Most people don’t consider having their photo taken with a cute cub or having a cuddle as harmful. The truth is that they are the product of factory farming where the cubs are removed so that the mother can produce another litter in six months time, as opposed to two years time, if she had the opportunity to raise her own offspring. These factory farmed cubs are often kept in unsuitable cages with little regard for their social requirements. What happens to these human imprinted animals when they have outgrown their cute factor? They cannot be rehabilitated or sold to game reserves. Visit www.lionrescue.co.za for more information.
Removing individuals from the wild will further endanger the wild population, because the remaining individuals will be less genetically diverse and will have more difficulty finding mates.
If people want to see wild animals in real life, they can observe wildlife in the wild or visit a sanctuary. A true sanctuary does not buy, sell, or breed animals, but takes in unwanted exotic pets, surplus animals from zoos or injured wildlife who can no longer survive in the wild.
Children who visit petting zoos often bring home much more than their parents bargained for as petting zoos can infect children with potentially lethal bacteria.
There is something inherently wrong with taking children to pet domestic and ‘farm’ animals, and then feeding them some of those same animals later!