“Don’t blame the traffic if you are the traffic”
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working in Sri Lanka which is a lovely country but sadly a victim of its success in developing tourism. I was thinking of starting small group trips there from next year but have ruled this out due to the unregulated way tourists impact on wildlife. Yala national park has the highest concentration of leopards anywhere in the world and so your chances of seeing these elusive cats is much higher that in most parts of Africa. But expect to be competing with hundreds of other safari jeeps chewing up dust in the race to surround any sightings. On Christmas day last year the park recorded a record of over a 1000 vehicles in one day. Even when we found a leopard all to ourselves one day, our ‘guide’ phoned some of the other vehicles who soon piled in to to surround it. This type of wildlife tourism wants me to drive far away and not be part of the problem. There is a huge difference between people who want to see, observe and appreciate wildlife to those whose main motivation seems to be to use their selfie stick to get a photo of themselves with the animal in the back ground. We humans are the most bizarre species on our planet. The postive news is that last year there were more deaths to humans caused by accidents with selfie sticks than from shark attacks. Here’s hoping for lots more – natural selection is indeed a great part of nature.