Every bank holiday weekend the queues at zoos and aquaria are huge. Everyone wants a glimpse of the exotic animals and cute babies. What most zoo patrons don’t stop to consider is that although they are likely to be in the zoo for a couple of hours, the animals never get to leave. Many visitors will spend less than three minutes looking at most exhibits and some get looked at for less than eight seconds.
Even the ‘best’ zoos cannot give animals the space which they would live in, in the wild. If they did, the visitors would never be able to see the ‘exhibits’, besides no zoo could afford to own land large enough to give large mammals their natural range. The vast majority of animals in zoos are not from the UK, so their natural habitat is different to the one here. To meet the animals’ needs would require artificial heating or cooling; the humidity may need to be increased or decreased; plants and ecosystems the animals depend on would also hav