Zoo Bans Wearing Animal Print Clothing That 'Confuses' Animals

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com on September 24 2013 8:15 PM
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On your next trip to the zoo at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, you should definitely leave your favorite leopard prints flats at home -- seeing that the zoo has now banned all visitors from wearing animal prints. Reuters

Stylish animal lovers may have fewer outfit options during their next visit to Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

In a step aimed to help protect its animals from "confusion," the Southwest London resort placed a ban on animal print clothing. The ban was issued after zookeepers became aware of animals attempting to communicate with people in animal print clothing or retreat from them in fear, reports The Telegraph. The concern grew after the park launched "ZUFARI: Ride Into Africa!" -- an adventure that takes visitors on an off-road journey through a trail full of such safari animals as white rhinos, flamingos, waterbuck and white rhinos. These close interactions caused many of the animals on the trail to become intrigued with visitors wearing clothing with prints similar to their own. 

"ZUFARI lets visitors get so close to wild species that if someone wears the same pattern as the animal's coat, they can become over friendly," said ZUFARI spokeswoman Natalie Dilloway. "If they wear the pattern of its predator, it has the opposite effect, and the animals become afraid and run away."

With ZUFARI offering the closest interactions between animals and guests that have ever been possible at the park, Dilloway believes the new regulations are a necessary addition to park policy. 

"We have noticed a lot of animals becoming baffled by animal-print-wearing guests," said Dilloway. "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 ton truck."

The prints banned at the park include: zebra, giraffe, leopard, cheetah, tiger, spotted hyena, striped hyena and African wild dog. And for those who can't bear to make their zoo trip without rocking their favorite print top, style offenders will be given a grey boiler suit that must be worn throughout their stay at the park. And as an extra precaution, Metro reports that the resort has also hired security to enforce the park's new rules.

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