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A global network of cruelty

Along with World Animal Protection, CFAF surveyed more than 1,200 zoos and aquariums that are linked to WAZA – the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums. WAZA claims to represent “the world’s leading zoos and aquariums” but we found that 75% of venues offered at least one type of animal visitor interaction. 

We then visited 12 of the ‘top’ zoos and aquariums and confirmed that cruel and demeaning performances and activities, known to cause great physical and mental distress, are taking place. These included:

  • Dolphins performing stunts and being ridden in venues in Portugal, Singapore, Australia and the USA

  • Elephants performing in shows with props in Japan and being ridden in Canada

  • Tigers and lions being forced to take part in theatrical shows in France and being used as photo props in Canada and South Africa

  • Primates being used as photo props in South Africa and the Philippines


These awful types of visitor attractions have no place in modern zoos and aquariums, especially not ones linked with WAZA.

Help end wild animal abuse in ‘top’ zoos and aquariums all over the world by emailing of CEO of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

Why WAZA must act

WAZA has 282 direct members and approximately 1,200 associated member facilities through 24 different national and regional associations. 

WAZA guidelines state that members should not involve animals “in animal shows, displays or interactive experiences where animals perform demeaning and unnatural behaviours” but clearly, many venues do not follow these guidelines.

Take action

We’re demanding WAZA fulfils its role as the global alliance of “the world’s leading zoos and aquariums”. 

It needs to clarify and communicate its position and revoke membership status from venues which provide irresponsible animal visitor attractions. 

Shocking animal cruelty

We were appalled by the wild animal attractions we witnessed at the 12 venues visited.

Harry Eckman, director of Change For Animals Foundation said, “We were shocked to see big cats in gladiator-style shows in large amphitheatres, dolphins being used like surf boards, elephants playing basketball and clothed chimps in nappies, driving around on scooters. All of these ridiculous activities also represent a clear and present threat to welfare of the wild animals involved.” 

Dr Neil D’Cruze, global wildlife advisor, at World Animal Protection said, “Tourists visiting a WAZA-linked venue should be able to trust they are not inadvertently supporting cruel animal attractions. Sadly, currently this is not the case.”

Avoid these venues

Until WAZA responds to our demands or these venues drastically improve animal welfare, we are urging our supporters to avoid the following venues: 

  • Zoomarine - Portugal

  • Zoo D’Amneville - France

  • Puy du Fou - France

  • Jungle Cat World - Canada

  • African Lion Safari - Canada

  • Sea World - San Antonio, USA

  • Cango Wildlife Ranch - South Africa

  • Mystic Monkeys & Feather Wildlife Park - South Africa

  • Sea World - Australia

  • Avilon Zoo - Philippines

  • Ichicara Elephant Kingdom - Japan

  • Dolphin Island (Resort World Sentosa) - Singapore

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