Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941


Animals Living in Captivity Around the World

There could be around 10,000 captive wild animal facilities such as zoos, aquaria and wildlife sanctuaries globally. Quite simply, some captive facilities have good welfare, but many do not. Legislation, expertise, resources, culture and attitudes towards animal management all influence how animals are cared for.

Our work is helping transform the lives of captive wild animals through compassionate care, training and capacity building in a wide range of different facilities.

We are working in more than ten countries around the world and that number is growing – but we can’t visit all the facilities and help all the animals that need it.  But with a conservative estimate of around 700 million people a year visiting just zoos worldwide….

YOU CAN HELP shape the future for animals

Should I Be Concerned?

How can you tell if animals are suffering or simply not receiving good enough care? It can be hard to tell what an animal really needs and if it is suffering or not. In captivity there are many hundreds of species, all with very different needs. Below are a few suggestions to help identify if you should be concerned or not.

  • Is the facility overall quite clean, are noise levels and temperature opportunities appropriate for the animals, are staff helpful and is there good signage and educational opportunities? Poor basic fundamental management could indicate that your concern is valid. 
  • Are there animal shows that appear demeaning and cruel? Take a look at our seven ways to know if an animal show is welfare friendly or not for further information.
  • Some actions we consider non-negotiable. These are practices that are completely unacceptable and can cause immediate suffering. You can find a detailed list of these practices which can help you decide if there is an issue or not.
  • Take a look at our animal welfare page to learn more about what animals need. 

Remember, it’s important to get as much information as possible to be accurate in your assessment. 

How You Can Help

  • Can you speak directly to the facility and raise concerns with them? If you can it is often a good way to understand the issue and it is a direct and immediate way to raise the concern with a facility. Try and speak to a member of the animal care team when you are there. While they are often very busy looking after the animals, if there is a real concern, good staff members will take an interest and hopefully be able to help. 
  • If you are not satisfied with the response from the facility or cannot talk to them, consider finding out if the facility is a member of a zoological or similar association and contact them with your concerns. Facilities often advertise their association membership on their websites, and you can also find details HERE.
  • Or, you can share your concerns with us via our online reporting system below. We will use the information you provide us to try and look into a facility or issue and if we feel there are animal welfare concerns, our team will, wherever possible, take steps to ascertain how the animals are being cared for and where improvements can be made.

Take Action Today – Make A Welfare Concern Report

Animal welfare contact form

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What Else Can You Do?

Thank You for caring for animals and their welfare – together we can and will improve care and welfare for wild animals living in captivity around the world.

If you would like to do even more to help, visit our Get Involved page to see what extra steps you can take to put animals first and help our global work improving welfare. You might want to Fundraise for our worldwide projects, pledge to be an Animal-Friendly Tourist when you travel or take on a Challenge for animals.

Do make sure you follow us on social media and sign up for our monthly newsletter too – and keep yourself up to date with all our recent work.

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