Enthusiasm for the wildlife should not overtake our ability to think sensibly or unselfishly. This starts with choosing carefully the wildlife and nature venues we visit or volunteer for.
Exploring wildlife viewing venues (parks, zoos & sanctuaries, organizations), assessing wildlife welfare or conservation volunteering opportunities require some research on the part of the explorer to make sure that the opportunity is reputable and ethical.
Be informed. Look behind the curtain. Beware of luring appearances, exciting advertisements, and quick and unsupported affiliation or/and ethical claims. The point is not to be cynical, but rather to be sensible and realistic: no 2 zoos, sanctuaries, wildlife rescue centers, or conservation projects are created equal.
During the exploration process, you certainly can be helped before making that decision to go or not (and therefore endorsing or not an experience). The quality of the information gathered during the process should be evidence-based so that at the end of the search process you feel comfortable making that final decision. Ultimately that decision is not one that can be delegated to an organization or another person. Since this decision involves your own ethics and responsibility, it is yours to make in full knowledge.
It is Earthwise Aware’s mission to help you in this process when you need it. And to facilitate your exploration, we provide the following guides. Their objective is to help you researching and assessing any wildlife and/or conservation option.
Our Explore Guides
The EwA Basics of Nature & Wildlife Volunteering is for the benefit of the first time volunteer, this guide pulls together useful information based on questions that we get asked a lot, as well as it helps navigate the EwA guides and etiquettes focused on wildlife.
The EwA Complete Guide to Choosing Wildlife & Nature Venues is a comprehensive guide to facilitate your research of Wildlife/nature tours, parks, sanctuaries, or conservation volunteering opportunities. It gives you tools for getting a sense of the ethics and relevance of the venue. It also helps you understand your motivation, define your goal and match your needs.