Chessington World of Adventures is claiming that visitors wearing animal-print clothing may be ‘confusing the animals’, and has banned such items from being worn in the park. This follows the opening of a new safari ride which allows visitors to journey through a 20 acre area with animals including giraffe, rhino and flamingos. The more cynical among us might wonder whether the ban is a publicity ploy, as it appears to have captured the media’s attention, with the Guardian reporting that the animals were ‘confused when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving across the terrain in a 7.5 tonne truck’.
Strangely, there is no word on the animals’ reaction to the presence of the 7.5 tonne truck, full of people using cameras and phones in their enclosure. Such ‘safaris’ occur regularly which would surely cause constant disturbance to the animals. Visitor reports on Tripadvisor indicate that guests are disappointed when they do not see much – but who can blame the animals for keeping their distance when there is a noisy truck rumbling past?
Perhaps Chessington should take another look at what is really upsetting its animals.