Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Photographers in the Xcalacoco beach area of the Azul Fives Hotel were seen snapping photos of tourists with an exotic animal.
Environmentalists have asked the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) to intervene in the case where two men were exploiting a spider monkey to tourists.
Oddly enough, the area of Xcalacoco is a sanctuary for the spider monkey, yet tourists can be seen posing with the animal, paying money to have their photo taken.
Part of their complaint suggested that authorities implement a tourism advertising campaign to let people know that the exploitation of exotic animals, including taking photos, is illegal in the state of Quintana Roo. They want it explained that each time a tourist pays to have a photo taken, it encourages animal exploitation.
Nearly two years ago, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) abolished the law that once allowed such practices.