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    Civets belong to the family Viverridae, an ancient line of 'cat-like' animals. Despite their large geographic distribution across southeast Asia and parts of Africa, little scientific attention has been attributed to Viverrids or Viverrid-human relations. This paper applies the lens of civets to explore the tensive intersection between animal welfare, conservation, and colonialism within the tourism landscape. Through thinking with civets, this paper brings two forms of animal commodification into dialogue: (1) the management of civets in zoos around the globe and (2) the rising trend in civet coffee production and tourism in Asia. By qualitatively analysing the entanglements between colonialism, animal welfare, and conservation and how each impacts the lives and treatment of civets in tourism, this paper calls for enhanced reflexivity and thus the decolonisation of animal-based tourism. Suggestions are made on how zoos may progress towards the decolonisation of animal tourism, and the argument is made that zoos are well positioned and morally obligated to answer this call. By doing so, greater attention can be given to the animals whose lives are most affected by the global tourism landscape.


    Jes Hooper. Thinking with Civets: The Role of Zoos in the Decolonisation of Animal Tourism. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI. 2023 May 24;13(11)

    PMID: 37889662

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