Ecotourism involves traveling, meeting friends, and enjoying nature responsibly. When doing ecotourism you should focus on maintaining and caring for the wildlife as you also protect yourself.
For lovers of trails, waterfalls, forests, and treks, finding and living with wild animals during walks and hikes has become commonplace. After all, who has never encountered wild cats, monkeys, capybaras, hawks, or macaws during a walk or a pedal in nature?
Generally, when you encounter these animals, you experience excellent opportunities for contemplation and contact with the beauty of nature. The problem is when these encounters occur with more dangerous or poisonous animals such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, or large carnivores and man-eaters.
Check out what you need to do to guarantee much safer ecotourism for both you and the wild animals!
1. Protect Yourself From Wild Animals
In the case of contact with wild animals, whether poisonous or not, it is best to keep your distance and never manipulate it. Do not try to approach, handle, pat, feed, and, especially, chase or scare the animal away.
This is because, as a rule, animals only attack humans in their habitat, when they feel threatened. Therefore, adopting preventive and respectful behavior, keeping the distance, and allowing the animal to follow its path is the best thing to do, avoiding problems for both you and the wild animals.
Respect and prevention are always the best solutions in your ecotourism trips!
2. Know the Habitat Where You Will Venture When Doing Ecotourism
Before you put your boot on, your backpack on your back, and set off for adventure, it is essential to know the place you are going to. This applies both to understanding the particularities of the region and the care needed to avoid risks.
For example, if the trail you are going to stay in an Atlantic forest, you must use repellents since this ecosystem favors the existence of mosquitoes.
Also, if the objective is to set up a camp, knowing the area is essential to choose the best places to set up the tents. Always away from plantations or pastures where, in general, there are enough rodents – the snake’s favorite food.
In this case, it is also important to avoid keeping the camp too close to rivers and lakes, as wild animals may approach drinking water, causing often frightening encounters.
3. Observe Where You Step and Where You Walk
Another essential care for wild animals during ecotourism activities is related to increased attention to where you step and where you walk. Now, it is necessary to remember that this is the home of wild animals. Yes, you are the one in their habitat.
Therefore, you must respect and maintain the utmost attention so as not to step where you should not or walk on dangerous paths. One of the highest accident rates during ecotourism occurs in people who do not take proper precautions while on track. That is, they do not pay attention to the trail they walk on, both on the ground and at the top.
Many people do not see the animals on the way and step on the animals. They, in turn, return the aggression with bites to those who come too close. The trekking is a time of relaxation, connecting with nature and detachment from everyday concerns, but that does not mean you do not have to remain attentive to the present moment.
On the contrary, it is essential, even for the connection and relaxation of the body and mind, that you are well connected to that moment that you are living. So stay tuned to the trail you’re following, see if the path is clear.
If the soil is full of leaves, hit a staff on the ground to keep animals nearby. Do not also forget to observe the trees. You don’t want to be surprised by spiders or other animals that live in them.
4. Always be Silent
Ecotourism is not a solitary sport, but it is silence necessary. This is not only for your mental health but also for the native fauna. After all, it is good to remember that they are not used to human shouting daily.
Also, maintaining silence while walking is a safety behavior to avoid unpleasant encounters with wild animals. It is thus possible to hear what is approaching more quickly, making it possible for you to get away more rapidly and safely.
5. Choose Suitable Clothes for Trekking and Walk Carefully
Choosing the right clothes and shoes for the walk and ensuring more comfort and avoiding problems such as heat stroke and pain in the feet and back also help prevent accidents with wild animals.
Therefore, during ecotourism activities, invest in comfortable long pants, T-shirts, hats, and boots, avoiding accidents with venomous animals, for example.
6. Act Calmly in Case of Accidents
In case of accidents with wild animals in your ecotourism trip, stay calm, and act quickly. If the incident was with a venomous animal, wash the area with soap and water and try to keep the victim lying down, to prevent the poison from being absorbed more quickly by the body.
Do not tourniquet, puncture, cut, burn, or suck the wound. These are widespread beliefs that can only aggravate the situation.
If the accident is with non-venomous wild animals, the procedures must be the same, taking care to wash the place to avoid infections and the risk of contamination by diseases such as rabies. Try to identify the species of animal that has bitten the victim. Also, refer the victim as soon as possible to the nearest health service.
As you can see, maintaining attention and respect for the fauna and wild animals makes it possible to enjoy moments of relaxation and contemplation with nature. A little care and prevention are enough to have a harmonious encounter, men, and wildlife in a perfect state of integration.
Finally, get involved and participate in the change through volunteering programs in nature protection centers or wildlife refuge. A few hours a week will not change your dynamics. Give part of your time to a great cause.
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