International Cruise and Excursions not to promote wild animal interactions

After communications with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Scottsdale-based travel company International Cruise and Excursions (ICE) has committed to no longer promoting interactions with wild animals.

(File photo)

The move comes after PETA contacted the company about a video on the Facebook page of Must Do Travels, an ICE brand with 8.5 million followers, showing a woman holding a baby bear, according to a press release from PETA.

PETA says ICE quickly removed the video after “learning about the cruelty inherent in forcing wild animals to interact with humans.”

“International Cruise and Excursions was quick to recognize that cruel and dangerous interactions with wild animals have no place in the modern tourism experience,” PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet said in a prepared statement.

“PETA urges travelers to keep all tourist traps that offer photos with wild animals off their itineraries and to support only the compassionate, informed travel agencies that have pledged to do the same.”

In nature, bear cubs stay with their mothers for two years, enjoying their protection and learning crucial life lessons, according to a release.

PETA claims cubs used for photo ops are taken from their mothers shortly after birth — which causes lifelong psychological trauma — and can live in, what PETA calls, “cramped, filthy enclosures with limited (if any) opportunity to express natural types of behavior.”

These conditions often cause the bears, PETA claims, to exhibit abnormal behavior patterns, including suckling on their own body parts, pacing back and forth and walking in circles.

Direct human contact with adult bears is inherently dangerous and has resulted in injury and even death, PETA claims in the release.

International Cruise and Excursions joins Expedia, TripAdvisor and other travel industry leaders in restricting interactions with wild animals. The company will receive a box of bear-shaped vegan chocolates in thanks for its decision, according to a release.

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