Souvenir photos and selfies with animals, especially baby animals, are another common tourist attraction. For the perfect snapshot, for instance, sloths and koalas are cradled in tourists' arms or big cats are positioned in a cute manner. What the pictures don't show, however, is the enormous stress these animals are exposed to by being constantly touched and passed around. Particularly tiger and lion cubs are frequently offered for an additional cuddle session, where the tourist can spend even more time in direct contact with the cubs. When lion cubs grow too big or feisty to be petted, they might be utilized for other attractions, such as going on walks with tourists ("Walking with Lions"). Since direct contact with wild animals can be dangerous or even fatal, the animals are often sedated or made docile by force. The removal of teeth or claws is also common.
Once the cubs have grown larger and lost their cuteness or the tourist season is over, they are often killed, abandoned, or pushed off. To replenish the stocks, some species are taken from the wild. The parents of the captured offspring are usually killed in the process. In other cases, animals are bred specifically for tourist attractions, and tourists are often lured in with claims of species protection. For example, they are made to believe that they are contributing to the
conservation of endangered species with the money they pay for petting
big cats. Numerous tourists thus unwittingly make a contribution to
shady breeding facilities, which often misleadingly label themselves as
"rescue centers" or "orphanages".