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Zoo #Blogtober17 day 26

This year we have been to Sandown Zoo on the Isle of Wight and Marwell Zoo in Hampshire.
I find zoos problematic. I love being able to see animals from around the world especially the big cats which are so majestic and beautiful.

However I have concerns about their welfare and happiness. At Marwell there were animals out in the rain who didn’t seem able to shelter indoors.

Meanwhile at Sandown the animals were mostly hiding away inside their homes so it was quite disappointing that we couldn’t see the animals.

Part of me is glad that some animals live in the relative safety of the zoo environment as they don’t need to worry about food or predators and have access to medical care. Equally though, part of me is concerned at the lack of natural interaction with other animals and the world. Yet another part of me feels that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is best (think of a lioness mother rejecting her child and the zoo being able to raise the baby rather than it dying of neglect). But then again nature is cruel to ensure the survival of a species rather than an individual…

I prefer to think of zoos in a positive light as I am sure that most of them are utterly dedicated to the animals in their care.


  1. Zoos were set up for the wrong reasons but nowadays many of them exist for the right ones. However when there’s a poor environment for an animal it’s really obvious to the visitors and it shows the entire industry in a bad light.

  2. Emma

    The kids love zoos and anything with animals in general but I must admit I feel slightly uneasy at some of them when the animals don’t look very happy or the conditions don’t seem great! x

  3. I feel the exact same when it comes from zoo, there is nothing worse than seeing animals held in conditions they shouldn’t be. They are not living creatures who exist to entertain humans. In saying that, I do love going to a zoo where the animals don’t seem extremely limited or constrained. Edinburgh zoo in Scotland is brilliant for that!

  4. We don’t often go to the zoo but the ones we have been to have not concerned me as the animals seemed well cared for. I believe zoos also do important conservation work too.

  5. Oh I’m the same when it comes to zoos, I always feel so conflicted but then I think at least they’re safe and if they’re not being looked after properly it will be quite obvious and you can always lodge a complaint. Hope you enjoyed your trip nonetheless x

  6. It’s a tricky one, but as you say, it does help with animal conservation. And as long as they look cared for. The zoo where my parents live is known for it’s enormous big cat enclosures. It means you often don’t get to see them (though there are binoculars provided), but I’d rather that then seeing them in a small cage.

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