Wildlife attraction and sanctuary checklists

Wildlife attraction checklist

Ask yourself these questions to avoid cruel attractions.

[1] Are the wild animals kept in cages that don’t meet the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare?
[2] Are wild animals forced to perform tricks in shows?
[3] Are you able to ride, touch, hold, walk or swim with wild animals?
[4] Does the tourist attraction sell parts or products from wild animals?
[5] Does the tour company chase or lure wild animals closer with food or bring people close to wild animals so they can see them better?

If you answered yes to any of these, it is not an animal-friendly attraction.

If the attraction claims to have rescued the wild animals under their care, use our checklist below to determine if it is a genuine sanctuary.

Three elephants living at Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Thailand.

Sanctuary checklist

How to know if the sanctuary you want to visit is a genuine one that puts the animals' welfare first?

Where did the animals come from?

A good sanctuary...

Does not take animals from the wild unless they are injured
Does not sell animals or animal parts
Does not breed animals unless they are being released into the wild
Doesn’t accept more animals under its care than it can humanely manage

What is the sanctuary’s purpose?

A good sanctuary...

Does not use wild animals for entertainment (rides, shows or tricks)
Does not keep wild animals to make a profit
Exists to rescue and help animals

How are the animals kept and cared for?

A good sanctuary...

Has properly trained staff that know how to care for all of the animals properly
Has veterinarians available at any hour to treat the animals that become sick or hurt
Keeps animals in enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitat and give them enough space and opportunities to move and behave naturally
Does not remove animals from their enclosures for people to hold them as this can scare the animals
Reduces the amount of time people can view the animals and gives animals the opportunity for privacy

How does the sanctuary educate people?

A good sanctuary...

Has properly trained staff that know how to care for all of the animals properly
Has veterinarians available at any hour to treat the animals that become sick or hurt

Download our sanctuary checklist (PDF 1.1MB)

Next: Wildlife facts for kids >

Two bears playing in the snow at the Zarnesti bear sanctuary in Romania.

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