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Zoos - Interactions

Animals affected

Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals






Many zoos offer the chance to have direct contact with animals, alleging that the interaction between animals and visitors manages to create a natural and unforgettable bond for both parties. They also say that this is the best educational and sensitisation tool to transmit respect for animals to people. The activities with interactions is usually offered especially for children and as part of a school visit.

The interactions don’t just involve a risk to people (especially children), due to possible attacks, bites or zoonotic diseases, but also for the animals as a consequence of bad-handling or possible transmission of diseases. When it comes to wild animals, being continually picked up or touched by visitors, transferred from one area to another and being the object of continuous photo sessions may provoke high levels of stress which end up coming out in frustration, aggression or apathy.

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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