“Lions and tigers are kept as breeding machines, their cubs removed at birth to be hand raised by volunteers paying vast amounts of money for the privilege. These cubs are then subjected to hours of manhandling by the paying public on a daily basis. When lion cubs grow too large and boisterous to be petted by children they are used for ‘lion walks’. Again, they are beaten in order to become submissive to their human ‘owners’.”

“Many of the establishments offering animal encounters will often do so under the guise of conservation. It is extraordinarily difficult to release any animal or bird back into the wild and once they have been imprinted by humans it is virtually impossible. White lions and tigers are not ‘endangered’, they carry a defective gene and would never survive in the wild, they were never meant to. There can only be one reason to offer these attractions and quite simply it is to make money. The industry is controlled by greed and greed is acting like a disease which threatens to become an epidemic and the threat to our wildlife is becoming irreversible.”
Petting, lion walking, volunteering and canned hunting – a sequence of animal exploitation which is lucrative – don’t buy it.  Read more

3. Dear Future Generations, Sorry

US rapper Prince Ea’s ““Dear Future Generations: Sorry” about our responsibility for climate change has gone viral  – if you haven’t seen it find six minutes to watch it, and encourage others. link

4. Benidorm to apply for World Heritage status

City officials have described the Spanish resort of Benidorm as representing “a masterpiece of human creative genius”.  They argue that Benidorm fulfils six of the 10 conditions necessary for World Heritage Site status

5. SeaWorld is back in the news

“The new show starring your favorite Pinnipeds, Clyde and Seamore. This show replaced the long running Clyde and Seamore take Pirate Island.”  more The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not amused more

6. Magaluf’s days of drinking and casual sex are numbered

Local government in Mallorca has given Megaluf a make over with investment in the public space and encouraged hotels and resorts to up grade – 33 hotles and 10 apartment complexes are reported to have increased their star ratings. “In 2012 alone, three British tourists died falling from hotel balconies. Reports of rapes and muggings have risen. Last year Magaluf’s notoriety peaked with the “mamading” scandal.”!

“It is time to shout from the rooftops that we don’t want this tourism. It’s not worth it,” declared the Majorca Daily Bulletin in response. The regional government condemned a “degrading image of women and the Balearics”. More in The Observer

7. Otter Joy

George Monbiot published Feral in 2013, about how by restoring and rewilding our damaged landscapes we can bring wonder back into our lives. Monbiot’s recent column in The Guardian connects this passion with his family holiday. He describes his own encounter with otters ..

“Then they turned and rippled back down the rocks, slipped into the water with scarcely a splash and started hunting round the coast once more. Soon they disappeared around a cliff I couldn’t negotiate.

I walked back elated, recharged with wonder and enchantment. A week later, the feeling still buoys me up.” He concludes “Everyone should be able to experience such marvels, and to step outside the ordered, regulated, predictable world of our own making, that sometimes seems to crush the breath out of us.”  Read more

8. Is there a future for tigers, elephants and rhinos in the wild?

As poaching ravages wildlife across the globe alongside seemingly irreversible pressures on wilderness from man, how can we win the battle to keep iconic species in the wild? This is the question being addressed by leading conservationists in a Tour Operators for Tigers fund raiser at the Royal Geographical Society on 21st May. Details

 9. WTM Africa and Responsible Tourism

The Day 2 WTM Africa 2015 Highlights video covered the 1st African Responsible Tourism Awards – link Details of the 2015 Awards are on-line here

10. UNWTO PhD Researcher opportunity

The closing date for applications for a PhD researcher at UNWTO is June 14th 2015. Details