Avoid cruelty in the world's top zoos

29 July 2019

Some of the world’s top zoos are abusing and forcing wild animals to endure appalling suffering as they irresponsibly and routinely exploit them for visitor entertainment.

Our new report, 'The show can't go on', in partnership with Change for Animals Foundation, surveyed more than 1,200 zoos and aquariums linked to WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums), which claims to represent 'the world’s leading zoos and aquariums'. The study found 75% of venues offered at least one type of animal visitor interaction including some truly horrific cases that have no place in modern zoos and aquariums.

We discovered big cats in gladiator-style shows in large amphitheatres, dolphins being used like surfboards, elephants playing basketball and clothed chimps in nappies, driving around in scooters. All activities that would require cruel training techniques for these wild animals.

Image: Dolphin Island (Resorts World Sentosa) – Singapore

Take action

Although no UK WAZA member venues were flagged as a concern, UK tourists can still take a stand by not visiting or supporting these venues. It is time that people be part of the solution and avoid venues that offer cruel interactions. This will send out a clear message – that treating animals this way is not acceptable.

Avoid these venues

Until these venues drastically improve their animal welfare, we would urge the public to avoid the following venues:

  • Dolphin Island (Resorts World Sentosa) – Singapore
  • Zoo D’Amneville – France
  • Jungle Cat World – Canada
  • African Lion Safari – Canada
  • Cango Wildlife Ranch – South Africa
  • Sea World – Australia
  • SeaWorld – San Antonio, USA
  • Zoomarine – Portugal
  • Puy du Fou – France
  • Avilon Zoo – Philippines
  • Mystic Monkeys & Feathers Wildlife Park – South Africa
  • Ichicara Elephant Kingdom – Japan

The best place to see wild animals is in the wild. However, if people want to visit a zoo, we recommend avoiding venues which allow visitors: 

  • To ride, touch and bathe a wild animal  
  • To take photographs with wild animals being used as photo props 
  • To see wild animals perform in circus-like shows  
  • To see animals in clothes or exhibits that are unnatural or human-like 
  • Any opportunities for animals to have to interact with people or staff repeatedly for the duration of the day
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