Zoos and Wildlife Parks
"Zoos say they are in the business of conservation. In my opinion, that's a lie. They are in the conservation of business."
Damian Aspinall, Conservationist
There are many facilities in New Zealand that hold wild animals, from traditional zoos like Auckland Zoo to wildlife and safari parks like Kingdom of Zion (Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary).
Zoos, especially, argue that they take part in important conservation work, educate the public, and provide animals with enriched habitats. In reality, the business model of zoos involves many things that have nothing to do with conservation or education and are more about keeping animals as living museum exhibits.
Animals in zoos and safari parks are prevented from doing what is natural to them: basic behaviours such as roaming their territories, choosing a mate and deciding what and when to eat. Lacking stimulation and appropriate social interaction, many animals show signs of severe stress and boredom.
Whether you are planning on visiting a zoo or safari park here in New Zealand or overseas, there are a number of factors to consider.
- Do not go to zoos or wildlife parks and talk to your family and friends about why you oppose zoos.
- Learn about wildlife in your local area or through nature documentaries and the Internet.
- Support genuine efforts to protect animals in the wild, such as habitat preservation, tree planting, beach clean-ups, and more.
- Visit a sanctuary or wildlife refuge in New Zealand or overseas.