Perhaps it should be called eco-catastrophe tourism: rushing to catch a glimpse of natural wonders before they disappear.
For under $4,000 you can visit Kenya to witness Africa’s wildebeest migration. But if you want to be able tell your grandchildren what it was like, don’t wait too long.
CNN lists “11 great wildlife experiences [that] could disappear within your lifetime,” and helpfully provides details about the tour operators and packages so that you can catch a glimpse of the last rhinoceros, polar bears, tigers, gorillas, and orangutans.
I guess each of these creatures is acquiring greater market value, the closer to extinction it comes.
I imagine that the tour operators and tourists feel that these enterprises are contributing towards the protection of species and their environments and to some extent that might be true.
There also seems to be a predatorial element at play. The hunters might only come away with photographs, videos, and memories, yet appealing to a desire to see something rare before it is lost, caters more to an acquisitive impulse than it contributes towards the prevention of species and habitat loss.