Are Wildlife Parks Better than Zoos?

What are your thoughts? Do you think wildlife parks are better than Zoos?

Try not to be the selfish one on this one, think it in terms of wildlife welfare and what’s best for them. This should be the case in all decisions made touching wildlife existence especially the tourism sector.

Our admirations towards wildlife have pushed us to explore them, travels miles to visit them, brought them closer to our homes, and sadly even petted them (either legally or illegally). We have done our best to justify these decisions.

To try best to dissect this topic, let’s look at it from different factors. Namely:


Lockdowns and being prisoners in our own homes made us understand and appreciate the freedom of movement from one place to another. Zoos don’t allow that to wildlife, they are doomed to the small spaces for our amusement.

I don’t think Zoos offer wildlife the needed space necessary for their comfortable living.

Wildlife mobility

With the limited space, mobility is a challenge indeed. Just because we give the lions a bigger cage or cheetah a taller cage. This doesn’t guarantee their mobility needs.

Predators are known to chase their prey and herbivores for walking miles for food and water. Where they get to socialize with other wildlife, for the social ones. And the opportunity to hide, for the solitary ones.

The zoo doesn’t allow this.

Zoo somehow tames the wildness in them

Predators don’t have to hunt while in the zoos, they are given butchered meat for their food needs. While the herbivores get nappier grass that has been grown in the farms.

Are these safer options for this wildlife?

We are discouraged from feeding wildlife during our safaris, to avoid altering their diets which causes complications that include tummy hurts.

We may argue that we do our best to feed them in a way resembling how they would get food in the wild. But I don’t think we are accomplishing this.

Stress for the Wildlife

People can be stressing, now imagine wildlife that gets to unwilling interact with us daily.

All the happy noises we make from admiring them. Or trying to see if they would come closer for a closeup.

They don’t have a choice.

If it’s not the tourists, it’s the caretakers. When do they really have their own privacy and time to themselves?

Zoos also give birth to different conditions that may cause stress to wildlife.

Veterinary services

This is the trickiest one.

Most of us continue to justify the importance of Zoos for this particular need.

We see Zoos as safe zones for good health, reviving species, controlling diseases, among others. This is true somehow, but we could offer the same services for them while in the wild.

What we also forget is that they were surviving just fine. There are a big number of wildlife that survives wounds, and other diseases naturally in the wild. The forest has herbs that end up offering medicinal value.

Veterinary services are important but should not be used as a reason to exploit wildlife.


I do think Wildlife parks and reserves are better than Zoos.

I love it when wildlife gets to enjoy their freedom in the world, and I get to exercise my spotting skills to sight them in the wild.

13 thoughts on “Are Wildlife Parks Better than Zoos?”

  1. Wildlife parks are without question better than zoos! There are bad zoos that should not be open. But wildlife parks can’t be everywhere. Photos of wild animals are great and are useful. But actually seeing a live animal, in person, can be very useful in helping peoples, especially young peoples awareness of wildlife conservation. A good zoo can be very helpful with conservation education. Our local zoo has many educational programs not only at the zoo but with local schools and collages. The have a very good wildlife rehabilitation program. They rehabilitate injured animals and return them to the wild. The have one of the best sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in the state. They have released many sea turtles back into the wild. They are working to increase oyster populations to clean local water systems. Their animal enclosures are not cages and are very roomy. They treat their animals with care and love. All of the good things that they are able to do are supported by zoo admission fees and donations. Are zoos perfect? Not by a long shot but a good zoo can do way more good than bad.

    • Thank you very much for this.

      Yes, Very few zoos are offering this. And will always release wildlife back to the wild because they value wildlife welfare.

      Problem came in when most of them concentrated on the tourism profits over wildlife welfare.

  2. The best zoos provide top-notch veterinary care, and this is especially important for animals that can’t be released into the wild due to injuries or because they’re too used to people. The Ohio Wildlife Center in central Ohio is a perfect example of this. It houses animals that were previously pets, animals that have imprinted on humans, and animals that can’t survive in the wild due to injuries. Healthy wild animals that haven’t imprinted on humans are better off in wildlife parks and reserves, but sadly, not all animals are like this. Some animals need constant care, and that’s where zoos come in.

    • Sure, we have some centers that provide best rehabilitation services that make it possible for injured or petted wildlife manage to get back to the wild.

      Most of these are not tourism oriented, and will sometimes restrict visitations. Which is great for wildlife.

    • No living organism love small spaces, even our tamed animals. They love enough space to roam around. Maybe we should have rehabilitation centers instead, with the hopes of reintroducing the wildlife into the wild. While at it stop encroaching and grabbing of land meant for wildlife.

      • Of course, they hate being trapped. Definitely this rehoming them and reintroducing them back into the forests would be the best for them. Most zoos are horrible places. I hate seeing them there. I went to a Zoo in Warsaw once and they have some Colobus monkeys from Africa they had sad little faces and that just broke my heart I didn’t want to go to a Zoo ever again.

        • That can be depressing, especially for those who see beyond the cute faces of wildlife in these cages. Lets just rehabilitate them, and once they are back on their feet, they get reintroduced into the wild, and enjoy freedom.


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