For Airbnb Experiences and Adventures that include animals, Airbnb has partnered with World Animal Protection to provide guidelines and articles that seek to promote the safety of wild animals in the wild and in captivity, as well as domesticated animals under human care.
Below are some best practices to follow in order to protect marine life when participating in ocean activities like diving and snorkeling:
- Don’t approach or intentionally touch the animals. Responsible tour operators will remind guests not to feed or pet curious aquatic life. You’re in their space, and they are wild animals, so they should be the ones to come up to you. Marine animals like turtles and whales can get stressed when people, especially in large groups, get too close. Wild animals who are being chased or feel threatened can bite or hurt themselves trying to escape. Give them space, and if they chose to come up to you, stay calm.
- Don’t lure animals. While feeding animals may seem tempting as a way for them to get closer to you, animals should be left to find food themselves so they can continue their natural behaviors and don't become dependent on humans for food. By feeding fish or other marine life, you can also cause them to become sick.
- Don’t take animals out of the ocean. Animals like starfish are not souvenirs. Whether alive or dead, these animals provide food for other organisms, and removing them can also allow invasive species to thrive.
In general, stay clear of coral reefs. It can take years for reefs that are unintentionally damaged to repair themselves. These coral reefs are home to marine life that depend on them for food and shelter. Don't take any part of the reef off the structure and out of the ocean, and if using sunscreen, wait 30 minutes after putting it on to ensure it’s been absorbed by the skin. Sunscreen is one of the biggest killers of coral reefs by bleaching the coral, and it can also be toxic to animals that call the reef home. Protect yourself with reef-safe and animal-safe sunscreen.
Conduct that violates our guidelines
If you come across an Airbnb Experience that violates the Animal Welfare Guidelines, threatens the safety of our hosts or guests, or risks the welfare and/or conservation of animals, please contact us. If applicable, make a note of the date, time and location, as well as the type of animals involved.
If we are made aware that an Airbnb Experience and/or host violates our platform policies, community standards, or terms of service, we take action including permanent removal from our community if warranted. We’re constantly reviewing and revising our platform policies and protections in order to make our community safer and higher quality.
Courtesy of World Animal Protection. ©2019 World Animal Protection. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The World Animal Protection name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. For more information about World Animal Protection, please visit worldanimalprotection.org.