Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Opinion | Peaceful coexistence with wildlife is the only safe, ethical path

Opinion | Peaceful coexistence with wildlife is the only safe, ethical path


I appreciated the June 25 Travel article “Why can’t tourists stop messing with wild animals?” I am a polar bear photographer and have made nine trips to the Arctic to photograph polar bears since 2010. These trips have been an education for me about the Arctic, polar bears and how we can help them survive in a warming world. Reputable travel companies do not allow photographers to get too close to polar bears. Strict rules are shared with travelers before embarking on a trip, and we understand that if we do not follow the rules, we can be sent home early.

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, a growing movement working toward greater legal rights for the environment, states on its website: “The rights of nature is the recognition that our ecosystems — including trees, oceans, animals, mountains — have rights just as human beings have rights. … It is the holistic recognition that all life, all ecosystems on our planet are intertwined.”

Peaceful coexistence with wildlife is the only safe, ethical path forward for animals and people. Animals deserve to be respected and protected from travelers who are only looking for a selfie with a bear or a bison. Our planet is warming at an alarming rate, and we are losing biodiversity daily. A world where animals can forage, breed and raise their young without harassment or danger is a world in which humans can thrive as well.

Jennie Gosché, Kensington

The writer is founder of Polar Bear Pals.



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