Excellent animal welfare is the top priority for all good zoos.
Animal welfare considers an animal’s physical and psychological condition and its overall quality of life.
The five freedoms describe the basic needs of animals and, if followed, will achieve at the very least an adequate level of welfare:
1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease
4. Freedom to express natural behaviours
5. Freedom from fear and distress
These are a good starting point, but good zoos aim to exceed these basic requirements and provide excellent welfare.
Zoos have a duty of care towards their animals, and work pro-actively to maintain and improve standards. From the design and build of an enclosure, right through to the care and monitoring of individual animals, conditions should exceed those which are merely necessary for survival.
There are three areas involved with animal welfare for you to explore here: enrichment, veterinary care and nutrition.
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