By Mirembe Martina
A zoo has banned visitors from wearing animal prints to the zoo because confuses the animals.
Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park and zoo in Surrey, England has banned visitors from wearing animal prints to avoid confusing or scaring the animals. The banned prints include zebra, giraffe, leopard, cheetah, tiger, spotted and striped hyena, and African wild dog.
Bouncers have even been hired to keep an eye on visitors.
Employees noticed a behavioral change in animals following the opening of a reserve called “Zufari: Ride Into Africa!” The exhibit allows people to drive through a Serengeti-style reserve where animals roam freely. If someone enters the zoo wearing an animal print, they’re issued a gray boiler suit (coveralls) to wear for the remainder of their visit.
“Animals are getting confused when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving across the terrain in a 7.5 ton truck,” according to spokesperson Natalie Dilloway.
Alan Sironen, a spokesperson for the Zoological Association of America, said of the new room, “I haven’t heard of such a rule before, but if the goal is to protect the animals and people, it sounds wise,” he said. “It’s possible that the animal may identify the print as prey and become aggressive. Or, if it’s an unfamiliar print, they may approach out of curiosity.”