Tourists warned of geo-tag risk to endangered wildlife

2014-05-06 09:26
Cape Town - While it's human nature to want to share and preserve amazing wildlife experiences, poachers have cottoned on to the geo-tag fingerprint left by unsuspecting tourists who visit wildlife parks and reserves.

By not turning off the geo-tagging options (the meta data saved with your image that displays latitude and longitude coordinates for where the photo was taken) you are indirectly leading poachers to their intended prey.

Nothing highlights this better than this tweet which shows how social media inadvertently adds technological arms to the poaching war.

While animals at risk include gorillas and elephants, it is the rhino that teeters dangerously close to brink of extinction. The latest figures for Rhino poaching released by the Department of Environmental Affairs in April 2014 show that  294 rhinos have been paoched as apposed to the 93 arrests that have been made.

You may also want to check out: The cruelty of rhino poaching caught on camera

And while most of us are unaware of our subliminal assistance we're giving poachers, turns out some people are doing it intentionally.

According to a PetaPixel article on the risk of geo-tagged photos, details how young couples posing as tourists purposefully geo-tag their pics as part of a poaching syndicate. Sad, but true.

So when next on safari and you spot an endangered animal that you just have to take a pic of DO NOT FORGET to check your settings and disable those location-based applications that can access your GPS coordinates.

Want to share some of your non-geo-tagged wildlife experiences? Email us at or come join our Travel community on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, hang out with us on Google+, snap away on Instagram and share your inspiration on Pinterest

Read more on:    reserves  |  travel international  |  bush  |  safari

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