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Activists warn against taking selfies next to wild animals

By Michael Odeng

Added 29th November 2017 02:26 PM

Activists say tourists who take selfies with animals either infect them with diseases or prompt animals to attack them

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Gloria Tumwesigye

Activists say tourists who take selfies with animals either infect them with diseases or prompt animals to attack them

Animal rights activists and wildlife conservationists are calling for restricted access to wild animals to mitigate accidents during park tours.

In one of the measures, World Animal Protection and the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) say tourists who take selfies with animals either infect them with diseases or prompt animals to attack them.

At a function in Kampala, the activistes launched the Wildlife Selfie Code which restricts tourists from accessing wild animals. Close to 250, 000 people have already signed this commitment.

Dozens of animal rights activists gathered at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday for the launch of the Wildlife Selfie Code that seeks to mitigate the damage caused by evolution of smartphones.

“It has become a tendency that tourists no longer keep distance when inside the national park which ends up either in accidents; by animals attacking them or infecting them with disease,” Gloria Tumwesigye, the executive director of association of Uganda Tour Operators noted.

She explained that the selfie code comes at the heels of a projection the Uganda’s tourism sector will outgrow any other country in the East African Continent.

This according to experts will require improved knowledge on how to deal with wild animals.

Lillian Kamusiime, the vice-chairperson Uganda Safari Tour Guides Association says tourism minister proposes training of all active Ugandans as tour guides.

She revealed that the sector will target bodaboda riders who transport tourists’ airport taxi drivers and many others to have an idea of marketing the country before tourists.

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