VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of the illegal tragic killing of Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion, The Global Work & Travel Co. has decided to review the relationships with all of their animal conservation partners.
The Global Work & Travel Co. has partnership agreements with 15 conservation programs throughout Africa, offering everything from opportunities to bottle-feed orphaned lion cubs to helping raise baby monkeys or tracking endangered elephant herd movements.
"We have a long history of working with animal conservation programs all over the world. Animals are near and dear to our hearts, and when we saw the news about Cecil, we were outraged," said Jurgen Himmelmann, CEO of The Global Work & Travel Co.
Global has sent a senior executive to Africa to personally inspect the ongoing volunteer programs that work with lions, cheetahs and other animals throughout Africa.
"Sure, perhaps we could have done this over the phone, but this issue is far too important to us. We need to reassure ourselves that the animals our volunteers care for are being treated ethically, with respect and in as natural environment as possible. When we put the Global name on these programs, we demand not just a world class experience – but an ethical world class experience."
Global severed all business with a partner destination last year when a traveler reported concerns that some of the animals may have been sent to a 'canned-hunting' operation in South Africa.
"As soon as the traveler reported their concerns, we were on the phone with the supplier and demanded unquestionable proof that the animals weren't being used for hunting, or anything unethical. They couldn't provide the proof that we needed to be 100% confident, so we simply decided not to risk it. We stopped selling their program or sending travelers," said Himmelmann.
"With the global outrage over Cecil's needless and tragic death, we felt it was important to confirm the ethical treatment of these animals with our own eyes. We've sent a senior executive to visit the African programs directly. If we have even the hint of concern, we'll be able to follow up much more quickly and effectively."
At the end of the day, it's simple – if it says 'The Global Work & Travel Co." travelers will know that their program won't have anything to do with animal abuse or exploitation, especially hunting. Period.
"We don't expect everyone to agree with our stance on hunting or animal welfare, but it's an issue we are passionate about and won't be changing," said Himmelmann.
The Global Work & Travel Co. is one of the world's fastest growing gap-year travel brands with offices in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. It specializes in meaningful travel opportunities across the globe. Last year, it facilitated gap-year trips for just under ten thousand travelers across the globe.
Jurgen Himmelmann, CEO
The Global Work & Travel Co.
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SOURCE The Global Work & Travel Co.