We believe that animals should be viewed – with no contact or interaction – doing what they do best; living in the wild.
At Intrepid, we actively discourage our passengers from participating in activities that exploit wild or domestic animals.
We believe animal welfare should be measured against the Five Domains – universally accepted pillars established to protect animals living under human control.
Nutrition – factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balance, varied and clean food and water.
Environment – factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odour, noise and predictability.
Health – factors that enable good health through absence of disease, injury, impairment and good fitness level.
Behaviour – factors that provide varied, novel and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating and others.
Mental state – by presenting positive situations in the previous four functional domains, the mental state of the animal should benefit from predominately positive states, such as pleasure, comfort or vitality, while reducing negative states such as fear, frustration, hunger, pain and boredom.
We accept that the welfare of wild animals is compromised in captivity, and captivity is only acceptable when it is in the animal's best interests and the highest possible standards of care are given to that creature.
As part of our commitment to upholding these domains, we became the first global tour operator to ban elephant riding on all our trips in 2014. This came after our not-for-profit arm, The Intrepid Foundation, funded World Animal Protection research in South East Asia in 2010, which revealed the impact this has on the elephants’ physical and mental wellbeing.
We only offer horse, donkey or camel rides if we’re confident their wellbeing isn’t compromised. We educate our travellers to look out for animals that are underfed or possibly subject to physical abuse, and we ask travellers to consider their own weight when riding an animal.
Activities such as walking with lions and petting wildlife are not permitted on any Intrepid trip, and we avoid places that provide these experiences. For us, captivity is only acceptable when it is in the animal’s best interests, and the highest standards of care are provided.
Intrepid is part of the World Animal Protection Proving Demand Working Group, which brings travel businesses together to demonstrate the demand for alternatives to elephant riding, and higher standards of animal welfare. We are also a signatory of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade, and a member of their working group.