Riding animals is something that happens around the world. Many tourists that head to desert environments on vacation take part in a camel ride or camel tour. These are practices that have been happening for many years and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
When you consider how long camels have been domesticated for and working with humans, you’ll understand how camel trekking came about. Instead of taking a vehicle across sand dunes during your vacation, you get the opportunity to enjoy a camel ride and spending your time with these interesting animals. But is a camel tour sustainable? Or are they doing more harm than good?
There are multiple countries in which you can go on a camel ride, and the majority of them are located in the Middle East and Africa. Many of the places that allow camel trekking rely on these animals for their livelihoods. But does that mean they’re being treated well?
In comparison to elephants when it comes to riding, camels are treated significantly better. Mostly because camels are already domesticated and have been for many years unlike elephants who receive mistreatment in order to obey their owners.
PETA have often held the stance that a camel tour or riding of any animal is deemed cruel. But it simply isn’t as clear cut as that. A separate charity named born free, are often in sync with the thoughts of PETA but instead opted to take a different route when it comes to taking a camel ride. They say as long as the animals are not mistreated, harmed and the camel trekking does not cause them distress, they are ok.
What can you do as a traveller when it comes to camel trekking?
To make sure you are only contributing to a camel ride that is safe and ethical for the animals involved, you should look at the following:
- Does the camel have access to food and water?
- Is the camel able to exhibit natural animal behaviours or are they scolded for doing so?
- Do they look to be in good health without being underweight, having cuts or abrasions?
- Are they protected from distressing situations?
If the answer is yes, then it’s likely you are able to continue with a camel ride. However, if you are ever in doubt or something doesn’t look right, then it’s best to avoid contributing to something that could be a problem. Each camel ride allows the destination to embrace their heritage and the money earned from the experiences stay within the local economy which can help protect the environment and keep stability within the local area. This can maintain sustainability which is a positive attribute to eco-friendly travel. If you’re looking to spend time with animals throughout your own travels, a camel ride or otherwise, just always make sure that the animals environment look appropriate for the task at hand and continue only if you deem it a responsible decision.
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