Walk with the animals, talk like the animals, but please do not dress like the animals. You’re both scaring and confusing them. According to the Guardian, a safari park in Surrey, England, has instituted a ban on patrons wearing anything that “resembles the skin of giraffes, leopards, cheetahs or tigers.”
Wearing such bold prints is inherently risky, but not for any of the obvious reasons. Zookeepers at Chessington World of Adventures noticed that their animals can’t differentiate between humans in animal skin and actual animals of the Serengeti, and have either tried to “communicate” (read: eat) with people clad in animal print, or been terrified by their presence. According to staff animal behaviorists, “Possibly the worst thing you could do is limp past the lion or tiger enclosure in a zebra print outfit.” So if you decide to go ahead and wear that sexy zebra-print number on your next zoo date, try to avoid walking with any extra swag.