• Austria's news in English

Vienna zoo rolls out partial 'selfie stick' ban

The Local · 3 Nov 2015, 11:44

Published: 03 Nov 2015 11:44 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The move is designed to prevent accidents and to discourage visitors from disturbing the animals.

Zoologist Anton Weissenbacher told the ORF website that zoo staff had noticed an increase in the number of tourists and school children using the sticks to get closer to the animals when taking photos. “They’re reaching inside the enclosures with the sticks and even trying to get across some of the fences,” he said.

"This is not only the animals’ territory, it’s also their home. They’re not used to the sudden appearance of an unknown object. Some animals are curious and want to investigate it and others are just afraid,” he added.

A series of cartoons on certain enclosures will serve to remind visitors that selfie sticks are a no-no. The main animals to have been affected so far are the seals, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins, as it’s easy to poke a selfie stick through the barriers of their enclosures. “Seals can bite the phone - which isn’t healthy for them. And some selfie sticks have a loop which the animals can grab hold off and pull on - which could cause accidents,” Weissenbacher said. He added that the ban could be extended in the future and that other zoos have already outlawed selfie sticks altogether.

Many Vienna museums now have a ban on selfie sticks, citing safety reasons. The MUMOK art museum recently banned them after becoming concerned that art works could be destroyed if a clumsy visitor pointed a selfie stick in the wrong direction. The Leopold Museum will issue a special permit for the use of a selfie stick but says that in practise this is only for professional photographers or artists working on a specific project.

Museums in Paris have also moved towards banning the popular devices because of the hazard they pose.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

Baumgartner 'failed to mention Red Bull' before jumping to Earth
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner has been accused of cheating his Red Bull sponsors after he failed to mention the energy drink just before he jumped to Earth.

Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available