys playing in your rental’s infinity pool, or a sleepy sloth hanging next to your private villa….It’s always a treat to see the wildlife in its own environment.
Often guests say they see more wildlife inside Tulemar than they do in the Manuel Antonio National Park, and a large part of that is due to two special committees within Tulemar dedicated to their our wildlife’s preservation and growth: the”Nature and Wildlife Committee” and the “Tree Committee” that helps preserve their habitat. In additional to these committees is our partnership with The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica, which works hard on the research, education, and conservation of Costa Rica’s sloths and other animals.
The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica’s newest campaign – called#StopAnimalSelfies – is to educate tourists on the negative impact of interacting with wildlife, and they are working hard to stop tourists from feeding, interacting with, and especially holding wildlife for photos.
Posing with wildlife for photos is a trend that has taken popularity over the past few years due to the increased use of social media….And while holding a cute sloth makes for a great photo, the impact is extremely harmful for the sloth and it’s something most tourist are not aware of.
We asked Sam Trull, co-founder of The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica to share some of the new campaign with us. This is what she had to say:
The #StopAnimalSelfies campaign was created by the MINAE/SINAC offices of the government of Costa Rica in order to educate tourists about the dangers and cruelty surrounding the wildlife photo prop industry. Wildlife all over the world are facing an extinction crisis caused by habitat destruction and the illicit trade. This illegal trade in wild animals can take on many faces with many places even posing as “rescue centers” or “sanctuaries” pretending to benefit animal welfare. But any place that allows/encourages you to touch, feed, or take selfies with wild animals does not have their best interest in mind. Luckily, the government of Costa Rica is trying to crack down on this type of animal exploitation by educating tourists to not participate in these kinds of opportunities by asking them to instead take photos with stuffed animals. At the airports in San Jose and Liberia and a few other locations around Costa Rica you can find selfie stations where you can take photos with stuffed sloths, macaws, turtles etc and learn more about this initiative.
Here at TSI, we were so excited when we were asked to join this campaign because our stuffed mascot, Freedom, who has been taking selfies with tourists for a couple of years now, has many new stuffed animal friends to help spread the message to #StopAnimalSelfies and to #SayNoToSlothSelfies.
While we know spotting wildlife is likely high on your list of “must-dos” in Costa Rica, please remember to never touch, feed, or hold wildlife. And if you want a photo with Freedom so you can help spread the message, join us on our daily Sloth Walk or simply ask your personal concierge!