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Home. Why Stray? » Responsible Tourism » Wildlife and Nature

Wildlife and Nature

From monkeys, elephants, bears and turtles to limestone mountains, ancient rainforests and coral reefs; Southeast Asia is home to some spectacular natural habitats and a diverse wildlife.

Stray only works with reputable operators so our customers can enjoy the types of activities they come to Southeast Asia to experience whilst participating in an ethical manner. Stray travellers are ‘free to choose’ whether they participate in any activity and our guides make sure to educate passengers on how to participate responsibly and respectfully.

Ways you can help

  • There are many great shopping opportunities in Southeast Asia. Your guide will direct you to the local markets and shops where you can get fair trade goods.
  • Don’t purchase wildlife or ancient relics (it is illegal).
  • Treat Southeast Asia’s nature and wildlife with care and respect. They are often unique and rare species. Stand a respectable distance from animals for their safety and your own.
  • Always follow the guidelines of the local operator. 

Ethical Elephant Conservation 

chiang mai elephant nature park bathing

All Stray recommended activities or attractions are carefully vetted following an established criteria. Stray does not support any attraction that is deemed unethical or results in the maltreatment of animals.  As there are no offical accreditation processes for privately owned Elephant conservation parks, we have a firm set of criteria that we adhere to for any attractions that involve Elephants.  Stray staff conduct regular site visits to ensure the above criteria is maintained and we continue to monitor feedback from passengers and reviews on Trip Advisor to verify that they are continuing to comply. 

All Stray recommended activities or attractions involving elephants are vetted on the following criteria:

  1. No riding of elephants whatsoever
  2. Only allows passive human interaction such as feeding, bathing and jungle walks with the elephants
  3. Elephants are kept in a habitat that allows space to roam
  4. There is an underlying focus around education and conservation 
  5. Health and wellbeing programmes, along with professional veterinary care is in place
  6. The general reputation of the centre is evaluated, along with customer feedback and peer review groups (Trip Advisor, Travelfish etc)


Next: Operating Sustainably