We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Zoo Bans Animal-Print Clothes That Confuse Animals

By Breanna Draxler
Sep 26, 2013 1:01 AMNov 20, 2019 2:40 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Don't wear this to the zoo. Image credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock If you plan to take a trip to a British zoo in the near future, leave your leopard leggings and hyena hat at home. The Chessington World of Adventures Resort near London recently announced that it will no longer allow guests to wear animal prints because the patterns confuse the animals. On the zoo's African safari ride, visitors tour an outdoor park in a jeep-like vehicle, viewing giraffes, flamingos, antelope and rhinos up close. There's no glass between the visitors and the animals, which is both exciting and problematic.

When in Roam

If a person wears a predator print, it can spook the animals. In contrast, if a person wears the print of one of the animals in the park, the animals may treat the person as one of their own. They've seen it happen, according to Huffington Post,

 Apparently, some of these animals have mistaken visitors who wear prints for actual wildlife creatures and either run away in fear or come too close in sheer excitement.

A spokeswoman told the Daily Mail,

"The enclosures at ZUFARI have been designed to replicate the conditions species face in the wild. 

Therefore it's no wonder animals are getting confused when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving across the terrain in a 7.5 tonne truck


What Not to Wear

The list of banned patterns apparently includes everything from the popular zebra, giraffe, leopard, cheetah and tiger prints, to the less easily recognized hyena and African wild dog prints. That's right. No African wild dog prints allowed. A bouncer will be on duty to enforce the zero-tolerance policy. Show up in your favorite giraffe jumper, and you can either leave the park or put on a gray jumpsuit---and hope it isn't rhino mating season.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.