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Travel

There's controversy over wildlife tourism, selfies in the Amazon

| Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

Planning a trip to the Amazon? You might want to look at the controversy over wildlife selfies.

World Animal Protection, an advocacy group, says animals like sloths suffer when they're offered to tourists for selfies.

Instagram is supporting education efforts by responding to hashtag searches like #slothselfie with this warning: “You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals.”

Neil D'Cruze said animals presented to tourists have typically been removed from natural habitats and are harmed by all the handling from visitors.

D'Cruze saluted Instagram's selfie warning along with efforts by Trip Advisor, which since 2016 has declined bookings for attractions where tourists come into physical contact with wildlife.

Alternatives for Amazon tourists include stays at jungle lodges and experiences with indigenous culture.

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