Along with Change For Animals Foundation, we surveyed more than 1,200 zoos and aquariums linked to WAZA, which claims to represent 'the world’s leading zoos and aquariums' and found that 75% of venues offered at least one type of animal visitor interaction.
We visited 12 of the 'top' zoos and aquariums and confirmed that cruel and demeaning performances and activities, known to cause great physical and mental distress, are taking place, including:
- Dolphins performing stunts and being ridden in venues in Portugal, Singapore, Australia and the USA
- Elephants performing in shows with props in Japan and being ridden in Canada
- Tigers and lions being forced to take part in theatrical shows in France and being used as photo props in Canada and South Africa
- Primates being used as photo props in South Africa and the Philippines
These awful types of visitor attractions have no place in modern zoos and aquariums, especially not those linked with WAZA.
Subject: This is cruelty. End it.
Dear Mr Zordan,
I am writing to you because I love animals.
I want to know that leading organisations like yours are taking responsibility for animal welfare, rather than supporting cruel and demeaning shows and visitor interactions.
World Animal Protection’s report, The Show Can’t Go On, highlights 12 WAZA-linked venues offering these kinds of appalling attractions, which have no place in a modern zoo.
You can read the report here: www.worldanimalprotection.or.ke/waza.
Because your organisation prides itself on offering leadership and guidance to ‘the world’s leading zoos and aquariums’, you should proactively take steps to ensure all your members follow your animal welfare guidelines.
I urge you to lead the way by offering clear animal welfare guidelines. You should also monitor and active working with your members to ensure they do not offer cruel and demeaning shows and activities.
Concerned animal lover
Why WAZA must act
WAZA has 282 direct members and approximately 1,200 associated member facilities through 24 different national and regional associations.
WAZA guidelines state that members should not involve animals 'in animal shows, displays or interactive experiences where animals perform demeaning and unnatural behaviours'. Clearly, many venues do not follow these guidelines.
We’re demanding WAZA fulfils its role as the global alliance of 'the world’s leading zoos and aquariums'.
It should clarify and communicate its position and revoke membership status from venues which provide irresponsible animal visitor attractions.
Avoid these venues
Until WAZA responds to our demands or these venues drastically improve animal welfare, we urge everyone 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