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Zoos - Facilities

Animals affected

Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals






Animals’ living conditions in zoos are completely different from their natural habitat. No centre can reproduce the complex biodiversity of the habitat of each species. The spaces are inevitably limited and are insufficient for the animals living there. As well as restricted, these spaces are also sterile, with artificial structures and without any type of naturalisation or enrichment, more like a cage than anything else. In zoos animals have very few stimulants and they are deprived of the chance to carry out typical behaviour of their species, from the most basic and instinctive, such as climbing or running long distances, to other more complex behaviours like hunting, or social and reproductive functions.   

All this makes the animals suffer from frustration, stress, apathy, depression, etc., which often ends up manifesting in stereotypic behaviour. Stereotypies are abnormal, obsessive and repetitive behaviours that the animals perform to no end, and as scientific studies now confirm, they are only observed in animals in captivity. Among other types of behaviour there are: the sideways rocking of elephants, the pacing of big cats (continually moving from one end of the cage to the other) and the excessive grooming or self-harming of primates.

Our action

At the state level

Through InfoZOOS a coalition made up of the organisations ANDA, BORN FREE and FAADA, created to bring about effective change in the way wild animals are managed and treated in zoos.

  • We lobby the authorities so that the legislation is applied to zoos and those that don’t comply are given penalties or they are closed down.
  • We sue the centres which break the law.
  • We carry out inspections in zoos and write the corresponding reports for the authorities and the centres themselves.
  • We share information regarding the suffering of wild animals living in captivity, especially zoos.

What can you do?

  • Tell your family and friends, especially children, about the problems animals in zoos have.
  • Visit a wildlife recovery centre. That is where animals that have been removed from situations of abuse or abandonment are kept. They will help you to understand the problem areas associated with keeping animals in captivity. If you have children you could take them to see educational documentaries, the theatre, a walk along the beach, get to know the fauna that lives in the woods and mountains, to dog and cat homes, or to help out at an animal sanctuary. There are many alternatives to zoos. 
  • Find out about Law 31/2003, 27-10, on conservation of wild fauna in zoos and let us know of any anomaly you may observe in these centres, taking photos or videos when possible.


Other sources



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