Animal Park to Visitors: No 'Wild' Clothing

Chessington World of Adventures Animal print clothing can be wild, but one zoo in England is declaring it downright dangerous. Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park and zoo in Surrey, England has banned visitors from wearing animal prints to avoid confusing or scaring the animals.

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Banned prints include zebra, giraffe, leopard, cheetah, tiger, spotted and striped hyena, and African wild dog. To enforce its rule, the zoo has even hired bouncers to keep an eye on visitors.

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Zoo officials enacted the policy after employees noticed a behavioral change in animals following the opening of a reserve called "Zufari: Ride Into Africa!" The exhibit allows people to drive through a Serengeti-style reserve where animals roam freely. Now, if someone enters the zoo wearing an animal print, they’re issued a gray boiler suit (coveralls) to wear for the remainder of their visit. "Animals are getting confused when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving across the terrain in a 7.5 ton truck," according to  spokesperson Natalie Dilloway told The Guradian this week. A representative from the theme park did not return Yahoo Shine's calls.

Alan Sironen, a spokesperson for the Zoological Association of America, says the policy may be a good one. “I haven’t heard of such a rule before, but if the goal is to protect the animals and people, it sounds wise,” he told Yahoo Shine. “It’s possible that the animal may identify the print as prey and become aggressive. Or, if it’s an unfamiliar print, they may approach out of curiosity.” That makes sense — it's probably not worth wearing your cheetah-print mini while walking past the lion’s cage.

This is certainly not the first time institutions have banned clothing. In April, Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, California, banned girls from wearing leggings because they were distracting to their peers. Students are required to wear a “school-appropriate length bottom,” (shorts, skirts, dresses), over their leggings. In March, a Minnesota school blacklisted yoga pants, deeming them too revealing. And in August, a pizza joint called Giulio's barred customers wearing saggy pants from entering the restaurant.

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