Dear Visitor to Sri Lanka!
Please help make sure that your actions on holiday don’t support animal suffering. We encourage you to research ethical and viable choices before booking excursions with operators that deal with animals. Animal cruelty often is a by-product of tourism – your decisions matter!
Dear Tour Operator!
Please help make sure that you support ethical principles when taking tourists to see animals.
Many visitors to Sri Lanka don’t know which tours operate under animal welfare principles and look to you for advice. Please ask around for advice and follow this simple principle: Any wild animal kept in captivity, which offers tourists a chance to pet it, feed it, or have their photo taken with it has most likely been objected to cruelty.
The best way to show your country’s abundant wildlife is in the wild – so please take your clients to a wildlife reserve.
You can make a difference!
You can avoid contributing to animal suffering on holiday by remembering these easy tips:
DO be awe inspired by Sri Lanka’s unique and abundant marine wildlife in the ocean.
DON’T go with a whale watching operator who does not respect ‘responsible whale watching’. This means approaching the animals with extreme care and attention, respecting distances to the animals, and limiting time spent in their vicinity.
DO go and see the rich and teeming wildlife in its natural habitat.
DON’T go with operators who crowd the animals, chase them, speed through the park and commit other reckless behavior. Don’t smoke and please keep noise to a minimum. Please remember you are a visitor and the animals won’t mind you observing them if they don’t feel threatened by you.
Elephants, turtles and other animals in captivity
DO enjoy the sight of wild animals in their natural habitat in the national parks and in the ocean – where they belong.
DON’T support animal suffering by paying to ride animals, feed them, or having your photo taken with them. Avoid visiting zoos, elephant orphanages, and turtle hatcheries that keep animals in poor conditions with their basic needs denied. Often these animals are captured from the wild, separated from their mothers at infancy and suffer from high levels of stress and psychological trauma, caused by confinement, isolation, inadequate conditions, insufficient care and cruel methods. You may not see it, but if a wild animal seems tame the chances are that the animal is suffering.
Remember: “If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, the chances are it’s a cruel venue. Don’t go!” - World Animal Protection -
Shopping for souvenirs
DO buy some of Sri Lanka’s beautiful handcrafts as a dear reminder of your holiday and enjoy the local cuisine.
DON’T buy anything made of wild animals such as fur, turtle shell products or ivory. If you do, you are directly contributing to the deaths of endangered animals, some of which your grandchildren may never see in the wild.
DO stay hydrated, go shopping, and otherwise enjoy your holiday.
DON’T dispose of your plastic bottles, plastic bags and other plastic items on the beaches or in nature where they pose a danger to wildlife, which can either mistake it for food or get entangled in it.
We wish you a memorable holiday and hope you will help protect this place for generations to come. Please remember: Your choices matter!
Here are some simple principles to follow to avoid contributing to animal cruelty
You are welcome to download the principles here on