AUTHOR Caroline Eaton
We get it. You’re snorkeling by green sea turtles and they are so close, you can extend your arm and your fingertip is able to touch them.
As the sea lions flip around you and come within inches of your snorkel mask your mind races wondering what their skin feels like.
The Giant Tortoises move so slow, they won’t run away from you as you pose for a photo with them and gently tap their shell.
Please, don’t touch the Galapagos Wildlife!
As cute as the animals are, park rules are there for a reason and clearly state stay on the marked paths and keep six feet away from the wildlife at all times.
You will be reminded of this numerous times by your guides, and we ask that you pay attention. Resist the urge and curiosity wanting you to pet, touch, or poke the wildlife, our ecosystem depends on it.
Due to the lack of natural predators, the wildlife in the Galapagos are fearless. They don’t scurry away as they hear groups of visitors walk by and this is what makes the Galapagos so unique. Some of these animals aren’t found anywhere else in the world, and with the increase of tourist activity, these animals survival is at risk.
Conservationists are continually working to minimize tourist impact on the environment and monitor tourist behavior to help reduce any future footprint caused by tourism.
There will be times during your hikes that the wildlife will be lounging across the paths, and you have to do all that you can to climb over and avoid the animals. The curious sea lion pups might come up to you while you are lounging on the beach looking for someone to play with, please be aware of your environment and do all that you can to avoid contact with the wildlife.
What will happen if I barely touch the wildlife?
- The babies will be unrecognizable to their mothers if our scent rubs off on them.
- The baby pups or eggs could be abandoned and left to die.
- We lose the current mutually respectful relationship between humans and wildlife that makes the Galapagos so unique.
The best advice when visiting the Galapagos is to leave everything exactly as you found it. Help protect the ecosystem by looking and not touching the wildlife.