Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

Welfare partnership helps zoo animals in Thailand

Large grasslands zoo enclosure at North Carolina Zoo

Welfare partnership helps zoo animals in Thailand

The Wild Welfare team has been visiting one of the world’s leading zoos in America, making plans to help zoo animals in Thailand as part of a new welfare partnership.

Visiting North Carolina Zoo earlier this year, Wild Welfare made plans to begin what will be the first partnership in the charity’s new zoo welfare partnership programme, unveiled in January.

The new partnership is between Wild Welfare, North Carolina Zoo and the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO). ZPO operates eight zoos across Thailand, under the royal patronage of the king of Thailand.

Wild Welfare’s director, Georgina Groves, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to start working with North Carolina Zoo staff on what is going to be a very positive programme in Thailand.”

“Our work with ZPO staff to date has been constructive and fun and they are very enthusiastic about giving the welfare of their animals priority, so we’re looking forward to helping them do this alongside the expertise of North Carolina’s team.”

Wild Welfare’s initial Partner for Animals programme will see North Carolina Zoo’s team working with ZPO’s Chiang Mai Zoo and Khao Kheow Open Zoo. In November last year, Wild Welfare revisited Chiang Mai Zoo, where animal keeping and enrichment staff had already started to implement some of the recommendations we had made at our initial assessment of the zoo earlier in the year.

During the visit to North Carolina Zoo, Wild Welfare presented to more than 100 staff about how the charity works with zoos across the world, some of the areas where improvements are needed to help zoo animals and how partnerships can help raise global zoo standards and practices, which in turn offers huge potential rewards for wild animals living in captivity.

“We’re thrilled to have such fantastic support from North Carolina, and to be making plans that we know have the potential to improve standards for zoo animals in Thailand and help ZPO zoo staff enable their animals to thrive,” Georgina Groves added.

North Carolina Zoo is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo, where their more than 1,800 animals live in spacious, natural surroundings, where they have the chance to exhibit a full range of natural behaviours.

North Carolina Zoo Director, Pat Simmons said: “Promoting excellent animal care and welfare is a global priority for the North Carolina Zoo. We are delighted to be the United States base for Wild Welfare and through their support, now a partner with the Zoological Park Organization (ZPO) Zoos in Thailand.

“Together we will work to elevate animal care and welfare practices for our animal populations at both the NC Zoo and the Thailand ZPO zoos, by expanding the knowledge of our professional staff in both locations. Global shared experience makes for continuously improving and enlightened animal care.”

The new Partner for Animals programme partners experienced zoo staff from some of the world’s leading zoos, with zoos around the world that are looking for support to help them improve their animal care and welfare practices. Under Wild Welfare’s facilitation and support, together they will carry out species-specific animal welfare improvements, offer animal behaviour and welfare training and help the zoo provide improved care and welfare for its animals.

It is very fitting that the programme’s inaugural partnership involves North Carolina Zoo. Wild Welfare was conceived at North Carolina, where one of the charity’s founders and existing chair of trustees, Dr David Jones, served as North Carolina Zoo’s director for more than 20 years. The first project visit to Thailand is planned for later this month.


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on

Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.

Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at Registered charity in England (no.1165941).

Image © Wild Welfare: The ‘great prairies’ enclosure at North Carolina Zoo, a spacious grasslands that is home to elk and bison